Right-Wing Marchers Have Declared Portland Enemy Territory
August 9, 2018 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Why Portland? And will it ever stop? "Last weekend, 400 people, mostly men, met in a parking lot along the Columbia River in Vancouver, Wash., girded for battle. They carried helmets and shields. They wore full suits of futuristic combat armor, Boba Fett helmets and homemade Pepe the Frog costumes. They clambered onto private school buses and drove into enemy territory: Portland. Within hours, the streets of the Rose City were filled with strange sights that have recently become common in Portland: neon chemical smoke, men in costumes throwing punches, and riot cops charging into battle."



"It was the 15th rally held in Portland in the past year and a half by the Vancouver-based protest group Patriot Prayer. In that time, the group has visited just three other cities outside its home state of Washington: Salem, San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif."

"And, like every other time the right-wing group comes to Portland, it has been confronted by antifascist counterprotesters, sometimes in masks and "black bloc" clothing. This time, roughly 1,000 antifascists arrived, and proceeded chanting from the other side of Southwest Naito Parkway."

"And last weekend, like every other time Patriot Prayer has come to Portland, police were present. This time, their larger and more militant presence meant that running brawls like those seen downtown one month ago did not occur."

"Police largely kept the two groups apart. They did that in part by turning explosive devices and gas weapons on the antifascist protesters, seriously injuring two people."
posted by A. Davey (83 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
This little guy right here, sheesh, thanks for saving my mood for the day little one, if only just...
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:29 AM on August 9 [64 favorites]


And it gets even fucking stupider in Portland with Doughnutgate.
On August 4, a man named Michael Whelan, known on Twitter as VeganMikey went on Nathan Stolpman’s YouTube channel Lift the Veil to share an incident after, according to him, he “was made aware of people that were participating in sexual abuse and trafficking of children in the city of Portland, OR.” Stolpman claimed the incident was connected to the owner of Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts and that they were going to “be linking this to Comet Pizza as well.”

Whelan said he had been “eyewitness to children taken back” at a party at the home of Tres Shannon, the owner of Voodoo Donuts, where “there was abuse of children going on.” Whelan also claimed people within the alleged ring “had worked at Comet,” linking his allegations to Pizzagate.
People are going to get killed if this shit keeps up.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:30 AM on August 9 [41 favorites]


Cops and Klan go hand in hand. Don't believe the claims that Patriot Prayer is not explicitly white supremacist; its core members wear Nazi tattoos.
posted by enn at 7:37 AM on August 9 [38 favorites]


Can someone explain to me why there is this weird resurgence of Satanic Panic type nonsense?
posted by asteria at 7:41 AM on August 9 [5 favorites]


Can someone explain to me why there is this weird resurgence of Satanic Panic type nonsense?

Because if there's one way for 8ch to get normies to believe crazy shit it's pedos.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:43 AM on August 9 [56 favorites]


Witness Michael "not really a veteran" Meyer's "Veterans on Patrol" pedophile insanity over in Tuscon. There are batshit insane hardcore Christian women all over his livestreams and pouring donations and supplies into his organization.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:46 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain to me why there is this weird resurgence of Satanic Panic type nonsense?

trump's mirror writ large
posted by entropicamericana at 7:52 AM on August 9 [22 favorites]


Please give money to Pro Publica.
posted by Pembquist at 7:53 AM on August 9 [31 favorites]



Can someone explain to me why there is this weird resurgence of Satanic Panic type nonsense?

We've talked about this in the politics megathread a bit and in the recent QAnon FPP.

Fred Clark has blogged about Satanic Panic, the anti-abortion movement and Fundamentalism for many years, and his theory of the case is that believing someone is (as he terms it) a Satanic Baby-Killer gives the believer the lowest bar ever to clear in order to be considered a good person. If you believe the world is full--FULL!--of devil-worshiping child-murderers, all you have to do to be a good person--a better person than the majority of other people--is not be a devil-worshiping child-murderer. Which is, like, not that difficult.

(Also what Definitely Not Sean Spicer said. Because there's True Believers of this shit but then there's a fuckton of trolls too.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:53 AM on August 9 [59 favorites]


See also Right Wing Watch: At Portland Rally, Far-Right Extremists Mingle With Mainstay MAGA. Decent coverage of who the fascists are.
posted by Nelson at 7:53 AM on August 9 [3 favorites]


Crying 'Pedophile' Is the Oldest Propaganda Trick in the Book (Emma Grey Ellis for Wired, Aug. 1, 2018)
Alleging that your enemy preys upon children is an ancient propaganda tool that’s been used by everyone from medieval Catholics to the Soviet Union. It’s a powerful indictment because it trades on fundamental human fears. It’s designed to otherize the opposition and sabotage any sympathy you might have for them. It’s a ubiquitous tactic because it works.

It’s easy to piece together how this strategy emerged: Someone figured out which crime their society viewed as most morally reprehensible and went with that—the unforgivable act that almost always involves kids. “Children represent the most sacred ideals any society can have,” says Margaret Peacock, a historian at the University of Alabama who has written about the role children play in propaganda. “They represent the future.” Because humans are biologically wired to protect their offspring, painting your enemy as a defiler of innocence and a threat to the next generation instantly dehumanizes them. And because many societies see pedophiles as not just monstrous but irredeemably so, this charge provides endless opportunities to justify mistreating the group accused of it.

Establishing your opposition as a subhuman beast has been justification for the harshest forms of retaliation. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, European Jews were accused of kidnapping Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals; Also throughout the 19th and mid-20th centuries, European Jews were the victims of pogroms and the Holocaust. Where false pedophilia charges go, genocide and repression follow. (A related strategy: Far-right commentators such as Ann Coulter have accused refugees of preying upon children as a way to justify not aiding these groups as they flee deadly, oppressive situations.)

Barely a decade later, the threat of child predation helped rationalize the Cold War, on both sides. The Soviet Union condemned capitalism by suggesting that the US was so reluctant to use social services that its children were forced into lives of crime and prostitution. Over in the US, communism was the real thief of childhood, transforming children into brainwashed robots capable of turning their own parents over to the state for crimes such as hoarding grain. There’s likely some truth to these tales on either side, which is why propagandists chose them: Keeping the focus on mistreated children keeps people from wondering about whether they’re wholly true. The anger stirred by these stories helped keep millions and millions of people on the brink of nuclear destruction because the consequences of allowing the other side to remain unchecked was unthinkable.
Emphasis mine because this is at the core of it - it's an image that is hard to shake, because once the possibility is floating out there, it requires that the targets go on defense, but when you're defense is "I didn't do [that thing]," you're left trying to demonstrate the absence of something, which is much harder than demonstrating the presence of something.

"OK, you don't have children locked in this basement, but what about your house? No one there? How can you confirm you're not working with others, who have other basements or apartments or warehouses where you're locking up children." There is no end to it.


trump's mirror writ large

For me, that is the worst part about all of this - Trump is celebrating people actively locking up children and there children are being abused. But instead these fucking neo-Nazis are doing nothing about that, instead fomenting violence to attack people whose views differ from theirs and using pedophilia as the battle cry.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:59 AM on August 9 [112 favorites]


Jesus, what surreal madness is this?

"Police largely kept the two groups apart. They did that in part by turning explosive devices and gas weapons on the antifascist protesters, seriously injuring two people."

Ah, okay, little bit back to reality, at least -- would be too unbelievable if the State took action against the fascists and not the anti-fascists.

I am sad to be alive, for so many reasons, but right now to bear witness to this horrible timeline.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:01 AM on August 9 [11 favorites]


They met at a parking lot and bused in? Was it a secret parking lot? Was there security? How did their cars survive? And when can I expect the "Nazi Parking Lot" documentary?
posted by surlyben at 8:03 AM on August 9 [6 favorites]


I am sad to be alive, for so many reasons, but right now to bear witness to this horrible timeline.

I share this sentiment, but at the same time I keep trying to channel Mister Rogers - whenever terrible things are happening, look for the helpers. There are always helpers. The only thing that keeps me (moderately) sane is trying to find ways to be a helper. At least by opposing this I don't feel entirely helpless and useless.

That said, I feel like if Fred Rogers were still alive and faced with this... well, I'm almost glad he isn't, even though the world needs him now more than ever.
posted by jzb at 8:12 AM on August 9 [14 favorites]


Massive peaceful reaction seems to be the best response. Boston's "Freedom Rally" a couple years ago was amazing, a dozed or so speakers and very few if any supporters were wonderfully overwhelmed by tens of thousands of marchers enveloping the boston commons. There were a few young rough guys on the peace side wearing bandannas over their face ready to mix things up, and that was managed really well by the local police. I happened to be near the exit route when they "evacuated" the speakers and they looked really nervous. They have returned -- mostly ignored and tried to be as low key as humanly possible and still make a blog post showing their bravery.
posted by sammyo at 8:12 AM on August 9 [5 favorites]


Surlyben, this was actually covered, and I seem to recall seeing a story or something about many of their cars being towed.
posted by jzb at 8:14 AM on August 9 [3 favorites]


surlyben: They did have problems finding places to park. Their original plans were thwarted by the Fred Meyer there and other local businesses. In the end I guess they found a more public place to park.
posted by montag2k at 8:16 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]


many of their cars being towed

The Columbian says no.

No one had to be towed from the Fred Meyer lot, said Jordan Elliot, NAI Elliot vice president.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:16 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


met in a parking lot along the Columbia River in Vancouver, Wash., girded for battle. They carried helmets and shields.

Visualize: imagine a massive SJW force making a surprise attack shouting "Take this Second Amendment" with Uzi paintball guns filled with super stinky lavender paint balls that takes months to clean off the skin.
posted by sammyo at 8:17 AM on August 9 [9 favorites]


The fanny pack-clad Pepe the Frog cosplayer has to be the most pathetic thing I've seen in a long time.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 8:25 AM on August 9 [8 favorites]


Thanks for those links. A story about them struggling to park at the Fred Meyer and hanging out in Vancouver waiting for the tiny buses makes them seem small and foolish, which I'm guessing is the opposite of what they were going for.
posted by surlyben at 8:28 AM on August 9


I am reminded of a passage from Tom Junod's excellent piece on Mr. Rogers:

...little boy's eyes finally focused on Mister Rogers, and he said, "It's not a sword; it's a death ray." A death ray! Oh, honey, Mommy knew you could do it….And so now, encouraged, Mommy said, "Do you want to give Mister Rogers a hug, honey?" But the boy was shaking his head no, and Mister Rogers was sneaking his face past the big sword and the armor of the little boy's eyes and whispering something in his ear—something that, while not changing his mind about the hug, made the little boy look at Mister Rogers in a new way, with the eyes of a child at last, and nod his head yes.

We were heading back to his apartment in a taxi when I asked him what he had said.

"Oh, I just knew that whenever you see a little boy carrying something like that, it means that he wants to show people that he's strong on the outside. I just wanted to let him know that he was strong on the inside, too. And so that's what I told him. I said, 'Do you know that you're strong on the inside, too?' Maybe it was something he needed to hear."


And that, I think is the crux of the issue here; these boys are scared and now feel empowered to act on that fear. Which scares me because there is nothing more dangerous than a frightened person with a little power.
posted by Dagobert at 8:29 AM on August 9 [79 favorites]


It’s easy to piece together how this strategy emerged: Someone figured out which crime their society viewed as most morally reprehensible and went with that—the unforgivable act that almost always involves kids. “Children represent the most sacred ideals any society can have,” says Margaret Peacock, a historian at the University of Alabama who has written about the role children play in propaganda. “They represent the future.” Because humans are biologically wired to protect their offspring, painting your enemy as a defiler of innocence and a threat to the next generation instantly dehumanizes them. And because many societies see pedophiles as not just monstrous but irredeemably so, this charge provides endless opportunities to justify mistreating the group accused of it.

So the children in cages is an own goal in this here new digital, cyber, content, bot, fake or not, signals still alive in the noise injections world war ongoing right now?
posted by infini at 8:30 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


One of the most frustrating things about living in Portland is definitely when one out of town group shows up to make trouble, and another out of town group shows up to "save the day" and they both totally trash the place and endanger people and destroy property...and then they all go home and leave you with the aftermath.
posted by trackofalljades at 8:33 AM on August 9 [18 favorites]


Boston's "Freedom Rally" a couple years ago was amazing

As much as it feels like it was longer ago, this was not even one year ago (August 19, 2017).
posted by briank at 8:43 AM on August 9 [12 favorites]


The fanny pack-clad Pepe the Frog cosplayer has to be the most pathetic thing I've seen in a long time.

Reality is so unbelievably frustrating right now that my anger response is all out of whack. When I saw that picture my first thoughts were "that is the worst cosplay, he didn't even try" and then "I bet he's alienated all the furries and nobody would help him, and now he'll get heat stroke. Good."
posted by Mizu at 8:43 AM on August 9 [13 favorites]


another out of town group shows up to "save the day"

Several of my friends who live in Portland showed up on Saturday. And they did actually save the day.
posted by Nelson at 8:46 AM on August 9 [42 favorites]


If it weren't for the fact that they're doing real damage to communities, to people, these folks would be so laughably pathetic. So much of their propaganda and branding is an own goal.

Like, I get what they're going for with Proud Boys. "Yeah, we're the PROUD boys!" Except yeah, most people are reading it and being like, "they're proud BOYS? They're admitting that they're not men?"
posted by explosion at 8:46 AM on August 9 [8 favorites]


One of the most frustrating things about living in Portland is definitely when one out of town group shows up to make trouble, and another out of town group shows up to "save the day" and they both totally trash the place and endanger people and destroy property...and then they all go home and leave you with the aftermath.
posted by trackofalljades at 18:33 on August 9 [+] [!]


I thought the vast majority of the counterprotestors and antifa were from Portland. Also, am I missing something, or are you saying it's best to yield the streets to fascist street gangs? They'll do more than leave a mess.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 8:49 AM on August 9 [37 favorites]


Are we not men? WE ARE PROUD BOYS.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:50 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


The fanny pack-clad Pepe the Frog cosplayer has to be the most pathetic thing I've seen in a long time.

Maybe because he looks more like a Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle than a Pepe?
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:52 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


Portland has a history of being a predominantly white, racist city, and Oregon was founded as a "white utopia", as well. I don't know if the current crop of racist fucksticks are aware and are trying to take it back, or if Portland has just become another shorthand like Berkeley for a place where a bunch of Liberal types with their piercings and dyed hair live.
posted by SansPoint at 8:54 AM on August 9 [21 favorites]


So there were these kids in my high school, complete doofuses. Not all jocks, but jock-adjacent, and definitely not too bright. They used to tag "WARM BOYS" all over the school. Turns out the "Warm Boys" tried to make each other drink (fresh) urine, so that somebody would declare, "IT'S WARM!"

This is what I think of when I read about the Proud Boys and my mind will not be changed.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:56 AM on August 9 [39 favorites]


when one out of town group shows up to make trouble, and another out of town group shows up to "save the day" and they both totally trash the place and endanger people and destroy property...and then they all go home and leave you with the aftermath.

traveling in Europe some years back, I recall a guy talking about World Wars 1+2 and what they did to large parts of Belgium as "living in the path of history". Of course my favorite version of this are the people who located to the remote Falkland Islands in the 1960s and 70s to avoid impending WW3 ... and then well, history found them anyway.
posted by philip-random at 8:57 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


So the children in cages is an own goal

Ah, but they're not white children. In the world where white homeowners can shoot 8-year-old black teenagers in preemptive self defence and white late-thirtysomething affluenza cases are treated as wayward saucer-eyed urchins, entire Wal-Mart Guantanamos of non-white babies fade into irrelevance next to chain letters about Hillary Clinton's pizza parlour basement.
posted by acb at 8:58 AM on August 9 [17 favorites]


All of this discussion is reminding me how, right now, I am seeing repeated postings from liberal white women about sex trafficking on my FB feed. And not, like, informed discussion but “They’re targeting women and girls at Wal-Mart!” stuff that is only spreading hysteria.

Fucking fascists, man.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:07 AM on August 9 [8 favorites]


People need to be called out long and loud for those "my white middle class well-cared-for child nearly got trafficked in the cereal aisle!" posts. They are racist as hellllll and self-centered glurge that should be nuked from orbit upon contact.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:10 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]


The fanny pack-clad Pepe the Frog cosplayer has to be the most pathetic thing I've seen in a long time.

Make no mistake at all, the politics of disgust are not pathetic, they're extremely dangerous.

These people - in one sense, they're stupid and pathetic. But they're not so stupid and pathetic as to think, "truly I look like a golden god with my beer belly and frog mask". What they're saying is, "I look pathetic and disgusting but you know that if you laugh I'll kill you". The whole channer/Pepe thing is to embrace what is disgusting, loathsome and risible and use those qualities to power violence.

The message is, "Sure, I have neither beauty nor taste nor intelligence nor wit nor charm nor kindness nor any quality which might make me loved or admired, but those things are for women and inferiors; the only thing that's important is the power to kill".

It's the same as Trump's physical persona - he could have a good haircut, he could have a suit that fits, he could stop with the orange make-up...but those things are an aggressive strategy. He doesn't need to be personable; he buys people for that.

And it's a sexist stance, just like all those media narratives that are like, "you know, men are just naturally gross slobby schmoes who hate cleanliness and nutrition, also they are hairy and their bodies are repulsive; women - at least women doing it correctly - are clean, hairless, sexy angels who love to make things tidy and beautiful, which is why it's a waste of time trying to change sexism".

Fortunately, these people still aren't especially competent at violence even if they have this Politics of Disgust mentality, but don't think that their performance is a mistake or a misunderstanding.
posted by Frowner at 9:20 AM on August 9 [81 favorites]


All Fascists are pedophiles, change my mind!
posted by evilDoug at 9:22 AM on August 9 [11 favorites]


The other piece about the politics of disgust - the pleasure that people take in forcing others to submit to what is inferior, disgusting and risible.

And of course the "What, you were beaten bloody by a man in a frog costume? LOL!!!" piece that provides a kind of deniability.

In a way they're the mirror world version of the Nazis in that study of Nazi rhetoric and imagery, Male Fantasies - the goal isn't to depict the Other as disgusting, risible and decayed but to overwhelm an Other which is figured as decent, organized and kind by using the powers of disgust and horror.

It's pretty juvenile, but actually the first round Nazis were pretty gross and juvenile too.
posted by Frowner at 9:33 AM on August 9 [7 favorites]


Ah, okay, little bit back to reality, at least -- would be too unbelievable if the State took action against the fascists and not the anti-fascists.

Here's some background information that makes it even more unbelievable that the Portland Police did not take more forceful action against the fascists.

Before the event, it was widely reported in the media that the Patriot Prayer organizer was encouraging his people to bring firearms to the August 4 rally in Portland. This series of quotes comes from a piece on KOIN TV's koin.com site titled: "Gibson says Patriot Prayer 'always' has guns ahead of rally."

"While Portland city code prohibits weapons in parks, people with a valid Oregon concealed handgun license are allowed to carry guns. But in a Facebook Live posted Monday, Gibson said, 'We've always had guns at the rally.' Gibson added that when everyone was searched at Terry Schrunk Plaza, several Patriot Prayer members still had guns. 'I cannot think of one rally when we didn't have guns with us,' Gibson said. 'Everywhere we go, we have guns.' He also added that everyone should 'be carrying around guns at all times -- especially people in our situation.' Gibson said members of Patriot Prayer don't bring guns to rallies with any intent to use them, but because they want to be prepared for someone else bringing a gun."

Next, in its August 7 piece entitled "At Portland Rally, Far-Right Extremists Mingle With Mainstay MAGA," Right Wing Watch reported the " Portland Police Bureau originally planned to set up weapons checkpoints at the entrances to the rally."

In the end, the Police did not inspect the Patriot Prayer demonstrators for weapons at checkpoints.

The Guardian reported on August 5 that: "[Patriot Prayer organizer Joey]Gibson had earlier told the Patriot Prayer group that a deal with police meant that they would not be searched in exchange for confining themselves to a barricaded area. No weapons searches were carried out on the Patriot Prayer group."

However, as the Portland Mercury's Live Blog of August 4 and others reported, "Crowds on both sides of Naito are now inching away from barriers down the street toward Morrison Bridge overpass."

What does all this mean?

The job of the Portland Police is to enforce the law. They missed two important opportunities to do so. Had the Portland Police done their job, the escalation that caused them to charge and injure anti-fascist protesters might not have occurred.

First, it's likely that members of Patriot Prayer and others of the same ilk were carrying firearms illegally at the rally. The Portland Police should have adhered to their original plan to screen the fascists for weapons at checkpoint.

We all know how law enforcement loves to pose next to heaps of confiscated contraband. Think of the message it would have sent had the Portland Police been able to display the illegal firearms they seized from the fascists. While that might not prevent the Black Bloc from showing up to attack police at the next rally, it would tell the anti-fascists among us that the police can and do act impartially when enforcing the law. Conversely, had the police found no guns (which is unlikely), it would have shown the world that Joey Gibson is a poseur and a gasbag.

Secondly, it seems that one of the conditions of the Patriot Prayer's rally permit was that they remain within an area demarcated by barricades. Yet the Portland Police allowed the Patriot Prayer mob to move past the barricades and march southward along waterfront park. It wasn't until after both groups began their southward march that the police charged the anti-fascists.

Why didn't the Portland Police prevent the Patriot Prayer demonstrators from passing the barricades at the limits of the permitted rally area?

Portland's Chief of Police has ordered an investigation "to determine if the force used was within policy and training guidelines. The Office of Independent Police Review will be provided with the information for review and investigation." (apnews.com "Oregon police chief orders review of use of force at protest." Andrew Selsky, 6 August 2018)

Good god, I hope police policy and training guidelines do not allow police officers wearing protective gear such as helmets, kevlar vests and face masks to fire flash-bang weapons into demonstrators.

However, the civilian authorities who oversee the Portland Police also need to be asking why the police did not act more forcefully to enforce the law against the Patriot Prayer gang before any force was used against counter protesters.





posted by A. Davey at 9:33 AM on August 9 [34 favorites]


However, the civilian authorities who oversee the Portland Police also need to be asking why the police did not act more forcefully to enforce the law against the Patriot Prayer gang before any force was used against counter protesters.

Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses
posted by entropone at 9:37 AM on August 9 [77 favorites]


Satanic Panic was going to be the name of my Widespread Panic metal cover band.
posted by Snowishberlin at 9:40 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]


I think the why Portland question is pretty easy: a city with a substantial population of activists, but with a police department that strongly sympathizes with white supremacists. Sure, there's undoubtedly crypto-Nazis in the Berkeley/SF/Oakland police force, but on the whole the force isn't likely to be publicly sympathetic to them. Not that they won't kick leftist demonstrators around too, but violence is more likely to be unleashed on both sides, instead of shooting at left demonstrators to give white supremacists a clear path.
posted by tavella at 9:42 AM on August 9 [8 favorites]


Portland has a history of being a predominantly white, racist city, and Oregon was founded as a "white utopia", as well. I don't know if the current crop of racist fucksticks are aware and are trying to take it back, or if Portland has just become another shorthand like Berkeley for a place where a bunch of Liberal types with their piercings and dyed hair live.

It's the latter. Portland is an oasis of blue in a sea of red. In the article that is the subject of this tread, Willamette Week reports:

"Last weekend, 400 people, mostly men, met in a parking lot along the Columbia River in Vancouver, Wash., girded for battle . . . They clambered onto private school buses and drove into enemy territory: Portland."

And:

"Few of them knew the city well. The protesters WW spoke to had come from as far away as Arkansas, though many more had come from rural and small-town Washington. In fact, this reporter could find less than half a dozen Oregonians in the Trump-supporting group, let alone Portlanders."
posted by A. Davey at 9:46 AM on August 9 [11 favorites]


One of the books targeted in last week's neo-nazi attack on a London socialist bookshop was this volume by Robert Verkaik. The idiots responsible assumed it must be a guide for paedophiles.

Encouragingly, the bookshop's day of solidarity this weekend looks like getting a massive turnout. They've already been flooded by donations and messages from well-wishers.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:48 AM on August 9 [3 favorites]


Portland has a history of being a predominantly white, racist city, and Oregon was founded as a "white utopia", as well. I don't know if the current crop of racist fucksticks are aware and are trying to take it back, or if Portland has just become another shorthand like Berkeley for a place where a bunch of Liberal types with their piercings and dyed hair live.

That's something I also found interesting about the choice of Portland specifically, since it's got to be the whitest possible urban area where these guys could find substantial numbers of counter-protesters to fight with. Anywhere that has an equally strong left-wing/antifascist movement is less white than Portland and anywhere that's equally white (e.g Boise or Colorado Springs) doesn't have that much in the way of vocal antifa. The white supremacists have constructed a scenario where they go hundreds of miles to mostly fight other white people.
posted by Copronymus at 9:52 AM on August 9 [9 favorites]


this reporter could find less than half a dozen Oregonians in the Trump-supporting group, let alone Portlanders

Nah, I'm pretty sure almost all of those cops were Oregonians.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:53 AM on August 9 [22 favorites]


Everyone knows about the fascist rally in a few days time? I can't find much about it on MeFi search, but there's a few mentions. Unite the Right 2. Just a few days now. Apparently my comrades will be there, and it looks like just about everyone else too.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 10:11 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


(sung to tune of the golden crisp song) nixon's meatloaf scene report

i was down there and if one more person complains about "brawling on the waterfront" or whatever im gonna pop like a damn balloon, one side has a banana leading a marching band and the other side is open carrying l o l

also portland as the scene for beefs between good ol boy nazis and the rest of us makes total sense, this is the state with the eugene nazi boys and the WAR/east side white pride, the skinhead crew that killed mulugeta seraw in '88. oregon and south washington and idaho have a serious good ole boy problem that manifests in this way. i legit do not understand you people not seeing this. its been here the whole fucking time. we been kicking them out of punk shows the whole time, theyve been firebombing lgbt people the whole time, this is oregon and this is why people turn out to fucking push it back because people remember what happened and you know what? the good old boys remember too. one of the patriot dudes just before this event was tooting his little facebook horn about east side white pride. they remember and so do we

so.
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 10:38 AM on August 9 [56 favorites]


The blindness of the liberal "just a few bad apples" take on cops is mind-boggling.

Portland police - like many other police forces - has close and long ties to the fascist right. They are complicit, sympathetic, and sometimes just openly supportive, of the "free speech" for fascists. Its a great place for the fash to "protest" because they have carte blanche to do their shitty street fighting performances.
posted by RajahKing at 10:39 AM on August 9 [24 favorites]


This is what I think of when I read about the Proud Boys and my mind will not be changed.

The Proud Boys have initiation rituals just as stupid as your Warm Boys. From the CBC:

"...there are four steps, or "degrees," to becoming a Proud Boy.
Declare yourself a Proud Boy.
Take a beating from other Proud Boys while naming five breakfast cereals. "This seems bizarre, but the theory behind it sort of prepares you to think on your feet and think when your adrenalin is pumping," Sommer said.
Get a Proud Boys tattoo.
Get into a physical fight with a left-wing protester.

They also take something of a vow of self-celibacy. "
posted by Stonkle at 10:44 AM on August 9 [7 favorites]


The blindness of the liberal "just a few bad apples" take on cops is mind-boggling.

Especially since the phrase is "a few bad apples spoils the barrel".

Like the whole point of the idiom is that whatever's making some of a population shit will eventually infect and turn the rest of it to shit.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 10:46 AM on August 9 [17 favorites]


For sale, one polo shirt black with gold piping, Fred Perry size L.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:50 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


The white supremacists have constructed a scenario where they go hundreds of miles to mostly fight other white people.

NYC has the college boy version, Identity Evropa, and those guys held an anti-immigration rally last week in Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan. No Portland-type violence as such, but their message must be countered. They have some nerve going to a neighborhood of Caribbean Hispanic immigrants (Washington Heights), and basically protesting the presence of immigrants in our city. I notice they didn't try for a permit to rally on the nearby streets. I suspect it wouldn't have gone down very well with the neighbors.

As I like to remind people who forget, the NYC borough of Staten Island and most every other district in NY State outside certain cities went for Trump. There are many, many white people here who would be thrilled if POC somehow went away.
posted by droplet at 11:00 AM on August 9 [3 favorites]


I don’t have time to go through all of the comments but I was there on Saturday, and the patriot prayer people were chanting “no commies, no pedophiles, no child sacrifice”. We volleyed back something like “your chants suuuck”
posted by Betty_effn_White at 11:08 AM on August 9 [12 favorites]


man their chants /did/ suck

also im really surprised nobody has talked about the sound truck yet: the sound truck was amazing. more party trucks. i want more party trucks ALWAYS
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 11:16 AM on August 9 [4 favorites]


Maybe they should spend less time on their Liefeld inspired military cosplay and more time on chants. They were chanting USA USA at some point ffs.

I was DYING when the party truck was imitating the Police announcements. I needed a laugh after the flashbangs. Also at one point a cop started dancing to fuck the police but it was really brief. The iron workers’ union (I think) played nazi punks fuck off and it was a great singalong.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 11:26 AM on August 9 [15 favorites]


They also take something of a vow of self-celibacy.
The NotINCelsHonest!
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:40 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


i legit do not understand you people not seeing this. its been here the whole fucking time.

I been on the web for 28 frickin' years now, about 24 of which (I was still in my teens so y'all peeps cut me some slack eh) I've been openly saying I WAS RAISED BY EVANGELICAL EXTREMISTS OF WHOM THERE WERE ALSO A LOT SURROUNDING US AND OH BY THE WAY I'M FROM OREGON

two and two together folks, you take two and two and you put them together
posted by fraula at 11:40 AM on August 9 [10 favorites]


The Proud Boys have initiation rituals just as stupid as your Warm Boys.

The initiation rituals as reported are indeed stupid, but we'd be remiss to dismiss them as harmless (not that you were suggesting this, Stonkle). From their website, here's the full description of the 4th degree initiation:

Fourth Degree

You can’t plan getting a fourth degree. Its a consolation prize for engaging in a major conflict for the cause. Being arrested is not encouraged, although those who are immediately become fourth degree because the court has registered a major conflict. Serious physical fights also count and it’s up to each chapter to decide how serious the conflict must be to determine a fourth degree.


However, what the linked article doesn't mention is that this text is followed on the website by listings for six more degrees with the text redacted. If the fourth degree is engaging in physical violence in the form of a fight, I'm guessing that the higher levels don't have much to do with breakfast cereal.

Evidence suggests that membership in the Proud Boys is akin to gang affiliation. They're a gang. A Portland police-sanctioned gang.
posted by vverse23 at 11:56 AM on August 9 [15 favorites]


I walked by the right wing demonstration this past Saturday in Berkeley. It was a pretty pathetic sight. There were at most a few dozen pro-Trump folks, Infowars reporters, and 4chanites, doing their damnedest to make people pay attention to them. Their demeanor was cloying and ridiculous, like what you'd expect from a 13 year old trying to be noticed by horrifying his parents.

The right wingers had no clear demands, or even a shared ideology, other than dislike of the left, or whatever strawman of the left they have imagined. The whole point of the protest was to make leftists show up, in the hope that the leftists would behave embarrassingly and thereby (it is imagined) discredit themselves.

It didn't work, at least not well. There was a small core of right wingers, surrounded by a much larger circle of leftists, whose appearance and professed ideology was more radical closer toward the right wingers sorts. There seemed to be more journalists than right wingers. Further out, less interesting Berkeley residents like myself watched the whole spectacle unfold, while a few ambitious right-wingers and leftists along the perimeter tried to have Polite Conversations To Better Understand Each Other, which sounded to me about as productive as could be expected.

This whole spectacle is ridiculous. It makes the right look as ridiculous and starved for purpose as it truly is. The only thing hiding their patheticness is the phalanx of leftists around them. My ideal case would be that everyone who is not a right winger just ignores these people, except the police, who follow them around and arrest them if they break things or hurt people.

Let's not give them what they want.
posted by andrewpcone at 12:17 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]


That's something I also found interesting about the choice of Portland specifically, since it's got to be the whitest possible urban area where these guys could find substantial numbers of counter-protesters to fight with. Anywhere that has an equally strong left-wing/antifascist movement is less white than Portland and anywhere that's equally white (e.g Boise or Colorado Springs) doesn't have that much in the way of vocal antifa. The white supremacists have constructed a scenario where they go hundreds of miles to mostly fight other white people.

Yeah, if they came down to, let us say Los Angeles, they would definitely find all kinds of people to fight. Except many/most of the counter-protestors will be people of color who have an extremely vested interest in putting the hurt on a group of white supremacists, especially a bunch of tools in Fred Perry polos and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes.

That's why is was pretty shocking to hear about that recent Proud Boys meeting at The Griffin in hipster-ville adjacent Atwater Village. Not because of a "I didn't think it could happen here!!!" aspect, but because that bar is practically in walking distance of lots of people who may just beat a group of self-identifying "white male chauvinists" to death.

Also, there is the issue that the LAPD does not fuck around, and they have a long and relatively recent history of dealing forcibly with riots. Mr. Boba Fett Helmet with Plastic Shield isn't going to go up against The Metro Division.
posted by sideshow at 12:49 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]


So I don't know if anyone else saw this linked in the main article: White Supremacists Are Brawling with Masked Leftists in the Portland Streets. Homeland Security is Watching.

In it there's this:
Meanwhile, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo sent to Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden on March 24 shows the federal government is keeping close watch on Portland—at least on one side of the political spectrum.

The memo, obtained last month by WW, confirms earlier reports that the feds are classifying property damage by left-wing protesters as "domestic terrorism."

"Rioting by violent anarchist extremists at events [last November] met the criteria" for terrorism, Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis Patricia F.S. Cogswell wrote to Wyden. "DHS has a duty to report and analyze such acts of ideologically motivated violence."

[...]

By contrast, Homeland Security hasn't made any public statement about alt-right groups, even after well-documented violence in Berkeley. A unit involved in countering right-wing extremism has been disbanded.
Emphasis mine.
posted by nogoodverybad at 1:02 PM on August 9 [37 favorites]


Southern Poverty Law Center: Proud Boys

I have a lot of varying opinions about all these sorts of people, ranging from wanting to violently destroy them to wanting to completely ignore them, and I’m having a hard time reconciling a lot of my thoughts about them. In previous threads Frowner has been the person who has really described what I’m thinking, because forcefully confronting these people or putting yourself in a position to be injured is a personal choice based upon personal ability and privilege to do so. As I said in the previous thread, I have very conflicting views in regard to violence, but I definitely believe that what these guys are doing is violent, and in my personal opinion deserves some sort of response. What that response is, I don’t know, but it’s obvious to me that after seeing these sorts of events that the government and the police are not there to protect our citizenry. (Also, I’m not sure how many Portland cops are actually living in Portland, much less the Portland metro area. It was quite a few years ago but when Occupy Portland was being shutdown they brought in cops from Salem.) The right-wing is able to fly in and bus in supporters to attack and intimidate people who live here, and the police allow them to do so while beating anti-fascist protesters, community members, labor unionists, and reporters, and shooting them with tear gas and flashbangs. All while the right-wing get to walk around with armed weapons.

And yes, we can talk about how Oregon was started as a white utopia, and all the issues of gentrification and racial history that has happened here just like we can anywhere else, and I do believe it is important to talk about those things, but believe it or not there are actual black people and Latinx people and gay people and trans people and Japanese and Korean and Chinese and Indian and Russian and all types of people that live here right now. It’s easy to look at the statistics and say “well it’s mostly a white city” but when you actually live here and take the bus everyday and you see these people in real life they aren’t a statistic any longer. They are human beings, and the right-wing is coming in from all over to say “you aren’t human beings.” These guys put this rally smack dab in the middle of one of the most popular tourist spots in the city, at the height of the tourism season, on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. They know what their optics are and they know what they are doing.

I find the idea of violence to mostly be a huge male power fantasy, and I grew up in a heavily toxic hardcore music scene where the entire concept of being part of a crew (to the point where straight edge gangs were literally considered gangs by the police) was the prevalent ideological backing of the whole thing. You went to shows, saw a bunch of hulking guys that wanted to kick your ass, and you and your boys defended each other or attacked them first. People were stabbed, people were concussed, people were beaten nearly to death. Violence is a gigantic male urge to jack each other off about who is more of a man or to piss all over a geometric space in order to claim an amorphous territory for yourself.

So then what’s to be done when a bunch of right-wing people come to project their violence and hate against everybody else, and to enforce the status quo that they believe they’re entitled to, and to tell minorities that they should be eradicated, and to recruit vulnerable people into those positions? When I first heard that these guys were talking about bringing guns and I read an SPLC article talking about Portland as being the next Charlottesville all I could think about was how there should be a wall of antifa with rifles slung across their chests in preparation. Would that have fixed things? I don’t know! (Probably not!) Is that a good idea? I’m not sure either, and I doubt it, although part of me thinks these guys are chickenshits who are cosplaying their weird fascist fantasies in real life and they want to walk around acting tough because they don’t expect an armed resistance to match them. Getting into a street fight with your buddies while the police shoot your targets is one thing, but actually seeing armed resistance to you is a whole different story.

But I’m not condoning that at all, those are just thoughts that I’ve had for weeks and days building up to the actual rally, and like I said, I haven’t reconciled or processed any of them sufficiently. I went to the rally for a moment and carried a collapsible baton on me, because I believe in defending myself and my girlfriend.

A big part of this is that the history of fascism and antifaschism is built upon legacies of violence. Everyone mentions Oswald Mosley and the Battle of Cable Street, and there’s the Spanish Civil War, and then decades of fascist governments oppressing and killing dissidents and leftists, and non-fascist governments doing a lot of the same. The 21st Century, especially the days we all are currently living, looks similar to those histories. Between things like Rojava and Charlottesville we’re still doing the same shit. It really makes me wonder whether it will actually end and how many people are going to die before it does. I don’t have a solution to any of this, I’m just a single person who is barely part of the conflict in any meaningful way, but there’s a lot of shit going on here that is frightening and I’m starting to feel very paranoid about seeing these right-wing assholes coming into my city to intimidate and kill innocent people.
posted by gucci mane at 1:13 PM on August 9 [21 favorites]


The Proud Boys have been openly jumping people in Portland too, to get that fourth degree probably. They threatened what they think is an antifa hotspot. It’s only a matter of time before they kill someone.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 1:18 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]


That’s another thing, which I forgot to mention, and it’s that white supremacist and other right-wing violence activity has been kicking up here a lot more often. People are getting attacked and harassed by these assholes, but those events don’t make headlines as often. You’ll maybe see them posted in the Portland Mercury or Willamette Week, but good luck otherwise hearing about them. Many years ago there was a rash of gay people being assaulted and the Q Center (an LGBTQA+ resource) up on N Williams created something called the Q Patrol, which was a group of people who walked by a lot of clubs and bars en masse to make sure people got home safe. AFAIK they didn’t carry weapons, it was just a group of people showing numbers to protect the community. Something like that may need to come back very, very soon.
posted by gucci mane at 1:37 PM on August 9 [9 favorites]


i'm still fucking livid over the kid that caught a charge for being beaten up by right wing a-holes
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 1:41 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]




I’m trying to find articles of the recent attacks that have been happening but all I’m getting is stuff about the rally. Here are some other links from the off top of my head though:

Threats at Pride, including one of the Proud Boys attacking a woman. This is the same guy seen at the rally wearing the “Pinochet did nothing wrong” shirt as well as the same guy from this attack.

Multnomah County Republicans to hire militia groups as security

Swastikas carved on statues

Swastikas painted on trees, cars, etc.

Nazis at beer hall
posted by gucci mane at 2:07 PM on August 9 [6 favorites]


Portland police - like many other police forces - has close and long ties to the fascist right. They are complicit, sympathetic, and sometimes just openly supportive, of the "free speech" for fascists.

And yet the Portland Police are not so sympathetic of free speech for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Washington Post's Leah Sottile reported the following example of police bias in her August 5, 2018, article titled "Protests again convulse Portland, Ore., as groups on the right and left face off."

"In the days leading up to Saturday’s protests, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report warning that Portland could become 'another Charlottesville' and that online taunting by Gibson and his supporters could make things even more volatile."

"Yet Sgt. Christopher Burley, public information officer for the Portland Police, told The Washington Post that the SPLC could be causing bigger problems. 'I think it is disheartening that an organization outside the City of Portland is making a statement that could potentially inflame an already intense situation,' he said."

That's right: It's Patriot Pride, a fascist organization from "outside the City of Portland," that actually created that "intense situation" by returning the city where they've caused at least one riot, and the Patriot Pride leader himself was engaging in online taunting from a distance (including urging his people to bring firearms to his rally), but Portland Police Bureau's disinformation officer Sgt. Christopher Burley says he's "dismayed" by the Southern Poverty Law Center's warnings that Portland could become "another Charlottesville."

Where is it written that only Portlanders can talk about events in Portland when they have national importance? The Southern Poverty Law Center is in the business of exposing hate groups, and they have been very good at it for a very long time.

That may be why the Portland Police and others have recently been attempting to discredit the SPLC. They seem to be following Trump's lead in undermining the institutions that protect our democracy such as the media, the Justice Department and the FBI.

So yes, I'm willing to believe that some members of the Portland Police Department might be biased against the folks who turn out to oppose fascist rallies in their community.
posted by A. Davey at 2:19 PM on August 9 [11 favorites]


Maybe this is a derail, feel free to delete,
Remember, the police are literally the embodiement of state violence directed against its people. That's what the job is. Now people aren't their jobs, but, uh, they're not not their jobs either. That we tame them by trying to make them only go after "bad" people, or loosely follow some procedures while doing so does not change the purpose and nature of the institution. Name a fascist or communist regime that couldn't rely on the police to police the populous. Police being fascists is dog bites man. No police mass resignations ever proceeded nor followed mass atrocities.

Every cop isn't a bad cop, just like every tobacco exec isn't out to give you cancer. Some are just putting food on the table. But the structural roles and incentives and history and training... make police much more likely to be proto-authoritarian

We need police, and an army, and the IRS, and to get our shots and go to the dentist and have speed limits, and eat vegetables etc, etc. But lets not forget who the police are here to police.

When right wing Bundy group had armed take over of federal facility, those guys were acquitted! When a guy was selling loose cigarettes in NY he was choked to death by police on camera.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 5:55 PM on August 9 [10 favorites]


I'm too tired to say anything other than I'm tired of fascist fuckos in my city and tired of the shitshow performance of my local police in response to and reification of asymmetrical warfare by said fascist fuckos. But daily disappointment is kind of a fact of life.
posted by cortex at 7:19 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]


Fuck.
The.
Police.

I’m tired of this bs. If you consider yourself a “good cop” and aren’t actively working to rid your PD of the “bad cops” then you are part of the problem, every bit as much as the bad cops your inaction is coddling. Your acquiescence is a blight on the rule of law.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:40 PM on August 9 [6 favorites]


Portland police fired crowd-control weapons at counter-protesters Saturday: What videos show
While no single video clip can provide a complete picture of the sprawling and chaotic scene, some offer a clearer, closer look.

None appears to show projectiles thrown by counter-protesters prior to the use of riot control weapons by police. Two of them, in fact, appear to show both officers and counter-protesters relatively calm in the seconds leading up to the first shots.

As of Thursday, Aug. 9, the police bureau has not released any video or visual documentation that supports its description of events.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:31 PM on August 9 [3 favorites]


People need to be called out long and loud for those "my white middle class well-cared-for child nearly got trafficked in the cereal aisle!" posts. They are racist as hellllll and self-centered glurge that should be nuked from orbit upon contact.

This isn't the sort of thing that shows up in my Facebook news feed (I'm not American), so I'm not clear what about these stories is racist. I don't doubt your assessment, I just feel like I'm missing part of the picture. Can someone clue me in?
posted by Secret Sparrow at 9:42 PM on August 9


Arun Gupta is staying on the case after Portland police turned on the counterprotesters, particularly in the case of the guy who almost lost the back of his head (yeah, there's a gruesome photo if you scroll down the page a bit).
posted by vverse23 at 11:11 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]


Can someone clue me in?

The descriptions given of these supposed would-be traffickers is always either explicitly or implicitly that they are black or brown.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:25 AM on August 10 [5 favorites]


The fanny pack-clad Pepe the Frog cosplayer has to be the most pathetic thing I've seen in a long time.

Nazis were also ridiculous and pathetic. Most of the brownshirts were losers. Their leader was a Bavarian Corporal regarded as comic by intellectuals and as low born nobody by the military aristocracy.
posted by atrazine at 4:06 AM on August 10 [5 favorites]


friendly reminder that ACAB
posted by entropicamericana at 6:53 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


All of this discussion is reminding me how, right now, I am seeing repeated postings from liberal white women about sex trafficking on my FB feed. And not, like, informed discussion but “They’re targeting women and girls at Wal-Mart!” stuff that is only spreading hysteria.

YES! I came in to post that, anecdotally, I'm seeing a huge surge of FB posts about white women and girls going missing in the Midwest, suspicious people hanging around playgrounds, suspicious people approaching children, and general Stranger Danger freakouts.
posted by BrashTech at 10:19 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


Portland Police Chief Says Protesters Went Off to “Whine And Complain” Last Week Because Officers “Kicked Your Butt”
I'll use this analogy: I tell you, 'Meet me after school at 3:00. Right? We're gonna fight. Right?'
And I come with the intention to fight. And then you get mad because I kicked your butt. And then you go back and you wail off and whine and complain because you thought when you left that you were going to come and be the victor. And that didn't happen. Nobody's calling that. Why?
— Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, with a novel theory of policing.
posted by Nelson at 8:45 AM on August 16 [6 favorites]


Share your priorities with the Portland Police Bureau
Provide feedback:

Send an email with your comments or leave a comment card at your nearest precinct.
Sign-up for our email updates.
Attend a public meeting.
Fill-out a survey (coming soon).
&
Meeting 1: Sunday, August 26, 4-5:30 p.m. at East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave

Meeting 2: Thursday, September 6, 7-8:30 p.m. at Matt Dishman Community Center, 77 NE Knott St.
posted by aniola at 8:02 AM on August 24 [2 favorites]


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