Now my straw reaches across the room and starts to drink your milkshake.
July 2, 2019 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Protest season is here for Portland, OR! On Saturday, June 29th, the first major rally of the summer began, with an estimated 300 people from various leftist groups (Rose City Antifa, the Portland Democratic Socialists of America chapter, and Popular Mobilization), showed up to Lawnsdale Park to confront the city's arch-nemesis, Patriot Prayer, an extremist right-wing group from across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, and their allies, the Proud Boys, a white nationalist hate group.

Patriot Prayer is known for having sniper teams at protests, attacking people at cider bars, yelling hate speech outside of political organization's headquarters, and several other events, the most prominent being their warm exchange with Portland Police lieutenants!

At the rally on Saturday, vegan coconut milkshakes were made and handed out to protestors, which were subsequently thrown (or drank!). After the protest, the Portland Police Bureau tweeted that quick drying cement had been added to the milkshakes, without citing any evidence for this claim. This has caused quite a stir since right-wing journalist Andy Ngo was attacked at the rally and had milkshakes thrown at him. He has since gone on to publish an op ed piece in the Wall Street Journal [paywalled], with people such as Ted Cruz (R-TX) demanding a federal investigation. Mainstream media ran with the "concrete milkshake" angle, despite there being no evidence of concrete in the milkshakes.

However, there is video evidence of the dangerous Antifa Supersoldiers and their cement launchers.
posted by gucci mane (49 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Forgot to add, Patriot Prayer previously on the blue.
posted by gucci mane at 7:42 PM on July 2, 2019

Alongside the "concrete milkshakes" and various stock/repurposed photos attempting to claim chemical burns, I was seeing some stuff about someone with a crowbar injuring a "older conservative protester who was helping a gay man up" and that all sounded too pat to take on face value but this stuff moves so fast it's hard to debunk everything.
posted by JauntyFedora at 8:28 PM on July 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

The fact that everybody is running with "dangerous antifa is throwing concrete at the pure patriots who have never done anyone any harm" is maddening. There is no basis in fact, but that will be cold comfort when a cop shoots somebody because they have a Pinkberry cup in their hand.

The Portland Police are far too chummy with the right-wing protesters, but mere facts haven't stopped a lot of conservative people calling for the mayor's head because the police didn't go far enough and club antifa members to death.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:31 PM on July 2, 2019 [13 favorites]

Willamette Week reporter Katie Shepherd has been tweeting about the lack of evidence for the concrete the last couple days. She's also been doing some very thorough reporting of the previous conflicts and the role the city's inaction has played in making things worse.

It's disappointing to see Oregon make national headlines for this so soon after a shitshow of a legislative session.
posted by asterisk at 8:33 PM on July 2, 2019 [9 favorites]

Pity Oregon doesn't have an anti-mask law, as were first passed to combat the KKK.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:53 PM on July 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

Asking out of general ignorance: does anyone outside the police department--like the mayor--have the ability to start firing the fascist cops and clean house? I have to imagine this has been brought up already, so I assume there's something blocking it (possibly the mayor to begin with, IDK). The Portland police's treatment of the Proud Boys has been super blatantly dodgy all along.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:03 PM on July 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

[Bunch of comments removed. If folks want to talk about the actual situation, go for it, but lapsing immediately into both-sides-ism stuff and generic Let's Argue About Nazis And Antifa isn't gonna generate any light here and I'd rather we didn't just have the same go-round we've have before a bunch of times.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:04 PM on July 2, 2019 [7 favorites]

a Twitter thread:
wish just one of these dumbfuck assholes would educate themselves on the history of Antifa, and Portland Antifa in particular
It was a little bit before my time, but I do dimly remember when there were white supremacist street gangs in downtown Portland doing hate crimes on weekends. Antifa tactics developed in that context and are now being used to prevent a return to those days.
posted by chrchr at 9:08 PM on July 2, 2019 [14 favorites]

1. Proud Boys tell police there were cement milkshakes
2. Police repeat the claim without evidence
3. Right-wing activists repeat police statement
4. Right-wing politicians (Ted Cruz!) repeat the claim to millions

Too late too debunk now.
@Gaywonk (Carlos Maza)
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 PM on July 2, 2019 [14 favorites]

What I've heard from people in Portland is that the right wing guys have been showing up a lot, trying to start fights, trying to make stuff happen. Portland people can weigh in on that. That isn't too different from how things played out in Berkeley a couple years ago. There's a big planned event by literal, self-admitted fascists. They show up, get in the face of the counterprotesters, and if anyone throws a punch, it's out-of-control leftist violence. You can have a big protest (or counterprotest), and all it takes is a few people to throw a few punches for the whole scene to be transformed into horrifying violence for a global audience. I mean, and in Berkeley, you had right wing guys arrested and charged for assault, but the popular narrative was centered around "leftist violence."

Andy Ngo does shitty stuff in support of shitty (literal) fascists. I don't think what he does is equivalent to getting the shit kicked out of him, and I don't want to fall into the trap of arguing for select head injuries. I also don't think Ngo's as innocent as he's made himself out to be; not just because of what he writes, but because of how precisely this fits into an ongoing pattern of right-wing activists showing up with the express purpose of starting a fight, then turning around and acting horrified that there was a fight.

It may be that Ngo truly was shocked to encounter violence, and that he was simply singled out by a group of leftists who knew who he was and wanted to teach him a lesson. What I can say is that this would be unusual in the history of these clashes. Yeah, Richard Spencer got punched, and a woman at Berkeley got pepper sprayed. These things do happen. But let's also not ignore how this has played out in the past, at pretty much every event where the media reported on reckless Antifa violence.

Being at Berkeley made me realize how seriously the media can get these narratives wrong. There were a lot of mistakes in the coverage there, and I think I even complained about them at the time. Based on what I know about Portland -- from the uncritical reporting on concrete milkshakes to conveniently overlooking how Ngo publicly doxxed a woman who was beaten by right wingers -- I'd suggest that we're not getting the whole story.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:20 PM on July 2, 2019 [20 favorites]

Oh, and to anticipate the objections to everything I just said: "this is no different than right wing conspiracy theories" "everyone can be violent, and we shouldn't pretend otherwise" "it sounds like you're Just Asking Questions" "why can't you admit this was wrong?" "you trust the word of random people over the police?"

Tag urself!
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:23 PM on July 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

I always try to remember that the favorite game of the elites is "How about you and him fight". Neither side are big fans of corporations or the elites, and yet they fight each other.
posted by 445supermag at 9:24 PM on July 2, 2019 [7 favorites]

This podcast ep The Roots of the Antifa Movement is also excellent.
posted by chrchr at 9:25 PM on July 2, 2019

Antifa is a tactic that protects Portland from right wing violence.

The police are on the side of the right wing thugs. The liberals and communists are useless. At least someone figured out how to stand up and make the the streets safer.
posted by idiopath at 9:30 PM on July 2, 2019 [21 favorites]

What's maddening is the Antifa bros fall for the Alt-Right bros little game every time. It's sad and predictable. The Alt-Right comes down from Vancouver (no most don't even live in Portland) just to start trouble and we just let them do it over and over. Why we're even permitting these "protests" at this point is beyond comprehension. Additionally, why the police chief hasn't been fired is another total mystery.

It's time for Portland to put on its big city pants, get charter reform done and put together a competent city government that can manage the basic task of keeping people from having monthly riots. Seriously.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:18 PM on July 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

Patriot Prayer Is Declining Thanks To Anti-Fascists:
Patriot Prayer’s marked decline was not an accident, or the result of simple ineptitude. It comes after more than two years of coordinated organizing by anti-fascist organizations across Oregon and Washington.
posted by chrchr at 10:41 PM on July 2, 2019 [20 favorites]

So what the PPB really needs is an Oakland PD DoJ supervised reconstruction... which is what Danielle Outlaw is determined to avoid. I'll give a little more context:

The KKK penetration and permeation of the PPB is endemic, deep, and extensive, dating back to the 1920s, when the Police Chief (and one of the governors, and one of the mayors- George Baker) were all Klansmen. This continued well into the administrations of Terry Schrunk and Jim Purcell. Captain Mark Kruger (who headed Vice & Narcotics until 2017) was setting up memorials for SS soldiers... Hales rushed a new contract with the police union just before Wheeler took office.

As mayor, Wheeler is the Police Commissioner and has the power to replace Chief Outlaw. The Police Chief can in turn direct internal rules and practices. But pretty much every Chief has been an enforcer of the thin blue line- James Chasse, Kendra James, etc...

There's a time vs. will vs. law vs. resources problem, in that Portland City Hall (Hardesty excepted) is not willing to pay the political capital and the salaries to balance reforming the police culture with maintaining patrol levels. Right now, the PPB is short handed by about 75 officers. This is similar to the problem that is being faced by the Oakland PD and the SFPD. The PPA (Police Association) is very powerful, firing requires a with cause action, the racism is widespread, and the every officer firing leads to exacerbating the personnel shortage.

Wheeler's been handling this poorly, but he's in a no-win position. Really cracking down on the PPB means a police strike, which in turn hands City Hall over to a law and order Charlie Hales 2.0. So like Adams and Katz, he's sitting back.

I once had a high opinion of Ted Wheeler. Once.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 11:40 PM on July 2, 2019 [11 favorites]

Important context for non-Portlanders: Danielle Outlaw is the police chief and is often accused of being a nazi, especially by white people. She is a black woman.

The Portland Police Association, which is also regularly accused of being a white supremacist organization, is run by a black man.

I honestly have no clue about what this really means, because I’ve been protesting cops and fighting skinheads since the 90s, but it’s important context. It is deeply uncomfortable to see white people accuse black leaders as being part of the KKK, which happens regularly in Portland.
posted by weed donkey at 12:22 AM on July 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

> the Antifa bros

FYI there are many women and lgbtq antifa
posted by idiopath at 12:23 AM on July 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

When we say that the police are racist, we aren't talking about the feelings in the heart of a specific police chief, we are talking about a culture that's consistently friendly to the far right, with officers collaborating with and even taking part in neo nazi groups.
posted by idiopath at 12:26 AM on July 3, 2019 [12 favorites]

Weed Donkey: I am not alleging that Danielle Outlaw is racist. However, based on both her record in Oakland PD and in PPB, she is a defender of the Thin Blue Line. She could, if she wanted, make a change in the culture, removing officers like Captain Kruger. She does not. That is a choice she has made.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 12:31 AM on July 3, 2019 [11 favorites]

She literally went on a right wing radio show and made jokes about people getting beaten up by members of Patriot Prayer.
posted by gucci mane at 12:51 AM on July 3, 2019 [20 favorites]

What's maddening is the Antifa bros fall for the Alt-Right bros

"this protest of white supremacy is Bro, to me"
posted by Greg Nog at 4:55 AM on July 3, 2019 [13 favorites]

In re masks and Portland: I cannot remember her name and can't log into twitter currently, but there is a woman reporter who has just this week had Proud Boys literally visit her house and threaten her downstairs neighbor (she was out). She has said on Twitter that because she did not mask up, she was easy to identify and dox, and as a result she is getting physical, in-the-flesh death threats.

I think it's very important to recognize that this is not 1998 or even 2008. There have absolutely been times on the left when a macho culture of street fighting and "oooh, I'm a cool black-clad rebel" have been problematic. Those were times when on-the-street neo-Nazi violence was in abeyance, the police were less militarized and the national climate was different.

These are different times. The tactics appropriate to these times are different. The people who are doing antifa stuff are different, either because the times have changed them or because the people who were all "I'm a cool radical" have dropped out because it's real.

Please know that whatever you hear via mainstream media about the radical left is almost certainly extremely wrong. The best sources are things like Unicorn Riot, the Rose City Antifa twitter account and a host of other reporters and individuals you'll quickly find through those channels.

To use a metaphor: A long time ago I was in a very large, roving and intermittently violent protest (violence coming from the cops). It seemed to consume all of downtown St. Paul. Things got extremely hairy and we decided to leave, luckily making it out without getting grabbed by the cops. We climbed uphill out of downtown and I looked back. I felt like I should be able to see tear gas rising up, like there should be some sign above of the violence taking place below. There was nothing.

Cities are big places and they are segregated along all kinds of lines. If you are not the type of person who is in contact with antifa or at risk of white supremacist violence, you will likely never see any. It can be happening in the next street over and you'll never know.

Mass media has huge incentive to lie, because they don't want significant change to society - even the nice people don't want it, because they like where they're at. Mass media is usually in with the cops because of the nature of reporting. They're in with the mayor and the DA. They're not in with the anti-fascists or the environmentalists or the anti-racists, etc etc.Be careful not to believe something just because it's repeated by "respectable" sources.
posted by Frowner at 5:54 AM on July 3, 2019 [31 favorites]

In re masks and Portland: I cannot remember her name and can't log into twitter currently, but there is a woman reporter who has just this week had Proud Boys literally visit her house and threaten her downstairs neighbor (she was out). She has said on Twitter that because she did not mask up, she was easy to identify and dox, and as a result she is getting physical, in-the-flesh death threats.

Gwen Snyder
posted by Greg Nog at 6:25 AM on July 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

Neither side are big fans of corporations or the elites

I've yet to find any evidence that the Proud Boys or Patriot Prayer have much, if any, of a position at all regarding corporations or "the elites", except insofar as they're Trump supporters.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:38 AM on July 3, 2019

It's the same position as every other set of numbnuts hate group out there: they celebrate the capitalist structure of the country to an unseemly extent, but always forget the principles of market choice whenever it opposes their fascism and bigotry. As for the elites that they supposedly disdain, it's purely limited to the "globalists" and "cosmopolitan urban dwellers" and similar racist/anti-Semitic/etc dogwhistling. They're perfectly fine with (and even supportive of) any corporations or "elites" that oppose diversity or social justice.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:30 AM on July 3, 2019 [6 favorites]

Noah Berlatsky:
[T]he obviously ridiculous stories about concrete milkshakes are literally fascist propaganda intended to justify murdering people.

It's like claims about Jewish people poisoning children as an excuse for pogroms, or lies [about] black men committing assault as an excuse for lynching.

Fascists always claim their enemies are committing heinous violence which justifies an eliminationist response. This is the purpose of conspiracy theories; to justify murder and genocide.

[P]eople laugh about pizza gate, but it almost got people killed.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:55 AM on July 3, 2019 [31 favorites]

Wait, the police chief's name is Danielle Outlaw? That's too on-the-nose even for 2019.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:08 AM on July 3, 2019

Neither side are big fans of corporations or the elites

One side says "corporations and elites" and means "Jews."
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:30 AM on July 3, 2019 [19 favorites]

It's the same position as every other set of numbnuts hate group out there: they celebrate the capitalist structure of the country to an unseemly extent, but always forget the principles of market choice whenever it opposes their fascism and bigotry. As for the elites that they supposedly disdain, it's purely limited to the "globalists" and "cosmopolitan urban dwellers" and similar racist/anti-Semitic/etc dogwhistling. They're perfectly fine with (and even supportive of) any corporations or "elites" that oppose diversity or social justice.

One side says "corporations and elites" and means "Jews."

Right, yeah, that was kind of my point - painting this as "These two groups are being manipulated into fighting each other by the people who they would otherwise be fighting against" is just nonsense. The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayers wouldn't be knocking down sweatshops and throwing bricks through bank windows in the absence of Antifa.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:58 AM on July 3, 2019 [6 favorites]

Also, he wasn't "helping a gay man up," he was allegedly screaming homophobic and transphobic slurs.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:19 AM on July 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

So many liberal types keep falling for the lie that there would have been no violence at this and other protest, had those "radical Antifa bros" not started it. You have groups of admitted fascists who show up in body armor, often with shields and 2x4s, and people buy the lie that "it was only because I was worried about Antifa threatening my free speech." Oh, OK! When was the last time there was fighting at a protest -- against guys in body armor carrying weapons -- and the popular narrative wasn't all about how it happened because of Antifa? Violence prompted only by offensive words, and nothing more: "don't beat people up just because you disagree with them!"

How convenient to forget the many times that those in the alt-right have doxxed and stalked counterprotesters; should we forget the assault and murder of leftists by the alt-right; should we forget the mass shooters they celebrate? Only one side in this has terror cells stockpiling guns and other weapons. Watch the alt-rightists' streams from Charlottesville and you can hear them eagerly anticipating violence, in between fawning handshakes with David Duke. But, says the select liberal, alt-right protests would pass without incident if not for the aggressive left.

People on the far right know that the media is slanted in their favor, and they take advantage of that. They know they have more credibility than Antifa in the eyes of the general public, even among liberals who find their beliefs abhorrent. "Well, the police are reporting this, and it makes sense that Antifa would deny it..." Maybe there's a reasonable argument to be made that Antifa plays into the hands of the alt-right, bloodying extremists for the cameras to make them appear more sympathetic to the general public. But also consider where the "reasonable" liberals fit into that. "They might say offensive things, but..."
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:27 AM on July 3, 2019 [23 favorites]

And really, if events in Portland demonstrate one thing, it's that practically everyone takes the alt-right more seriously than Antifa. The word of the alt-right is accepted at face value, while anything in support of Antifa is treated like a leftist conspiracy theory. I can't think of any other reason why there would be such uncritical acceptance of the fascist perspective on this protest, from the cement milkshakes to the chemical burns to the idea that this violence was only a reaction against words the left doesn't want to hear. It seems like even self-described liberals are in many ways less comfortable with Antifa than they are with the alt-right.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:45 AM on July 3, 2019 [17 favorites]

It may have been addressed in a part of the articles I missed, but sugar water will retard concrete or cement from setting. A concrete milkshake would be just a gritty milkshake, not a coconut-scented brick.

Like, to get that look where there's all them cute exposed rocks and pebbles on the outside of the concrete? Spray sugar water on top of the concrete, then rinse away the top layer of cement.

Looks they're more worried about the chemical burns from concrete. If they mixed enough "Stonewall shake" with their alleged quickrete, that should be enough to buffer whatever minimal amount of quicklime is actually in the readymix.

I know, I know, it's falling into their trap to try and fight this bullshit with actual science, but seriously, this is extra stupid.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 11:58 AM on July 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

The other thing about antifa is that people get upset about their violent tactics at these sorts of events, but nothing ever gets reported outside of local news about Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer members coming into town just to attack LGBTQ people and anybody else they don't like, and nobody ever seems to then care about that. As soon as somebody wearing all black with a mask on punches a phrenology-loving right-wing "journalist" people throw their arms up in despair, but they don't bat an eye when Proud Boys/Patriot Prayer members assault people on the street, or when they attack gay, trans, and queer people. And if they do, it's "okay of course those actions are bad, BUT... somethingsomething antifa" because apparently antifa throwing milkshakes and fists at these guys is somehow worse than them, their super tight relationship with the cops, and their constant assaults on our citizens.

I think of all this as a military action. These guys don't live in Portland, they live in and around Vancouver, WA, and they have people bussed in. These guys make tons of money on GoFundMe in order to sanction their terrorist violence. They're invaders. The Portland police, of whom Danielle Outlaw is the head of and Mayor Ted Wheeler is the commissioner of, have completely failed at defending their city and their citizens from terrorist invaders. It's an insurgency. In fact, they've failed so badly that their own lieutenants are collaborating with the insurgents, to such a degree that people absolutely do not trust the police.

This isn't some movie, Dark Knight Rises, "we need a hero to protect us when nobody else will!" type of shit. We genuinely need people to stop these guys from repeatedly (for YEARS now) invading our city and attacking our people, and "antifa", insomuch that they are a non-organized group of antifascists, are the only ones doing that. Street brawls are in the media, but the behind-the-scenes work of doxxing and illuminating information about right-wing terrorists and sympathizers, detailing where they work, and pressuring businesses and rental agencies about them, is what's helping, as linked above by chrchr.

If it were up to me, antifa would be more aggressive, but I can't sanction violence on the site :P
posted by gucci mane at 1:02 PM on July 3, 2019 [26 favorites]

The Piss Boys show up in Austin the night before their rallies (and sometimes just other random times) and cruise the areas around gay clubs to harass and attack marginalized folks.
The word goes out and usually people mobilize to drive them away, but that never makes it into the news; only the tales of targeted woe and attendant crocodile tears.
The liberal/centrist water carrying for fascists is just gross.
posted by Seamus at 1:09 PM on July 3, 2019 [11 favorites]

From August, 2018: Portland Police Chief Says Protesters Went Off to “Whine And Complain” Last Week Because Officers “Kicked Your Butt”

At least two protesters went to the hospital with serious injuries caused by flash-bang grenades police shot into the crowd.
She told conservative talk-radio host Lars Larson she thought the protesters were acting like children who lost a schoolyard fight and had gone of to "whine and complain" after police fired flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets and pepper spray into a crowd of demonstrators. (At least two people were sent to the hospital with serious injuries after being hit directly with stun grenades launched by police, and many more have reported being hurt.)

"I tell you, 'Meet me after school at 3:00. Right? We're gonna fight'," Outlaw said, setting up the analogy to describe how she feels her critics are acting. "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."
This protest she was talking about is the same one where police found members of Patriot Prayer on top of a parking structure with a cache of assault rifles, who were then walked back to their trucks and shown how to safely stow away their weapons in their vehicles. What we know about Patriot Prayer gun cache found before Portland protest
A day after Mayor Ted Wheeler called out Patriot Prayer for bringing a cache of guns to the rooftop of a parking garage before a summer protest in downtown Portland, the mayor and police clarified significant details about the discovery and what was done.

Police said they found four people on top of the garage at Southwest First Avenue and Jefferson Street on Aug. 4 with three rifles, all in cases, The Oregonian/OregonLive's Maxine Bernstein reports.

The men let a sergeant inspect the rifles. None of the rifles was loaded. One was disassembled. All the men had concealed weapons permits, according to police.

The men told police they planned to stay at the garage and "act as a quick extraction team'' in case someone from their group was injured during the demonstration.

A sergeant instructed the men to store the rifles in a locked container in the back of one of their pickups and place any ammunition in a different part of the truck, and they complied. Police made no arrests.

No laws were broken, and there was no imminent danger to the public, police said Tuesday.
I'm not sorry that I have no sympathy for Chief Outlaw, whose police force deliberately withheld information from the mayor and the citizens about a literal armed "extraction team" perched on top of a parking structure above where a large protest was taking place. I was at that protest with my girlfriend at the time, we could have been killed. My friends could have been killed. Citizens of this city could have been killed. It would have been a massacre.
posted by gucci mane at 1:11 PM on July 3, 2019 [22 favorites]

And I don’t give a shit if it was legal and if they weren’t loaded. You don’t bring 3 assault rifles to canvas your “extraction team”’s position unless you plan on using them. Jfc
posted by gucci mane at 1:15 PM on July 3, 2019 [11 favorites]

I always try to remember that the favorite game of the elites is "How about you and him fight". Neither side are big fans of corporations or the elites, and yet they fight each other.

This relentless drive to find common ground with white supremacists isn’t merely naive anymore, it’s actively malicious.
posted by invitapriore at 3:32 PM on July 3, 2019 [9 favorites]

And I don’t give a shit if it was legal

This is precisely the problem, isn't it? It's legal within the letter of the law for a gang of right wing thugs to assemble in a public place. It's legal for them to have firearms. It's also intimidating and antithetical to our democratic ideals. The law has difficulty seeing how this demonstration is different from, say, Occupy, or the Women's March. As much as we might like there to be a "no nazis" law, there isn't one. Masked vigilantes making life difficult for would be brownshirts is an imperfect solution to this dilemma, and it has its own drawbacks, but I do tend to think that it's better than hoping the nazis will just go away.
posted by chrchr at 3:51 PM on July 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

Sorry, but I don't consider ninja cosplayers to be my allies. These are guys who are looking for an excuse for more violence. They aren't helping.
posted by JackFlash at 5:16 PM on July 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Wait, the police chief's name is Danielle Outlaw? That's too on-the-nose even for 2019.

Maybe she's a crime-fighting robot?
posted by chortly at 5:55 PM on July 3, 2019

I remember when they reached outside of the Portland Police to hire Outlaw, and how I was hopeful she could bring some needed change to the organization. How naive I was.

Portland Police Chief Suggests Banning Masks at Protests

Yes, because the masks are the problem.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:16 PM on July 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Sorry, but I don't consider ninja cosplayers to be my allies. These are guys who are looking for an excuse for more violence. They aren't helping.

What's your alternative? Because right now the liberal answer is to stay in their suburban homes and let the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer roam the streets and attack vulnurable people - they especially like to target inter-racial couples. If your answer is "don't wear masks" that's an incorrect answer - it's an active tactic to identify and harass anyone they can. So saying it's bad that they wear masks is wrong and naive and you should stop doing that.

All strategies that anti-fascist action groups have adapted have been learned over time. The milkshake throwing is especially good because it humiliates the target and stops them from being able to continue speaking in a convincing way without actually hurting them. It's why they are whining so much about it. This is not a tactic that a group that is "looking for an excuse for more violence" would be adopting enthusiastically if all they wanted was to bust heads.

These conclusions you've arrived at from first principles are incorrect. "violence is bad" is true enough but not useful here, please expand your moral framework to include power, community defense and the moral obligation to step in and protect vulnerable people.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:20 AM on July 4, 2019 [17 favorites]

Gwen Snyder, again:

So fwiw, I'm extremely new to interacting with antifa, SHARPS, etc.
I used to think if we ignored the nazis, they'd go away.
That antifa & co were giving them attention that they thrived on.
Now, I'm realizing antifa/SHARPS/etc are the only thing keeping nazis in the shadows.
I spent today reporting proud boy gang members to police for stalking me.
I'm not antifa. They don't deal with police, for very legitimate reasons.
I actually think I might be dead if antifa wasn't keeping these guys in check.
It took a viral tweet to get the cops on this.
I'm a boring-ass liberal, pretty much.
I thought I could just respectably post facts about where these guys worked, we'd be boring-ass political opponents, whatever.
Instead they came to my home in the middle of the night as violent, scary gang, and threatened my safety.
There are some officers taking it seriously now, but it took my tweets going a little viral for police to notice.
In the meantime, it was antifa folks offering me places to stay, bulletproof vests, etc.
In the end, these were the folks who immediately tried to keep me safe.
I've only done this work for a tiny bit of time, and they're already threatening my life.
Antifa folks didn't try to get famous off me or my fear. They just wanted me to be safe.
Even though I used to be pretty snarky and write them off.
I know now that the only reason I get to do this work is, other folks take risk and are on the front line.
These fascist motherfuckers want me dead, make no mistake. They want us all silenced.
Antifascists make room for our voices.
It's hard to appreciate an absence of evil-- but that absence is something antifascists work to create.

posted by Greg Nog at 5:42 PM on July 5, 2019 [12 favorites]

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