It's like a Monty Python parody of radicalism— something calling itself "South Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action" struck a blow against the system by... invading an Irish restaurant with the quaint name of The Ashford House in Tinley Park. It was no joke, though, when a gang of 15 to 20 hooded young people carrying clubs and hammers attacked a group of alleged white supremacists and/or neo-Nazis at the south suburban restaurant Saturday night— and beat indiscriminately on anyone within range, sending a number of people to the hospital and causing an estimated $15,000-20,000 in damage. The end result was an attack so moronically vicious that it succeeded in making the Nazis the sympathetic side, and seems likely to win the title of worst protest of the entire NATO week. Way to fight the power (which as we all know is located on 159th street in Tinley Park), geniuses.
News accounts vary, as you might expect, but at the moment it appears that the alleged white power group, under the more innocuous name of "European Heritage Group," booked space for 12 to 15 of its members. Their website, however, called the event the "5th Annual White Nationalist Economic Summit" (we suspect this mainly focused on how to split the check). Members of South Side Chicago Anti-Racist Action saw this and planned an attack. About 15 to 20 of them, dressed in hoodies and with bandannas over their faces, rushed into the restaurant Saturday night and began assaulting the white nationalists and, when they ran out of those, an adjacent wedding party. Fox News has the most complete report from witnesses:
a bystander who jumped into the fray managed to hit one of the attackers with a chair, knocking him unconscious. That ended the brawl, with the attackers carrying him out.
Another eyewitness said that a few restaurant patrons followed the attackers, wrestling several young men to the ground. Other attackers, though, doubled back using baseball bats and other weapons to free their fellow gang members.
They fled in 3 separate vehicles, but police cornered one a few blocks away at 159th and Harlem.
The interior of the restaurant is described as "ruined," and several people went to the hospital.
We'll be somewhat less than awestruck if we learn that at least a few of this year's "anti-racist activists" were last year's white nationalists; this is obviously the kind of event where "political protest" has simply devolved into a rumble between rival gangs. There's a bitter historical irony in the choice of The Ashford House, however, for an attack. During the racial turmoil of the 1960s, which white ethnics on the South Side felt much more directly than whites on the clout-heavier North Side, many whites moved with their businesses to southwest suburbs such as Tinley Park, contributing to the economic decline of the South Side. The Ashford House, however, is owned by the people behind one of the businesses that stayed and kept their jobs in the city, the Irish market Winston's Sausage on 63rd street. We're sure sending a gang to beat strangers in a farflung suburb will do wonders for their interest in continuing to operate their business there, and for the image of the South Side in general. [Fox News; Tribune; Sun-Times]