Election 2024 /

WSJ: Welcome to Chicago, Democrats Windy City progressives want to cancel the August Convention in their city.

  |   By Polling+ Staff

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Welcome to Chicago, Democrats

Windy City progressives want to cancel the August Convention in their city.

Turmoil inside the Democratic Party. The WSJ Editorial Board writes:

“For a preview of the fun that awaits President Biden at the Democratic National Convention in August, get a load of this week’s spectacle in the Windy City. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is defending an alderman who spoke at a rally in favor of canceling the DNC.

The story began March 22, when a group called Behind Enemy Lines organized a protest near Chicago’s City Hall. The group says its purpose is to “stop the U.S.-Israel War Machine” and keep “Genocide Joe” Biden out of Chicago. For the solemn moral occasion, the group organized a protest in which a veteran burned an American flag and Chicago Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez spoke afterward behind the charred remnants.

Mr. Sigcho-Lopez says he wasn’t there for the incineration and didn’t think anything of the ash pile at his feet. But even progressive Chicagoans found the performance over-the-top. Members of the City Council held an emergency meeting Monday to discuss removing Mr. Sigcho-Lopez from his leadership position as chair of the city’s Housing and Real Estate Committee. The motion failed 29-16.

Mayor Johnson has already thrown in his lot with the anti-Israel crowd, casting a tiebreaking vote on a City Council resolution for a cease-fire in January. But you might think he would rebut Mr. Sigcho-Lopez’s disrespect to Mr. Biden and the Democratic National Committee that selected his city as their showcase venue.

Nope. Asked by reporters about the incident, Mr. Johnson tried to turn the fiasco into a First Amendment story, saying the alderman has “a right to speak” his political opinion and criticism would be akin to “the type of fascist forms of expression that have left too many of our countries in desperate peril.” Taking his cue, Mr. Sigcho-Lopez told the City Council on Monday, “I make no apology for standing for First Amendment rights.”

It would be great to see the party of cancel culture rediscovering free-speech rights, but that’s not what’s happening here. In March Chicago’s House of Blues canceled a sold-out concert of Jewish rapper Matisyahu after Palestinian activists called him a “racist, Zionist musician” who was “not welcome in Chicago.” Where were Mr. Sigcho-Lopez and Mayor Johnson during this shutdown of free expression?

The bigger problem for Mr. Johnson is with Gov. J.B. Pritzker and national Democrats. Behind Enemy Lines leader Michael Boyte said in a video that the group doesn’t want “just the same mass peaceful marches” that are “left in form but right in essence.”

He added: “People are like, we want to confront some Zionists . . . we want to burn an Israeli flag, we want to take this protest to the next level.” As for the DNC, the group says it aims to “make bruises from Chicago police batons the 2024 back-to-school Fall fashion.”

Democrats can’t be eager to have Joe Biden’s moment turn into a rerun of the violent clashes that made the Chicago Democratic convention infamous in 1968. Mr. Pritzker says he wouldn’t have done what the alderman did but “it’s his right to do it.” What will he say when Mr. Biden is in town?”

Joe Biden – WSJ Spotlight Coverage, Recent News

Joe Biden is the 46th president of the U.S. and is running for reelection in 2024, with Vice President Kamala Ha…

What is it with Democrat conventions in Chicago? Memorably the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago quickly disintegrated into a literal riot between anti-Vietnam War protestors and Mayor Richard Daley’s police. Apparently some version of this is being prepped for this year’s convention.

Stay tuned.