Betty Arenson | Distinguishing Protests and Riots

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

What are the differences between a protest and a riot? It depends on who’s describing the event and who are the “victims.” If the describer is the mainstream media, beware. If cities are seized and occupied by armed miscreants establishing new “borders” (CHAZ/CHOP) and committing crimes while coddled by a mayor laughingly stating it’s “the summer of love,” it’s a protest. 

If multiple blocks of cities are demolished with arson, businesses destroyed, other businesses shut down out of fear, it’s a protest. If the victims are deemed as mere, unimportant slugs beneath the elitists perceived standards, it’s a protest. 

If the actors gather as a rally to peacefully voice their freedom of speech that many tried to quash, and intruders intentionally materialize to cause harm, it’s a riot. Should the breached boundaries belong to property that houses the sacrosanct, and the event can be conveniently blamed on a targeted group, it’s a riot. 

Thus, as would naturally follow, the infringement on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., Jan. 6 was a riot with all responsibility assigned to anyone who likes President Donald Trump. 

If it’s the Left, many Democrats, all Trump haters and Republican haters and the complicit media, it’s a protest. If the events are in Democrat-run cities, irrespective of the degree of carnage and maim, they’re just protests. A CNN reporter stood in front of burning carnage Aug. 26 and stated it’s a “fiery but mostly peaceful protest.” 

Thousands of people were quite public about gathering for a rally on Jan. 6 in the nation’s capitol. History has shown that Trump-supporter rallies and attendees have neither been violent nor destructive. 

The media’s claimed horror over the D.C. event is disingenuous. Seattle’s CHAZ/CHOP was never called riots by the weak, detestable press. Instead, it was the aforementioned “Summer of Love” by Mayor Jenny Durkin. 

Portland, Oregon, has been occupied for so long, it’s commonplace. These well-funded rampagers were remaining as of Dec. 31. To think they didn’t have a plan to tear apart anything they already hadn’t, should Trump have won on Nov. 3, is naive! 

The MSM never expressed disdain over any of the destruction of government-owned statues. They were not critical with the maiming and killing of police trying to protect those statues while under siege of being hit by concrete blocks, bottles of frozen water, feces and urine thrown at them. The same applies to police trying to protect Portland’s federal courthouse. The MSM wasn’t critical of the rioters trying to break down the doors of the Supreme Court in October 2018. There is no doubt in what the hoodlums would have done had they gotten inside. 

Ironically, all of those lethal protests demanded, “defund the police!”. Certainly not the call at the Capitol. More proof Bob Citizen doesn’t count; no equality here. 

The 2020 decimation is incalculable, yet the media, Democrat leaders, etc., never called any of the heinous actions a riot, but it is the first and only word they’ve used for D.C. 

More than 74 million people voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Those voters are told they’re stupid, mere sheep, uneducated and they don’t count. The rally was a cry to be heard. Being ignored and mocked yields anger and breeds revolutions. As a result, thousands gathered to say “No! You are done discounting us; we’re here!” What did the oppressors expect? House and Senate leaders ignored the opportunity to face and address the crowd before the havoc. 

It’s wrong-headed to broadcast surprise in the D.C. event. There’s a five-and-a-half-year compilation of violent acts of incitement against Trump and Republicans. 

The convenient default position that civil unrest lies with Trump and his supporters is quite easily demolished. Democrats calling for heinousness speaks for itself: 

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nada, D-Missouri, called for Trump’s assassination. Aug. 19, 2017. 

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, defends Democrat supporters harassing GOP, October 2018. 

Bernie Sanders’ supporter intended to murder all Republicans on a baseball field; Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, lingered at death’s door for days, June 2017. 

“If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” — Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, June 2018.

“When they go low, we kick them. That’s what [we’re] about.” — former Attorney General Eric Holder, October 2018. 

“Please, show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful…. Because I can show you that outraged citizens are what made the country what she is and led to any major milestone. To be honest, this is not a tranquil time.” — CNN, Chris Cuomo, June 2020. 

“But they’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop. They’re not. This is a movement. I’m telling you. They’re not going to stop, and everyone, beware. Because they’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop before election day in November, and they are not going to stop after election day. And everyone should take note of that on both levels. That they’re not going to let up. And they should not, and we should not.”  — Kamala Harris, June 20. 

The seven-page House Political Violence Report ( tells much more:  

“GOP U.S. Congress Members Attacked by Leftists.” 

“Threats from Democrat Congress Members.” 

“Threats from Activists.” 

“Threats from Hollywood.” 

“Threats from the Media.” 

“Threats and Advocacy from Educators.” 

“Comparisons of President Trump to Hitler” (media and one “educator”).

Considering the site’s content, readers can judge how much “unity” is in our future. 

Betty Arenson is a Santa Clarita resident.

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