The Insolent Arrogance of the Progressive Left

Written by Frank Salvato


March, 2008
The Insolent Arrogance of the Progressive Left
By Frank Salvato

A recent event in Chicago illustrates the arrogance and narcissism of the Progressive–Left and in particular the anti-war Progressive-Left. During Easter services at Holy Name Cathedral Catholic Church in Chicago, six anti-war protesters staged a political demonstration disrupting religious services.

They shouted generic anti-war slogans and squirted fake blood on themselves and the parishioners in attendance. Their goal was to attract attention to themselves and – therefore – their cause. It worked.

The group of three men and three women, who call themselves Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War (interesting self-commentary on the three “men” involved), issued a statement saying they purposely targeted Holy Name Cathedral – specifically on Easter – to reach a large audience, including the press, which usually covers the services.

A representative of the International Solidarity Movement told the Chicago Tribune that he attended the protest to serve as a witness for the Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War.

Chicago Police removed the protesters and charged them with one count of felony criminal damage to property and two counts each of misdemeanor simple battery.

Where to begin...

First, we should examine the base element of the Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War and their supporters.

Catholic School Girls Against the War
The website for the Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice (which evidently hosts the group’s Internet presence) describes the group as:

“...a humorous, political street threatre group composed of college students and young adults.”

It is obvious to even the most intellectually challenged that the designation “street theatre group” is an attempt to inoculate their actions; an attempt to re-define any of their civil disobedience – criminal acts – as “theatre.”

As far as the “humorous” description goes, I suppose humor is in the eye of the beholder, although I don’t believe that any of the young children in attendance at Holy Name Cathedral, children who were frightened by the actions of this group – in their place of worship, a place that is meant to provide sanctuary, found the splattering of fake blood and shrieks of agenda-driven insolence “humorous.”

Illinois Coalition for Peace & Justice
In their Structure & Statement of Values, the Illinois Coalition for Peace & Justice, which is linked to the Progressive Democrats of America website, claims their organization:

“...models a just and peaceful society...[resolving] to use our work in the Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice as a model of equal and supportive relationships in a peaceful and just society...”

The ICPJ is by definition an anti-war protest organization. Where they claim to act as a coordinating organization, they facilitate the activities of a number of activist groups, including the American Muslim Council, the Campus Anti-War Network and Code Pink, to name just three.

Interestingly, their Structure & Statement of Values declaration says they:

“...work in common for: alternatives to militarism, global community, lives of active nonviolence, human rights for all, preservation of the environment...”

By disrupting a religious service and, in the process, creating fear among children and angst among adults, it is hard to see how the ICPJ – through its member organization, the Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War – promoted any of these tenets and/or values, especially “global community,” “nonviolence” or “human rights.”

International Solidarity Movement
The organization that sent a representative to act as a “witness” for the protesters, the International Solidarity Movement, is an anti-war organization but only where the United States and the West are concerned. In fact, it can be argued that they are vehemently anti-Western and anti-American.

The International Solidarity Movement is, according to Discover the Networks,

“...a radical, anti-Israel organization that recruits Westerners to travel to Israel to obstruct Israeli security operations...[they justify] Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians...”

Though the organization claims to adhere to a commitment to non-violence, its members openly call for the "liberation of Palestinians by any means necessary...[including] legitimate armed struggle."

One of the groups officials, Hisham Jam Joun, a veteran of the Marxist-Leninist terror group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, led pro-Palestinian protests against the Israeli security barrier.

In 2003, two British nationals executed a suicide bombing in an Israeli bar that killed three people and wounded more than 50. In the course of their investigation into the bombing Israeli officials discovered that the bombers had met with International Solidarity Movement leaders just prior to carrying out the attack. This prompted the Israeli government to formally accuse the organization of maintaining ties to Palestinian terror entities. Said one IDF officer:

“...as far as we are concerned, ISM is not an international organization or a peace organization. It's a pro-Palestinian organization, set up by Palestinians, funded by Palestinians and linked to Palestinian terror."

In addition, the group continues to advocate for the release of Marwan Barghouti, a leader in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. Barghouti was convicted of committing acts of terrorism and with the murders of 26 people through the facilitation of several suicide bombing events that took place in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

To put it mildly, there is nothing peaceful about the International Solidarity Movement or their actions. The causes for which they advocate are about as far away from “humorous, political street theatre” as one can get.

The Question of Constitutional Rights
The violent, intolerant, hypocritical and narcissistic nature of these groups exposed, the facet of this story that is truly shocking is this: These intellectually stunted malcontents attempted to deny the people attending Catholic Mass at Holy Name Cathedral their constitutionally guaranteed right to practice their religion, yet charges to this affect are not being explored. Instead they are being charged with felony criminal damage to property and misdemeanor simple battery.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution specifically states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This guarantee of non-intervention by government with regard to religion, speech and assembly has been interpreted over the years to provide for the sanctity of religious practice, the protection of free speech and the inviolability of peaceable assembly.

By interrupting a religious service on its most holy of days (the resurrection of Christ, signified by the celebration of Easter, is the most glorified event in the Catholic faith, not Christmas, which signifies the birth of Christ) the Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War denied the parishioners their constitutional right to freely practice religion, they denied Cardinal Francis George his constitutional right to freedom of speech and religious practice and both their right to peaceably assemble.

That federal authorities are not exploring the possibility of charging, not only the six malcontents from Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War but the leaders of both the Illinois Coalition for Peace & Justice and the International Solidarity Movement, with violating the constitutional rights of the Cardinal and the parishioners of Holy Name Cathedral is a testimony to how little value we place on our constitutional rights, how delinquent we are in understanding the ideology behind our constitutional rights and our apathy in defending them when they are attacked.

Ingenuous protest is one thing and it is perfectly acceptable, but anarchist indignance goes beyond anything that can be deemed acceptable. Charge them, prosecute them and make an example out of them.

Related Reading:

Iraq War Protesters Disrupt Chicago Mass

Illinois Coalition for Peace & Justice

Progressive Democrats of America

Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War

American Muslim Council

Campus Anti-War Network

Code Pink

International Solidarity Movement

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Marwan Barghouti

US Bill of Rights
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for Basics Project a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, Basics Project, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is the host of the The New Media Journal Internet radio program broadcast globally on NetTalkWorld global talk radio. He is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network and on The Captain's America Radio Show catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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