50 Nights of Protest: Portland Under Siege
July 17, 2020 12:20 PM   Subscribe

After 50 nights of sustained protest in Portland, Oregon, President Donald Trump has sent in federal police agencies to “quell violence”. The response has been immediate, with protestors and passers by being “disappeared” into unmarked vans by militarized federal police forces.

Washington Post: ‘It was like being preyed upon’: Portland protesters say federal officers in unmarked vans are detaining them
When several men in green military fatigues and generic “police” patches sprang out of an unmarked gray minivan in front of Mark Pettibone in the early hours of Wednesday morning, his first instinct was to run.
He did not know whether the men were police or far-right extremists, who frequently don militarylike outfits and harass left-leaning protesters in Portland, Ore. The 29-year-old resident said he made it about a half-block before he realized there would be no escape.
Then, he sank to his knees, hands in the air.
“I was terrified,” Pettibone told The Washington Post. “It seemed like it was out of a horror/sci-fi, like a Philip K. Dick novel. It was like being preyed upon.”
KATU: Oregon leaders responding to federal officers at Portland protests
In a series of tweets, Acting Secretary Chad Wolf called protesters “lawless anarchists,” and said local leaders have failed to address violence.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown says she spoke with Asst. Sec. Wolf, who is currently in Portland, and asked him to remove federal officers from city streets.

“His response showed me he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes. He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm’s way,” Brown said in a statement to KATU News. [...]

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says he hasn't been asked to meet with the acting secretary, but said if he were, he would decline.
Willamette Week: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Says President Trump Is Invading Portland as an Election Stunt
Her comments come in the same hour that acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf landed in Portland.
As top federal law enforcement officials arrived in Oregon on Thursday, Gov. Kate Brown accused President Donald Trump of deploying federal officers to Portland to crack down on protesters as a way to boost his flailing reelection prospects.

In an uncharacteristically harsh statement, Brown responded to Trump's deployment of federal officers to quell Portland's protests against police violence. Those officers sent one demonstrator to the hospital July 11 with a munition to the face.

"This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety," Brown said. "The president is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government."
This all comes back to a June 26th executive order by President Trump to “defend national monuments.”

Homeland Security Deploys Officers In Portland Under Trump Monument Order
The Department of Homeland Security has deployed officers in tactical gear from around the country, and from more than a half-dozen federal law enforcement agencies and departments, to Portland, Oregon, as part of a surge aimed at what a senior official said were people taking advantage of demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd to commit violence and vandalism.

“Once we surged federal law enforcement officers to Portland, the agitators quickly got the message,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing operation.

The deployment represents somewhat of a departure for DHS, which was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and is primarily focused on threats from abroad and border security. During the Trump presidency, its focus has been largely on carrying out the president’s tough immigration agenda. Now it is in the role of supporting Trump’s law-and-order campaign, raising questions about overstepping the duties of local law enforcement.
The Nation: Trump Unleashes His Secret Police in Portland
”It’s like stop and frisk meets Guantanamo Bay,” attorney Juan Chavez told OPB. He added that these detentions were not following any rules of probable cause. “It sounds more like abduction. It sounds like they’re kidnapping people off the streets.”
Five days ago, federal police shot and critically injured a peaceful protester who was standing across the street in the park, sending him to the hospital with head and facial fractures, requiring reconstructive surgery.

OPB: Federal Officers Shoot Portland Protester In Head With 'Less Lethal' Munitions WARNING: Graphic imagery linked within.
Donavan LaBella, 26, was shot in the head by what friends and witnesses said was an impact munition.

Videos of the incident posted online brought swift condemnation from some local leaders, including both of Oregon’s U.S. Senators, who demanded answers from the federal government, and City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who asked that federal troops leave Portland immediately.
But what are Portlanders really doing? They’re just trying to grill!

Portland Mercury: Portland Police Arrest Riot Ribs Volunteers During Abrupt Morning Sweep
Many of those arrested were volunteers working with Riot Ribs, a barbecue tent that has been serving up free food to anyone who asks since the Fourth of July. From the sidewalk of SW Salmon, the volunteers who avoided arrest watched the blue awning of their stand collapsed by government contractors, still within the boundaries of Lownsdale Square Park. The volunteers hadn't been able to grab anything associated with the stand, including a large stainless steel grille they'd received the night before from Pok Pok, and thousands of dollars worth of food donations that they'd planned on feeding to hungry people.
Eater PDX: This Makeshift Kitchen Provided Free Food Outside Portland’s Justice Center. Now, Police Have Locked Them Out.
Riot Ribs, a mutual aid kitchen based in Lownsdale Square, fed people night and day for 12 straight days. On the 13th, the group lost the kitchen they built.
He was cooking in the middle of a makeshift kitchen, a table scattered with metal containers, plastic shelves stacked with water, hand sanitizer, and rubbing alcohol. On July 15, the kitchen was surrounded by a small barrier built with coolers, Kendrick Lamar’s music played in the background, and Legend’s fellow cooks tended to the other business at hand: sorting through donated water bottles, cutting slices of watermelon, tossing hunks of pork in barbecue sauce. A man named Rico handed the pork to people inside the kitchen and out — some sat in camping chairs, smoking cigarettes. Other volunteers greeted customers, serving them meals for free. “The people out here, they haven’t had a hot meal in 12 days,” Legend said. “That’s a big thing for us.”
Oregon Live: Riot Ribs supplies seized by police during shutdown of Lownsdale and Chapman squares, group member says
Portland police dispersed a community of houseless people at 5:10 a.m. Thursday in Lownsdale and Chapman squares, following a 5 a.m. announcement that they would be closing the parks. Portland police said nine people were arrested and booked into jail.

Some of the people staying in the area were part of Riot Ribs, a group that has been providing food to houseless people and those participating in the protests, said Beans, a member of Riot Ribs.

“They don’t care,” Beans said, referring to the police.

Beans declined to give her last name for fear of being targeted on social media.

She said police gave people three seconds to grab their belongings after they began to walk through the park and pull down tents, though they did provide a 24-hour notice that the parks would be cleared.

Beans said Riot Ribs provides food 24 hours a day, seven days a week to those that need it and support the Black Lives Matter movement. The group started feeding people July 4 when a man began barbecuing and handing out food on a street corner downtown. He later handed off duties to others, including Beans, and the group has since received donations from various individuals who have either given money or brought specific food items.
posted by gucci mane (443 comments total) 129 users marked this as a favorite
 
turns out the conservatives talking about needing guns to protect themselves against jackbooted government thugs was just them projecting again
posted by entropicamericana at 12:24 PM on July 17 [113 favorites]




thanks for posting this. It's beyond terrible. We aren't slipping into fascism. The republicans are quite deliberately taking us there.
posted by great_radio at 12:26 PM on July 17 [41 favorites]


Hmmmm, the State’s Rights party ignoring a governor’s wishes...?
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:27 PM on July 17 [44 favorites]


“It seemed like it was out of a horror/sci-fi, like a Philip K. Dick novel. It was like being preyed upon.”

Remember when Alex Jones had a cameo in the 2006 film adaptation of A Scanner Darkly, where he was bundled into an unmarked van by militarized cops?

Of course the real 2020 Alex Jones is solidly on Team Van.
posted by theodolite at 12:32 PM on July 17 [54 favorites]


Also, Holy Shit! I hope all Portland Mefites are staying safe!

All Portlanders, really.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:32 PM on July 17 [14 favorites]


This is so outlandishly horrifying.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:34 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


"This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety," Brown said. "The president is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government."

As the governor of the state in which Portland is situated, she has authority to declare a State of Emergency and direct the state's National Guard to put a stop to this.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:37 PM on July 17 [66 favorites]


Wouldn't that be tantamount to insurrection for state forces to oust federal forces?
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:39 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


I live here and I'm ashamed to not be participating in the protests. My immune system sucks and I basically never leave my house anymore but I know I'm a coward and I should be there to support my people.

I'm glad this is getting a lot of attention at least, the federal escalation is absolutely horrifying. I'm pretty sure what we're seeing is just a dress rehearsal for the suppression of dissent these folks plan to do in November and onward if they somehow manage to hold onto power ("legitimately" or otherwise).
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:40 PM on July 17 [34 favorites]


A lot of buzz I've been reading about this is of the opinion that "This isn't theater. This is a test run for a nationwide rollout of Trump's secret police."

While I am prone to alarmist thinking, the vast majority of my worst fears regarding Trump have come to pass, so I am assuming this will come to pass too. I don't think this has anything to do with making him look good for reelection. I think it has to do with wide scale disappearing people who protest in the inevitable election-related civil unrest in the short term and instituting a permanent secret police force loyal only to Trump in the long term. Dude's not leaving office until the military escorts him out. I've been convinced of that since day 1 and nothing I've seen so far has dissuaded me from thinking this won't be the case.
posted by treepour at 12:42 PM on July 17 [86 favorites]


« Older AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!...
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:44 PM on July 17 [49 favorites]


Remember the right wing Jade Helm freakout?
posted by PenDevil at 12:45 PM on July 17 [26 favorites]


Well, no one cares that ICE has been disappearing people and imprisoning them in camps, so it's not a surprise that the current administration is building on that.
posted by betweenthebars at 12:46 PM on July 17 [69 favorites]


I am in Portland and have been going to the protests semi-regularly, but to be brutally honest I have minor PTSD from the flash grenades being used. On 4th of July I caught myself jumping because of the fireworks in my neighborhood and my heart began rushing. SO! In an attempt to not editorialize this post, here are some good people on Twitter you can follow for Portland-centric news but who have also been amazing at covering the protests!

Sergio Olmos
Alex Zielinski
Robert Evans (Who also has the podcast Behind the Bastards, which has been linked on the blue before)
Andrew Jankowski (Who was unfortunately arrested last night)
Cory Elia (Who was brutally arrested a couple of weeks ago and took a break, but I believe is back now)
Tuck Woodstock
Donovan Farley
Lindsey Smith (Who has been doing EXCELLENT work, as a preschool teacher-turned-protest journalist!)

Feel free to DM me questions and I’ll try to answer them 😎
posted by gucci mane at 12:48 PM on July 17 [67 favorites]


If you aren't wearing a badge and you're stuffing people into the back of an unmarked van, you aren't a cop, you're a kidnapper.

This is what the second amendment is for.
posted by JDHarper at 12:51 PM on July 17 [62 favorites]


Twitter thread: Here's what we know so far by Jesse Damiani.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:52 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


This is horrifying and a dangerous step towards fascism.
posted by leslies at 12:53 PM on July 17 [11 favorites]


A lot of buzz I've been reading about this is of the opinion that "This isn't theater. This is a test run for a nationwide rollout of Trump's secret police."

The term “rollout” implies a degree of coordination and central planning that I find hard to believe exist, but that seems like a pedantic quibble. This is terrifying, democracy-ending stuff. Call your senators and reps, get noisy, do whatever you can to make this stop. Please. There is a much stronger “first they came for the X” vibe to this than before.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:55 PM on July 17 [18 favorites]


ThreadReader version of the Jesse Damiani Twitter thread mentioned above.
posted by hanov3r at 12:56 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


A lot of buzz I've been reading about this is of the opinion that "This isn't theater. This is a test run for a nationwide rollout of Trump's secret police."

Not that there are a bunch of political geniuses running Trump 2020, but trying this in big cities like LA and NYC and trying to get re-elected when significant USA population centers are no longer under Federal control seems like a losing strategy. "BACK TO JUST 48 STATES!" doesn't really have the same resonance as "MAGA".
posted by sideshow at 12:57 PM on July 17


WFT!?!?!?
I hope everyone stays safe and that there will very soon be an end to this presidency.
posted by mumimor at 12:58 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Wouldn't that be tantamount to insurrection for state forces to oust federal forces?

The federal gov't is using extralegal means to disappear people before an election. With respect, I'm unsure how relevant hypotheticals are. The head executive of the state of Oregon may need to consider every legal option available to her to stop this, while such tools are still available.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:00 PM on July 17 [36 favorites]


This is a good post. Thank you for linking to all the local journalism that has been covering this day by day.
posted by DavidHogue at 1:02 PM on July 17 [13 favorites]


The term “rollout” implies a degree of coordination and central planning that I find hard to believe exist, but that seems like a pedantic quibble. This is terrifying, democracy-ending stuff. Call your senators and reps, get noisy, do whatever you can to make this stop. Please. There is a much stronger “first they came for the X” vibe to this than before.

also, buy a gun while you can, establish mutual aid networks, plant a garden, stock up on staples.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:03 PM on July 17 [14 favorites]


Well, no one cares that ICE has been disappearing people and imprisoning them in camps, so it's not a surprise that the current administration is building on that.

The fact that the many, many Americans who DO care have so far been unable to stop ICE does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that no one cares. The ACLU cares, and has been filing lawsuits as fast as they can, several of which have at least produced injunctions and temporary restraining orders. The ACLU is only the most visible organization doing this work; dozens of other organizations are also filing lawsuits and, sometimes, winning small victories.

And while we're talking about Portland, it's worth noting that Oregon's Senator Merkley has been a consistent watchdog and critic of ICE, going back at least to his 2018 attempt to visit an ICE detention center (Washington Post paywall).

People are donating to the ACLU and other organizations because we care. The victories so far have been few and frustrating, but the effort is still worthwhile, and we will keep caring, and fighting, until we stop ICE's abuses.
posted by kristi at 1:03 PM on July 17 [98 favorites]


Mentioned by some the fine journalists listed above, but not explicitly mentioned in the comments above:

A lot of the worst stuff has been happening in downtown westside Portland, which is basically deserted since most (all?) downtown offices are working remotely. The particular area next to the police headquarters and the federal building is a ghost town for blocks in any direction, except for the protestors and the jackbooted thugs.

We still get police shenanigans with tear gas and "less lethal" munitions at other demonstrations around the city (there have been a few in North Portland off Lombard that I know about because the cops were massing in residential neighborhoods where friends live), but they save their worst behavior, like the abduction vans, for downtown where they think nobody's watching.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 1:04 PM on July 17 [10 favorites]


Dude's not leaving office until the military escorts him out

Trump skirting Congress to install loyalists in the Pentagon: "Experts and Democratic lawmakers alike decried the campaign to root out those seen as disloyal and replace them with Trump acolytes, some of whom are underqualified."

If someone receives a senate confirmation for any post, they can be placed as an acting secretary at any other agency. Kratsios was confirmed to be White House CTO, but then got moved to the head of research and engineering for the entire DoD. "Kratsios, who has a bachelor's degree in political science, is replacing Michael Griffin, a former NASA administrator with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering "

Trump can also install un-confirmed people as acting-first assistant, and leave the role above them unoccupied. For example, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, has not been filled permanently since October 2018.
posted by Garm at 1:08 PM on July 17 [12 favorites]


Do we have any idea how many people have been kidnapped, and what has happened to all of them? While it sounds like so far they are simply pushing them into the normal legal channels (or releasing them) it really concerns me that some might be vanishing into places like Guantanamo - especially if they aren't American citizens.

I think I need to go find the Fucking fuck threads soon...
posted by rambling wanderlust at 1:10 PM on July 17 [12 favorites]


This has been a whole terrifying substrate of the last few days in town.
posted by cortex at 1:14 PM on July 17 [16 favorites]


> Going To Maine: "The term “rollout” implies a degree of coordination and central planning that I find hard to believe exist, but that seems like a pedantic quibble."

Keep in mind that these guys are (probably?) under the DHS which itself is under AG Barr's authority. So, it wouldn't be one of Trump's usual cadre of incompetent hangers-on who's in charge of this. It's Barr, one of the few remaining actually functional... uh... functionaries in this White House. Others have already pointed out the parallels to marshalling every yahoo with a DoJ-issued sidearm and putting them in incognito uniforms to squash protestors during the Lafayette Square incident.
posted by mhum at 1:22 PM on July 17 [12 favorites]


It's going to get worse before it gets better.
posted by 2N2222 at 1:34 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't that be tantamount to insurrection for state forces to oust federal forces?

Play lawful stupid and take the US marshall's office at their word when they said they didn't take the man into custody. Now you can assume there is a van full of heavily armed terrorists impersonating federal officials just roaming around the city kidnapping people. Sounds like a good excuse to send the national guard in on a manhunt with probable cause to seize and search all unmarked vans. Tell the feds to keep their unmarked vehicles home while your "ongoing" search for the "mysterious terrorists" continues. They either have to cut it out and find a different way to abuse power or admit to what they're pulling. And even if they do, don't call off the search for federal agent impersonators until they give you very detailed proof and information on exactly what is going on.

As recent Supreme Court decisions have shown there's only so much cover even Trump appointed judges are willing to give.
posted by Zalzidrax at 1:35 PM on July 17 [76 favorites]


Steve Vladeck, law prof at U. of Texas & blogger @ Lawfare: What the heck are federal law enforcement agents doing in Portland?
posted by FallibleHuman at 1:43 PM on July 17 [8 favorites]


> mhum: "the DHS which itself is under AG Barr's authority"

Oh wait, my bad. DHS is (as the D would have suggested) its own department separate from DoJ and with its own secretary, the implausibly-named Chad Wolf. Who, from all indications, seems to be a real piece of crap in his own right. However, the parallels with Barr's previous stunt suggests to me at least inspiration from and at worst co-ordination with Barr.
posted by mhum at 1:46 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Sure, this sounds bad, but remember, the US could have wound up with a president who had used an external e-mail server.

I understand this joke, but let's not forget: the rot is the entire Republican Party. They have enabled Trump for the past 4 years so they can get lower taxes for rich people and federal judges. Every single one of them is a traitor and should be arrested and tried for treason.
posted by Automocar at 1:51 PM on July 17 [47 favorites]


What are the crimes these dangerous anarchists are committing to justify these Gestapo tactics? Turns out it's a bunch of graffiti.
posted by Feyala at 1:57 PM on July 17 [18 favorites]


The best thing to do would be to mobilize Portland SWAT to capture one of those vans full of unidentified military LEOs under the guise of "we're assuming you're all wackos playing dressup with real guns until we've positively identified each of you". Once that's done, release them with a tissue paper thin apology and publicly announce the agencies they're from.

They don't have to be unidentified by agency or badge, and it's kind of mystifying why there are. If they had badges clearly reading "BOP" or "US Marshalls", it wouldn't change anything at all with respect to the invasion of Portland by uninvited federal forces.
posted by fatbird at 1:59 PM on July 17 [19 favorites]


with its own secretary, the implausibly-named Chad Wolf

ACTING Secretary. DHS hasn't had an actual secretary for 15 months.
posted by hanov3r at 1:59 PM on July 17 [22 favorites]


This is so scary and sad.
posted by Kemma80 at 2:04 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


What are the crimes these dangerous anarchists are committing to justify these Gestapo tactics? Turns out it's a bunch of graffiti.

As a little side note, I'd point out that not far from me police are investigating some hate-crime-related graffiti. The graffiti turns out to be someone writing "Nazi war monument" on a Nazi war monument; specifically, stone cenotaph commemorating those who served with the 14th SS Division in the Second World War.
Halton Regional Police believe the graffiti was spray painted on the cenotaph sometime around June 21. Police originally stated they were investigating the incident as a “hate-motivated” crime but they declined to release images of the graffiti so as to stop “further spreading” of the message.

But after researchers pointed out on social media that the monument honours the 14th Waffen SS and this newspaper published an article Friday detailing the history of the controversial unit, Halton Regional Police issued a clarification. “The initial information collected by investigators indicated that the graffiti may have been hate-motivated, targeting the identifiable group of Ukrainians in general, or Ukrainian members of this cultural centre,” the police said in a statement. “At no time did the Halton Regional Police Service consider that the identifiable group targeted by the graffiti was Nazis.”

Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner went further on Twitter, questioning the reason for the monument. “The most unfortunate part of all this is that any such monument would exist in the first place,” he tweeted.
The more right wing Toronto Sun goes for a more noncommittal, "In Oakville on Monday, police officers were dispatched to St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Church after receiving a complaint about vandalism."

Yes, it turns out labelling actual OG Nazis as Nazis is technically a hate crime.

St Volodymyr Ukrainian Cemetery, if notable for anything, is mostly notable for being the final resting place of Gregory Hines. I think publicizing that it hosts a Nazi war memorial might raise its profile a bit.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:20 PM on July 17 [18 favorites]


The other place to look at is the use of similar gangs of unidentified men in Washington DC in early June. "Barr's Army" was the coinage at the time.

I am greatly worried this is all practice for the Election.
posted by Nelson at 2:20 PM on July 17 [9 favorites]


[2 comments deleted. Please focus comments on the issues, and not on making joke comment about American politics. A lot of people reading this are actually scared about the situation.]
posted by loup (staff) at 2:20 PM on July 17 [27 favorites]


A lot of the ideas for how the state of Washington could interrupt or oust these mysterious feds depend on the agents of the state of Washington obeying the orders of the governor, which is definitely not guaranteed. We're in banana republic territory, the military or police obeying the executive (in this case the Governor) is not automatic (especially when the order is to act against fellow security forces). Think Allende in Chile, or every civilian executive in a country with a strong entrenched military (pakistan, egypt, etc...) If the executive doesn't believe that the security forces are loyal to him, then it becomes incredibly dangerous to give an order that may not be obeyed. The executive loses all validity and the mask is off. A disobeyed order, and no consequences for disobedience makes it extremely obvious who holds power. Talk about accelerationism, that's like stomping the gas and shooting speed at the same time.
posted by youthenrage at 2:23 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


Portland is in Oregon, not Washington.
posted by overglow at 2:27 PM on July 17 [20 favorites]


> The best thing to do would be to mobilize Portland SWAT to capture one of those vans full of unidentified military LEOs under the guise of "we're assuming you're all wackos playing dressup with real guns until we've positively identified each of you". Once that's done, release them with a tissue paper thin apology and publicly announce the agencies they're from.

presume all cops are fascists. therefore can't send swat. has to be national guard.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:27 PM on July 17 [21 favorites]


You guys want the police, who are actively bad actors, or the National Guard, who have also not been known for great domestic crisis decision making, to magically start a serious struggle against federal security agents?

Fucking really?
posted by Slackermagee at 2:29 PM on July 17 [10 favorites]


Institutions will not save you.
posted by fullerine at 2:34 PM on July 17 [16 favorites]


And just a followup on the ACLU and the illegal actions of DHS and the US Marshals in Portland, from Oregon Public Broadcasting:
U.S. District Judge Michael Simon has agreed to allow attorneys for the Oregon ACLU to add the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service as defendants in its lawsuit alleging police are targeting journalists and legal observers covering ongoing protests in Portland.

The decision opens the door for the ACLU to file a temporary restraining order against federal law enforcement, and to seek similar restrictions to those Simon has already placed on Portland police.
State officials in some states have been doing great work pushing back against this administration (California's AG Xavier Becerra in particular), but the ACLU has really been on top of all these things for the past four years.
posted by kristi at 2:37 PM on July 17 [14 favorites]


It's perfectly normal to write family back home and tell them why secret police are running rampant in your city.

This is fine. We're all fine here.

Also everyone who screamed bloody murder about Jade Helm and posse comitatus during the Obama administration? Go fuck yourselves, I see how quiet you all are now.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:40 PM on July 17 [48 favorites]


Missed the edit window ::facepalm:: I normally know what state Portland is in... thank you overglow
posted by youthenrage at 2:41 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


A possible thing to do: call your state reps. Let them know that they should not accept support from DHS in your state to deal with protests.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:42 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


I wish I hadn't watched The Purge films last week.
posted by SPrintF at 2:43 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


> You guys want the police, who are actively bad actors, or the National Guard, who have also not been known for great domestic crisis decision making, to magically start a serious struggle against federal security agents?

military is sometimes on the side of the people. cops are always against the people. i agree that anarchist kids in black are the best way to handle this situation, but this situation calls for someone who the cops might not shoot getting between the cops and their victims.

which means national guard.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:45 PM on July 17 [18 favorites]


Former National Guard here. The core cadre of NCOs are often former infantry college students who need more money than just GI Bill. Absolutely willing to kick cop/fed ass. I know, I did it during hurricane activation when the State Troopers tried to swagger up and be "badass"...we didn't allow that.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:50 PM on July 17 [75 favorites]


Tom Cotton got blasted into the stratosphere for sending in the military a few weeks back, so I feel like we are going to need some more nuance than “cops bad, military good” and “cops bad AND military bad, black bloc good”.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:07 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


I am greatly worried this is all practice for the Election.

I can see these pseudocops rounding up "suspicious-looking" people at polling places, for suspicion of voting fraud. They'd only have to keep them in custody until the polls closed.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:07 PM on July 17 [23 favorites]


A possible thing to do: call your state reps. Let them know that they should not accept support from DHS in your state to deal with protests.

This is going to sound nitpicky, but it goes to the heart of why this is disturbing. Neither Portland nor Oregon officials accepted support from DHS! Quite the opposite! In Acting DHS Secretary Wolf's own words:
I offered DHS support to help locally address the situation that’s going on in Portland, and their only response was: please pack up and go home. That’s just not going to happen on my watch.
Our mayor, governor and police chief are all on the record saying that the federal agents are exacerbating the situation. Our Congressional delegation is already all over this, demanding an investigation, but please contact your reps if you live in one of the other 49 states!
posted by chrchr at 3:11 PM on July 17 [36 favorites]


Some updates:

Judge Says ACLU Can Add Federal Agencies To Lawsuit Against Portland Police


US Attorney For Oregon Calls For Investigation Into Portland Protester Arrests


Kyle Griffin reports that:
Oregon Sens. Merkley and Wyden, with Reps. Blumenauer and Bonamici, will be asking the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security offices of Inspector General to investigate "the unrequested presence and violent actions of federal forces in Portland."
posted by overglow at 3:13 PM on July 17 [13 favorites]


I enjoy this Twitter thread of Portlanders sharing photos of their corners of the city, in response to claims by federal officials that we're all under siege by violent extremists.
posted by chrchr at 3:21 PM on July 17 [20 favorites]



"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" Rosa Luxemburg
posted by robbyrobs at 3:35 PM on July 17 [17 favorites]


Of course DHS/CBP are the fucks behind this. White nationalists and fascists have penetrated it from top to bottom. Fire the lot and blacklist them from ever serving the federal government.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 3:50 PM on July 17 [25 favorites]


A possible thing to do: call your state reps. Let them know that they should not accept support from DHS in your state to deal with protests.

This is going to sound nitpicky, but it goes to the heart of why this is disturbing. Neither Portland nor Oregon officials accepted support from DHS! Quite the opposite! In Acting DHS Secretary Wolf's own words:

It isn’t nitpicky at all. I don’t really know the timeline, although “please pack up and go home” makes it sound like DHS had already sent some folks in. My feeling -and that’s really all it is- is that if every state can step up and say “Hey, DHS, this is effed up” it helps make it clear that yes, this is effed up, and you shouldn’t be messing with the states this way. That seems useful for the future, when it will be good to know where you stand, and for the present, when it will be clear that there will be some state level pushback. In every venue and at every level, make it clear that DHS is wrong and bad and should feel wrong and bad.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:59 PM on July 17


Ken Klippenstein in The Nation: “Border Patrol Responsible For Portland Arrest”
For days, federal agents in unmarked cars have reportedly been snatching Portland protesters off the streets. On Thursday, video emerged of federal agents clad in camouflage fatigues and unspecified “police” patches apprehending one such demonstrator and placing him in an unmarked vehicle. Social media lit up with speculation about the intentions—and the identity—of these agents. A memo consisting of internal talking points for the federal agency responsible for the arrest, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and obtained exclusively by The Nation provides some answers—and even more questions.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:06 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


I expect we'll see a lot more about this DHS PACT group if this doesn't get stopped cold right now
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:59 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Oakville update

On Friday, Halton police walked back their original statement and apologized, saying the "initial information" indicated that the group being targeted was "Ukrainians in general," or members of this specific cultural centre.

"At no time did the Halton Regional Police Service consider that the identifiable group targeted by the graffiti was Nazis," police said in a news release.

"We regret any hurt caused by misinformation that suggests that the Service in any way supports Nazism."

posted by stevil at 5:00 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


[One jokey comment and one violence-suggesting comment deleted.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:01 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


[One more deleted that just quoted a bunch of another thread -- you can just provide the link and a summary of why you think it adds to the conversation.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:50 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Do I gather there's no word about what has happened to the people who were snatched?
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:08 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


As far as I can tell, Pettibone was released and that’s why we’re hearing from him. I’ve heard varying numbers of how many people have been snatched, but have seen a couple happen on live streams late at night. No word as to where those people went.

I want to make a note here: the Portland police and these BORTAC/Homeland Security troops have deliberately grabbed journalists and arrested them. I’ve seen it happen live, where they will point at somebody and then a group of them will deliberately go and arrest that person, and they’re gone. They get released a while later, but it is very obviously targeting of journalists. They have plainclothes officers on the ground, according to court documents that were released. The recent minivan abductions, on the other hand, have been very mysterious.
posted by gucci mane at 6:12 PM on July 17 [32 favorites]


When I mean “seen it happen live” I mean I have physically seen this happen with my own eyes. They are carefully targeting people.
posted by gucci mane at 6:13 PM on July 17 [31 favorites]


The document in Going to Maine's link to the Nation article is beyond creepy; it's a US Customs and Border Control "Public Affairs Guidance" internal memo dated July 1 (Trump's Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Activity executive order was made on June 26, and the DHS announced a new task force on July 1), concerning "CBP Support to Protect Federal Facilities and Property." Under the FAQ:

Q: Where are personnel being deployed?
A: We will have resources deployed in several states at Federal facilities and properties however, it would not be appropriate to disclose law enforcement operational specifics which could jeopardize operational security.

Additionally, we will have personnel on standby to be used as a strategic reserve that can deploy within 6 hours of notification by the Department and to any location in the United States.

Six hours?! Before that FAQ, Portland's mentioned ("In Portland, mobs tore down statues of our Founding Fathers -- George Washington and Thomas Jefferson"); so is San Francisco (where "rioters tore down a statue honoring Ulysses S. Grant"). Then: "There are calls to remove statues of Abraham Lincoln in Boston and Washington, DC" and "A statue of Hans Christian Heg, who died fighting for the Union Army during the civil war, was torn down in Wisconsin." (Well, Madison, specifically, but maybe they're less invested in Wisconsin in general). End of memo:

Q: Will you be deploying drones again?
A: At this time CBP Air and Marine Operations has assets on standby to assist as needed.
--
Few answers on who asked feds to circle a Predator surveillance drone over Minneapolis protests (Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 5, 2020) It’s still unclear which government agency asked federal agents to circle a Predator surveillance drone 20,000 feet above Minneapolis last week during widespread protests over police brutality and the death of George Floyd. U.S. Customs & Border Protection, which flew the drone over the Twin Cities in the late morning and early afternoon of May 29, declined to answer questions about the operation, saying in a statement only that the aircraft was sent “at the request of our federal law enforcement partners in Minneapolis.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:15 PM on July 17 [14 favorites]


In every venue and at every level, make it clear that DHS is wrong and bad and should feel wrong and bad.

One thing that would send a clear message that Trump's vigilantism is wrong and bad is for state governors to coordinate a full-force arrest, processing, and questioning of those mercenaries involved in his operation.

Governors of both parties could go on Meet the Press to announce a takedown operation on this gangsterism.

State governors are the last line of defense from a tyrannical federal government. We simply cannot have people disappeared off the streets in a civil society.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 6:16 PM on July 17 [34 favorites]


There are calls to remove statues of Abraham Lincoln in Boston and Washington, DC

Jesus. Yes, there are such calls. The movement in Boston to take down "The Emancipator" (which is a copy of the DC statue) has been entirely peaceful and legal, spurred by a video by Tory Bullock, a local teacher with a gift for making a point. The statue is owned by the city and on June 30, the Boston Arts Commission voted unanimously to remove the statue from its current location. So are they going to round up the curators and architects who sit on the commission board?
posted by adamg at 6:33 PM on July 17 [16 favorites]


State governors are the last line of defense from a tyrannical federal government. We simply cannot have people disappeared off the streets in a civil society.

I have little hope for my (Oregon) governor, and the fact that we are apparently having people disappeared suggests that we no longer have much of a civil society.
posted by spacewrench at 6:52 PM on July 17 [6 favorites]




[Speculative visions of violence deleted.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:12 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Been reading about this. It's terrifying. We are no longer stumbling into fascism - we are in fascism. Lots of police activity in my (mostly Latines) neighborhood. Already seen people dragged off by ICE in the past few years. This escalation doesn't surprise me, but it does frighten me. This year has been exhausting, yet I worry Chris Hedges is right; these are the good times.

The next few years will be difficult. Be as safe as you can, everyone.
posted by Lonnrot at 7:13 PM on July 17 [23 favorites]


From the first link:
A block west of Chapman Square, Pettibone and O’Shea bumped into a group of people who warned them that people in camouflage were driving around the area in unmarked minivans grabbing people off the street.
What if anything is keeping aspiring Leopold/Loeb types from hitting the surplus store for some camouflage gear and putting their long-held plans into motion? Seems like a boom time to be a kidnapper.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:19 PM on July 17 [16 favorites]


I traded mail with my cousin in San Francisco today. He says similar actions are afoot there, as well.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:25 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


A reminder that 2/3 of the US population lives within the Border Patrol's 'jurisdiction', a constitutional gray zone. Look for that zone to get much wider very soon.
posted by soy bean at 7:36 PM on July 17 [11 favorites]


What if anything is keeping aspiring Leopold/Loeb types from hitting the surplus store for some camouflage gear and putting their long-held plans into motion? Seems like a boom time to be a kidnapper.

I think that aspiring Leopold and Loeb types are pretty rare? Or, perhaps, already working for CPB.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:37 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]




Just a quick thanks, gucci mane, for creating this post and for compiling such a strong set of links to informed local journalistic sources. I started seeing mentions of Portland shenanigans in my feed and had a hard time sorting it out - the explanation you provided via this post and links has given me a clear understanding that this is some shit that needs a lot more air and sunshine and needs to be paid attention to and dealt with. Yeah it's another move toward a fascist state.

These links are great and for those of you that have Facebook pages or Twitter streams that your more moderate friends and family follow - this is stuff to make a post about, and add these links, and start letting folks know these aren't normal activities in normal times and this isn't activist hyperbole. We need more eyes on this, nationwide.
posted by Miko at 7:42 PM on July 17 [15 favorites]


Can we get this thread added to the US Politics sidebar?
posted by StarkRoads at 7:48 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


[done!]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:56 PM on July 17 [8 favorites]


You’re welcome, it’s my pleasure! After last night I felt the wave come over me like “okay NOW is the time to post about this on metafilter.” National media has picked up the story it looks like. It’s always been a fairly “local only” news story even though these protests have been going on for close to two months now. I guess people around the country don’t care about the police constantly tear gassing people over the most trivial shit.

I have some videos from last night. I have A LOT of protest videos, but I’ll organize them all later.

Here is what was going on right before the police decided to go off on us. As you can see, I am filming, as are other people, and they are firing pepper rounds at our feet.

Here is part 1 of what was going on before the police began their movements against us. The context of the video is what you see: a small contingent of people in the street yelling at them. I stopped the video at the worst part but here is the immediate part after they light the CS gas pole. Keep in mind: NO OBJECTS ARE BEING THROWN. In this video you see and hear what appear to be regular flash/stun grenades as well as a much louder concussion grenade (you see me and the man in front of me flinch when it goes off). Terminology: “pepper rounds” are basically large paint balls filled with CS gas, one of the main gases used in what is colloquially called “tear gas”. You also hear fully automatic pepper round weapons being used against us.

This is roughly 5 minutes after. At this point in time, water bottles are being thrown. Water bottles. Let that sink in. Those clacking noises you hear are the pepper rounds being shot at people.

I’m sorry if this video seems exploitative in any manner, however, I think it needs to be shown what is happening to people when they are tear gassed and grenaded by a heavily armed police force. This is like Children of Men. It’s sickening, and it scares me. Trust me when I say this, I was fucking scared. It was chaos all around me, people dowsing their eyes with water, all you can hear is cries for medics. This is like a fucking civil war. Honestly watching these videos makes me shake and almost cry, although at the time it’s happening I am willing to run toward the moments in order to record. I guess I’m mildly traumatized. I went out 12 nights straight when it all first began, and it’s fundamentally changed me. I’ve been going to protests for decade now, but this feels different.

And now I’ve editorialized my post 🤦🏻‍♂️
posted by gucci mane at 8:07 PM on July 17 [109 favorites]


And if you think those videos are scary or intense, keep in mind this was night #50 :’)
posted by gucci mane at 8:15 PM on July 17 [6 favorites]


"And now I’ve editorialized my post 🤦🏻‍♂️"

We love you anyway.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:17 PM on July 17 [13 favorites]


So there is nothing like this going on in San Francisco at all and I would really appreciate it if unsubstantiated rumors from “cousins” could be kept out of a thread like this.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:17 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


[People. This is a really serious thread about a really serious and terrifying situation. It is a BAD PLACE for speculation, hyperbole, hypothesizing, or joking, and we are aggressively deleting those types of comments. If your comment includes any of those, please think twice before posting, and if there's a kernel of information, or a question, in what you want to say, just post that in a straightforward way. (Support for Portland members is okay!)]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:42 PM on July 17 [34 favorites]


Noah Lanard at Mother Jones seems to think this is all posturing for an audience of one.
Wolf’s Twitter profile photo shows him in sunglasses and a headset as he does his very best to look very tough. From all the posturing, you might think the Homeland Security secretary had spent some time in law enforcement. In reality, he was an airport security bureaucrat who became a lobbyist. But he’s learned an important lesson: When your boss became president by pretending to be a brilliant dealmaker on television, image is all that counts.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:45 PM on July 17 [11 favorites]


Mayor of Portland to Trump: Get your troops out of the city (AP)
“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said at a news conference. [...] “Usually when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street we call it kidnapping,” said Jann Carson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. “The actions of the militarized federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered.” [...] “It’s painfully clear this administration is focused purely on escalating violence without answering my repeated requests for why this expeditionary force is in Portland and under what constitutional authority,” Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden said.
posted by katra at 9:00 PM on July 17 [27 favorites]


Wow, Chad Wolf's, or Cosplay Reinhard Heydrich's, if you will, twitter is all ate up if you click through to the threads on each of his posts.
posted by valkane at 9:03 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


"DHS officers were assaulted with lasers and frozen water bottles from violent criminals"

You gotta be kidding me.
posted by valkane at 9:06 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


They really hate the water bottles. The guys in full armor, with giant metal batons, assault rifles, armored vehicles. They’re afraid of water bottles.
posted by gucci mane at 9:08 PM on July 17 [41 favorites]


50 Nights of Unrest in Portland (Charlie Warzel, NYT Opinion)
To get a sense of what is unfolding in Portland and what it’s like to be covering protests each night for two months, I spoke with Robert Evans, a freelance journalist based in the city. Mr. Evans is a conflict reporter who has reported from Iraq and Ukraine. He covers far-right extremism for the investigative journalism site Bellingcat and hosts the Behind The Bastards podcast. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity:

[...] What is happening in Portland right now — and I say this as somebody who’s seen war in other countries — it’s as close up to the line as you can get to actual war without live rounds. It’s really hard for me to see how things go much further without people dying. [...]

What’s been your interaction with the federal agents? Have you personally seen them rounding up people in unmarked cars?

I’ve seen them rolling around in the vans and tackling people. My partner has watched them do a few snatch and grabs. The difference is they’re not cops. They go after people like soldiers, where the goal is to be unpredictable. The way they use munitions is different. [...]

The image of federal police in unmarked vans has captured attention because it feels so nakedly authoritarian. Is what we’re seeing just the purest example of American militarized policing or is it something different?

It’s something different. [...] Portland is being used as a bellwether to see what this administration can get away with.
posted by katra at 9:29 PM on July 17 [51 favorites]


I met Robert Evans at a protest a little over a month ago, he’s a really sweet person.
posted by gucci mane at 9:36 PM on July 17 [8 favorites]


But, you know, this is a posture we intend to continue not just in Portland but in any of the facilities that we're responsible for around the country.
Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli on reports of federal officers detaining protesters in Portland, OR
posted by CrystalDave at 10:01 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


Federal officers are using unmarked cars to arrest Portland protesters (Guardian)
Portland activists have warned the strategy may indicate how the Trump administration plans to crack down on other cities that have seen protests in recent weeks. “I think Portland is a test case,” Zakir Khan, a spokesman for the Oregon chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Washington Post. “They want to see what they can get away with before launching into other parts of the country.”

Trump said on Wednesday that he would soon issue an announcement about steps the federal government will take to rein in “out of control” cities. [...] Trump specifically cited recent protests against racism and police brutality in Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis, before pivoting to discuss the recent gun violence in Chicago.
posted by katra at 10:02 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


we are past the " i think it's a test case" time when they explicitly say that this is going to be rolled out nationally. fuck this piece of shit fucking country goddamn it.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:48 PM on July 17 [29 favorites]


I live in Portland and a very real concern among us is that cosplaying far-right, fascist, PB, etc. assholes are going to adopt this same tactic to inflict real and permanent harm on local organizers and/or citizens. Even folks who are not attending the protests and may not support all the tactics being implemented in them are circulating photos and plate numbers of the vehicles used by DHS to snatch citizens. The DHS folks do not identify themselves and have no badge numbers or name tags. There is no way to know if the van full of armed people rolling up to grab you are agents of the government or cosplaying fascists intent on killing you. If it's a known vehicle then at least you can take solace in the fact that you're likely just gonna be roughed up and hassled instead of killed. Given the history of Portland Police actively coordinating with fascist groups, there is zero confidence in the community that authorities will make any effort to thwart that sort of thing. They're aware of that being a concern and, I assume, are leaving it unaddressed to render additional stress on the citizens.
posted by Siempre La Luna at 11:29 PM on July 17 [53 favorites]


> if there's a kernel of information, or a question, in what you want to say, just post that in a straightforward way.

OK, I'll bite:

1. Can anyone explain exactly what laws or legal justification the federal DHS officers are using for these snatch and grab/"legalized" kidnapping campaigns? For example, this article says:
interviews conducted by OPB show officers are also detaining people on Portland streets who aren’t near federal property, nor is it clear that all of the people being arrested have engaged in criminal activity. Demonstrators like O’Shea and Pettibone said they think they were targeted by federal officers for simply wearing black clothing in the area of the demonstration. . . .

Pettibone and O’Shea both said they couldn’t think of anything they might have done to end up targeted by law enforcement. They attend protests regularly but they said they aren’t “instigators.” . . .
This looks to me like there is zero legal justification for the arrests and detentions. And any way around, I can't figure out why Customs and Border Patrol would have anything whatsoever to do with such detentions. This is so far out of their wheelhouse the wheel and the house aren't even on the same continent as they are. If they were picking up illegal immigrants, or people who had violated the border somehow, or violated customs law somehow. OK.

That's not the universe these things are happening in. They activities have nothing to do with immigration law. At worst, they are people the DHS agents think are organizing protests or maybe throwing water bottles or shining lasers or chipping some of the concrete on a federal building, or whatever heinous crimes DHS imagines is happening here.

So where does authority of Border Patrol and Customs agents to apprehend random people for non border/immigration-related crimes come from?

I could understand if it were ATF taking action on firearms issues. Or the FBI moving in because some federal crime had been committed. Or the Secret Service if they had been counterfeiting.

But Border Patrol and Customs being anywhere near this issue seems a gross violation of regular order to me.

So, please explain.

And this article from The Nation goes on to say:
While many people have criticized the alleged lawlessness of the arrests, some even engaging in conspiracy theories about them, these arrests are likely legal, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials interviewed by The Nation.
But it doesn't say, exactly what the legal justification is. It gives this:
There are all sorts of interesting powers that CBP, ICE and Border Patrol have under Title 42 pandemic law, which has been triggered with Trump’s Covid-19 national emergency declaration. [and] . . . All of this is legal because of vague and broad authorities given to these agencies after 9/11.
OK, yeah. But what? What is the section of U.S. code? What section of actual federal regulations? What court cases are precedent?

#2. What recourse, if any, do victims picked up under these arbitrary policies have? Just for example, we have heard of mass arrests by local police during various demonstrations. After some years working through the legal system, often their charges or dropped or sometimes a trial is held and they are acquitted.

Or of course, sometimes they are convicted of something.

Regardless, at least there is some legal process they can work through to be released and prove their innocence--or at least be released from detention.

So, what would the procedure be here for anyone who is detained. Can they just be held indefinitely if that is what the DHS troops (let's call a spade a spade) want?

#3. Beyond that, and going to the heart of the police state overreach that is what these protests are all about, what protections should be in place in order to protect people against this type of legalized kidnapping by federal agents?

It's one thing to finally get your day in court and be able to prove your innocence or whatever. But it seems like we need more proactive protection against massive law enforcement overreach. Either oversight for these agencies or some way for the victims to bring suit and get actual compensation and changes in the system to stop future abuses of the system.

In short: What is it we need to be working for on the federal level that parallels what BLM and movements like Defund the Police are working for on the local level.

Is it Defund Homeland Security?

Or something else?

Surely someone is organizing around or working on this issue?
posted by flug at 11:43 PM on July 17 [10 favorites]


What happens when someone injures one of these unidentified troops in self-defense?
posted by gottabefunky at 11:49 PM on July 17 [10 favorites]


From about a year ago: AOC suggests dissolving department of homeland security

A lot of groups have suggested getting rid of ICE and CBP; they have become right wing militias full of wannabe brownshirts.
posted by benzenedream at 11:49 PM on July 17 [30 favorites]


The longstanding argument of rightwing gun nuts that they’re ready to defend liberty for all Americans in the event of some ever-imminent power grab by no-badge no-warrant “jackbooted” government forces, is quite obviously nonsense given their collective reaction — which ranges from silence to vocal support — of the Lafayette Square fiasco in Washington D.C. six weeks ago, and their continuing silence/support of what’s now happening in Portland. But more than mere hypocrisy or even fantasy, it’s projection: “attributing one’s own unacceptable urges to another”. Rightwing nuts live in constant fear of an armed fascist crackdown from the left because they assume the left would abuse such power against them in the ways they would abuse power (and now are) against the left. It’s always been obvious but now it’s transparently so.

via DaringFireball
posted by fairmettle at 11:49 PM on July 17 [26 favorites]


So where does authority of Border Patrol and Customs agents to apprehend random people for non border/immigration-related crimes come from?

From the Vladeck article: tl,dr Oregon law authorizes this type of thing but with requirements that are not being met.

Oregon and every non-fashy state should revoke this NOW to reduce deniability, call your representative
Question 3: What authority do these federal officers have to detain and arrest individuals?

Insofar as federal law enforcement officers are enforcing federal law and/or state law on federal property, federal law also provides detention and arrest authorities. Of course, detention and arrest must still comport with the federal Constitution—under which warrantless arrests require probable cause to believe the individual has committed a crime.

Like most states, Oregon does authorize federal officers to enforce state law. Under Oregon Revised Statutes § 133.245, a federal officer may arrest any person “[f]or any crime committed in the federal officer’s presence if the federal officer has probable cause to believe the person committed the crime.” The statute also provides, however, that “[t]he federal officer shall inform the person to be arrested of the federal officer’s authority and reason for the arrest,” and that “[a] federal officer making an arrest under this section without unnecessary delay shall take the arrested person before a magistrate or deliver the arrested person to a peace officer.” (The statute also allows the federal officer to use the same physical force that a local or state officer would be allowed to use in effectuating the arrest.) In other words, federal law enforcement officers in Portland could have the legal authority to arrest individuals when they have probable cause for violations of federal or state law—but in the latter case, there are statutory notice and transfer requirements that, if media reports are accurate, are not being honored. But the Oregon statute also requires state certification that federal officers have received proper training before effectuating arrests under state law before such arrests can happen. Suffice it to say, it is hardly clear that any of the federal officers have received such certification here.
posted by away for regrooving at 12:22 AM on July 18 [11 favorites]


There are protests downtown right this minute. Sergio Olmos is there broadcasting! I will be going there soon 😎
posted by gucci mane at 12:35 AM on July 18 [11 favorites]


So where does authority of Border Patrol and Customs agents to apprehend random people for non border/immigration-related crimes come from?

Under Bush 2, ICE/Border Patrol were given extraordinary (and in my opinion unconstitutional) powers to detain people. These powers extend 200 miles from every US border. In the past, they've exercised these powers to detain and deport people they claimed to think were undocumented aliens, which included a large number of natural-born US citizens. They hold people without access to legal representation, in places they won't disclose to families, and deport many of them. They largely get away with this. Now, they are not even pretending there's a border/immigration issue. This is naked fascism, no two ways about it. The government apparently thinks they have enough of the court system sewed up that they won't be stopped. I hope to god they are wrong.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:42 AM on July 18 [17 favorites]


Why the fuck are politicians tweeting about this instead of showing up en masse to the offices of DHS, CBP and whatever other bastards inc. offices are in DC, pounding and kicking down doors, and demanding that this fascist behavior be stopped. Like why is it up to Trevor, the 23 year old food delivery bicyclist to stand up to this shit with his housemates while the elected "representatives" and "leaders" sit cozy and say "Oh, my!". Like get the fuck off social media and use your goddamn credentials to represent and lead.
posted by WeekendJen at 5:46 AM on July 18 [50 favorites]


I was following this thread depicting the number of guns being aimed at passers-by and the ratio of cops to protestors. It took...quite a turn:

And then? Naked Athena appeared and the little boys didn’t know what to do. [contains photos of a nude individual from behind, but this seemed to have an impact on the police]
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 6:39 AM on July 18 [32 favorites]


I understand this joke, but let's not forget: the rot is the entire Republican Party. They have enabled Trump for the past 4 years so they can get lower taxes for rich people and federal judges. Every single one of them is a traitor and should be arrested and tried for treason.

Would that be possible after Trump is out of office?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:42 AM on July 18


> I spoke with Robert Evans...

"Law enforcement is extremely lucrative and so you have a huge class of people in a lucrative industry who feel threatened and like they need to do violence to those who want to take the job away."

> "This isn't theater. This is a test run for a nationwide rollout of Trump's secret police."

> Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli on reports of federal officers detaining protesters in Portland, OR

@joshtpm: "Deputy Secretary of DHS Ken Cuccinelli tells NPR not only are they not stopping the Portland tactics they're going to take them nationwide."

@Noahpinion: "The real thing to watch out for, I think, is Trump trying to use these forces to provide 'election security' in key swing states..."

@Noahpinion: "Trump has a well-armed unaccountable paramilitary force at his command. Obviously all of these agencies -- ICE, CBP, BOP, DEA, ATF, etc. -- existed before, and sometimes acted with impunity. What has changed is now that all of the relevant agencies are acting as a single unified force."

Perspective: "all federal law enforcement, taken together, is about twice the size of the NYPD."
posted by kliuless at 7:11 AM on July 18 [12 favorites]


Photos [twitter image] of the some of the more aggressive Federal troops deployed to Portland show "SRT" shoulder patches.

The following is from a career guidance site ("careerprofiles.info"), but it presumably reflect's DHS' own public information and recruiting materials:


Special Response Team (SRT) is the "SWAT" (Special Weapons and Tactics) of Homeland Security Investigations. HSI currently has 17 SRTs operating in offices throughout the United States. SRTs are responsible for performing high-risk arrests and search warrants, providing VIP security detail and protection, supporting rural area operations, and providing sniper coverage. SRTs are currently operating in St. Paul, Phoenix (AZ), New Orleans, Houston, New York, Dallas, Detroit, San Juan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, El Paso, Tampa, Chicago, San Diego, Miami, and Washington, D.C. SRTs are typically reserved for high-risk operations but also assist in natural disasters domestically and internationally...

[C]andidates must be physically fit and pass a fitness exam, shoot 90% or better on multiple firearm tests, and pass a series of interviews. Eventually [trainees] are required to attend the SRT certification school located in Fort Benning, Georgia.


Fort Benning (named after Confederate General Henry Benning) is the current HQ of the Army Rangers, and location of Army Infantry School, as well as WHINSEC, f.k.a. the "School of the Americas."

Becoming an SRT member is exclusive and difficult. Of the roughly 6,500 Special Agents that work for HSI in the United States, only 250 are SRT members.


If that number is still accurate, trying to name them as defendants in civil rights suits might be worthwhile. Or in FOIA requests, which would surely be denied, but then could be sued upon.


SRTs within HSI often work closely with other federal and state law enforcement agencies when performing high-risk operations on a large scale. HSI SRTs train with the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team, the Army's Delta Force, and the Navy's Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). Through a strategic relationship with the U.S. Department of Defense's Special Operations Command, HSI SRTs have been given access to the latest combat gear and firearms designed and designated for U.S. Special Mission Units (SMUs) – elite special operations forces.


Unicorn Riot obtained some leaked SRT material last year. Their article calls out this bit in one of the manuals obtained:

"In some states HSI agents are also deputized as state peace officers. Also HSI agents may perform “citizen’s arrest” for matters outside ICE jurisdiction."
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:25 AM on July 18 [7 favorites]


"Law enforcement is extremely lucrative and so you have a huge class of people in a lucrative industry who feel threatened and like they need to do violence to those who want to take the job away."

According to Indeed, DHS HSI Special Agents make a little under $140K on average.

Border Patrol and Customs officers make less on average ($65-70K), although their security forces may be better paid.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:31 AM on July 18


"Law enforcement is extremely lucrative and so you have a huge class of people in a lucrative industry who feel threatened and like they need to do violence to those who want to take the job away."

There's a bit of a 'violent' story making the rounds in recent news that may be worthwhile to pay attention to, because the AP already checked it:
One video showed two people in helmets and green camouflage with “police” patches grabbing a person on the sidewalk, handcuffing them and taking them into an unmarked vehicle. “Who are you?” someone asks the pair, who do not respond. At least some of the federal officers belong to the Department of Homeland Security. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that its agents had information indicating the person in the video was suspected of assaulting federal agents or destroying federal property. “Once CBP agents approached the suspect, a large and violent mob moved towards their location. For everyone’s safety, CBP agents quickly moved the suspect to a safer location,” the agency said. However, the video shows no mob.
Emphasis added to help compare what appears to be missing in this report: Portland officials decry aggressive tactics of federal agents in their city (WaPo / Seattle Times reprint, Jul. 17, 2020)
One widely shared video showed two men in military garb on the street at night taking a young man wearing all black into custody. On the video, the two agents do not answer shouted questions before putting the man into an unmarked minivan and driving away. On Friday, Customs and Border Protection issued a statement taking responsibility for the apprehension and asserting its agents were wearing gear that identified them as CBP personnel. CBP agents went after that individual because they suspected he was involved in “assaults against federal agents or destruction of federal property,” the statement said. “Once CBP agents approached the suspect, a large and violent mob moved towards their location. For everyone’s safety, CBP agents quickly moved the suspect to a safer location for further questioning.” The agency said the CBP agents identified themselves and were wearing CBP insignia during the apprehension.
posted by katra at 7:50 AM on July 18 [7 favorites]


There's a really fast way to way to start challenging this shit in court. Have the State forces target and arrest a few of these assholes for impersonating police. You don't need to start a shooting match, just target the smallest group of them possible, arrest them under a trumped up charge. Make them prove their authority in court rather than just accepting it.
posted by benzenedream at 8:29 AM on July 18 [14 favorites]


Who's running this show? Ken Cuccinelli!

A man so skeevy even Republicans wouldn't confirm him.

Fomenting state violence to conform to the will of the fevered dreams of a man who thinks he can wish away a pandemic.

With no understanding how government works these clowns reach for the only object they recognize, a hammer.

This will be resolved and everybody knows the names of those people and institutions, government institutions! They MUST be held to account.
posted by Max Power at 8:39 AM on July 18 [4 favorites]


The NY Times' updated story on this is already significantly more critical and quotes local officials who are expressing optimism at being able to push back (including a criminal investigation into the shooting in the head of the protestor), as well as the growing array of lawsuits.

This is all terrible and shouldn't be happening at all, but at least at this moment it looks like the feds may have overreached badly. I guess they are looking tough to Trump which is the entire point, but yet again their incompetence is limiting the actual impact.

The silence/collusion from the militia/second amendment activists who posture and talk tough about resisting government tyranny isn't surprising, but it still makes me roll my eyes in disgust.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:50 AM on July 18 [4 favorites]


These powers extend 200 miles from every US border.

While everything in your comment is true and horrid, I would point out that Portland is more like 300 miles from the nearest border.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:17 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


While everything in your comment is true and horrid, I would point out that Portland is more like 300 miles from the nearest border.

Not from international waters.
posted by Gadarene at 9:18 AM on July 18 [18 favorites]


While everything in your comment is true and horrid, I would point out that Portland is more like 300 miles from the nearest border.

The coasts are considered borders. CBP can legally operate in most major U.S. cities.

The Border Zone
posted by Gaz Errant at 9:27 AM on July 18 [12 favorites]


Is this being treated as a national news story in the US or merely as a regional one? Where's it ranking in the running order for people like CNN and the national networks' news broadcasts? I'm just wondering to what extent the whole country is being made aware of what's being done in their name here.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:37 AM on July 18 [2 favorites]


The coasts are considered borders. CBP can legally operate in most major U.S. cities.

I seem to recall the same claim being made for a 100mi radius of an international airport (or international seaport, including those on navigable rivers, like Portland's) but maybe that was rejected or abandoned.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:42 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I've been seeing this spreadsheet of local journalists accepting donations on some Twitter threads. It seems pretty comprehensive and includes several of the names I see in the comments here.
posted by DavidHogue at 9:45 AM on July 18 [4 favorites]


Is this being treated as a national news story in the US or merely as a regional one?

The Guardian has written about it, NPR has reported on it, it's on my Google News page. I don't know how much traction the story is getting or what kind of legs it's going to have, but right now it's been pretty widely reported.
posted by hippybear at 9:48 AM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Where's it ranking in the running order for people like CNN and the national networks' news broadcasts?

It was first on All In with Chris Hayes (MSNBC) last night.
posted by bink at 9:49 AM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Andy Ngo, being the fascist piece of shit that he is has already started helping white supremacists by doxing all the arrestees.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:53 AM on July 18 [4 favorites]


US attorney requests DHS investigation after video shows masked, camouflaged federal authorities arresting protesters in Portland (CNN)
"Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters," tweeted US Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat representing Oregon. Merkley also tweeted one video of such an arrest showing two masked, camouflaged individuals with generic "police" patches, detain a person dressed in a black outfit and place them in an unmarked van before driving away.
Several protesters arrested in Portland after police say they blocked buildings and threw projectiles (CNN)
Several demonstrators were arrested in Oregon's largest city early Saturday following another in a series of downtown protests, with Portland authorities alleging suspects blocked exits of government buildings and launched fireworks and projectiles. [...] The protest started with about 200 people blocking traffic outside the county justice center. But some took metal fencing from nearby parks and used them to barricade exterior doors of the justice center and a federal courthouse, Portland police said. Eventually federal officers -- who have been protecting the federal courthouse -- were firing tear gas, Portland police said on Twitter. And around 12:30 a.m. PT (3:30 a.m. ET), protesters were "shooting commercial grade fireworks and smoke bombs towards the (county) justice center" across the street from the federal courthouse, Portland police said. A reporter with CNN affiliate KOIN, wearing a gas mask, said protesters largely remained "despite the release of a massive cloud of gas and smoke." KOIN video showed plumes of smoke, though it wasn't clear who deployed it.

Around 1:30 a.m., city police declared an unlawful assembly and told demonstrators to leave, police said. Police said they moved in to disperse the crowd and arrested several people who didn't leave. Officers faced "projectiles such as glass bottles, rocks and broken pieces of metal from fencing," police said. By 2:10 a.m., several hundred people returned to the area, and Portland police again dispersed them, arresting several more, authorities said. Police said they confiscated weapons and shields from some demonstrators. Police released a photo showing some of the items -- what appeared to be swords and chest armor. Portland police said they did not use tear gas.
Anonymous security forcing citizens into cars is mark of dictatorship (Frida Ghitis, CNN Opinion)
How far will President Donald Trump go to win re-election? We will only know the answer in November -- perhaps later -- but for a look at the more sinister aspects of his campaign, take a look at what is happening in Portland, Oregon, and pair it with the overarching theme of Trump's campaign ads, now trying to paint America as a raging inferno of anarchist mayhem.
posted by katra at 10:13 AM on July 18 [11 favorites]


"Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters," tweeted US Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat representing Oregon. Merkley also tweeted one video of such an arrest showing two masked, camouflaged individuals with generic "police" patches, detain a person dressed in a black outfit and place them in an unmarked van before driving away.

This isn't new. You may remember way back in ancient history in early 2017 when Los Angeles demanded that ICE agents stop using POLICE patches when invading immigrant homes.

On April 6, 2017, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 2073 to amend section 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit ICE agents and officers from wearing clothing or other items bearing the word “police.”

You can imagine exactly how far that amendment went in a Republican congress.
posted by JackFlash at 10:36 AM on July 18 [8 favorites]


Protesters in Portland, Oregon, clash with police, federal officers during chaotic night (NBC News)
The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday also filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Portland that seeks to prevent federal agents from "arresting, threatening to arrest or using physical force directed against any person whom they know or reasonably should know is a Journalist or Legal Observer."

"Under the direction of the Trump administration, federal agents are terrorizing the community, risking lives, and brutally attacking protesters demonstrating against police brutality," Kelly Simon, interim legal director with the ACLU of Oregon, said in a statement. [...] "Get your DHS lackey and uninvited paramilitary actions out of my state," Merkley, D-Ore., tweeted at President Donald Trump. "Our communities are not a stage for your twisted re-election campaign."

[...] A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson told NBC News that Border Patrol agents, who fall under DHS, have been in Portland to protect federal facilities as part of Trump's recent executive order that punishes the vandalism of federal monuments and government property. The agency, however, said it does not give out specific details on the individuals deployed because it could jeopardize operational security.
Protesters hit with gas as locals demand feds leave Portland (AP)
Militarized federal agents deployed by the president to Portland, Oregon, fired tear gas against protesters again overnight as the city’s mayor demanded that the agents be removed and as the state’s attorney general vowed to seek a restraining order against them. [...]

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum also sued Homeland Security and the Marshals Service in federal court Friday night. The complaint alleges that unidentified federal agents have grabbed people off Portland’s streets “without warning or explanation, without a warrant, and without providing any way to determine who is directing this action.” Rosenblum said she was seeking a temporary restraining order to “immediately stop federal authorities from unlawfully detaining Oregonians.”
posted by katra at 11:16 AM on July 18 [6 favorites]


Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who is a very influential and popular member of the city council, has released a statement asking Mayor Ted Wheeler for control over the Portland Police Bureau. Our setup here is a bit strange, as the Mayor is our police commissioner.
posted by gucci mane at 12:18 PM on July 18 [18 favorites]


The coasts are considered borders

Holy shit TIL. I genuinely thought the border began at the International Waters Line for some reason, which now that I think about it makes no sense.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:12 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Twitter thread: Who is Chad Wolf?

What happens when someone injures one of these unidentified troops in self-defense?

At the very least, if there's any paperwork/booking involved, I'd think we would find out who their operating authority is.
posted by rhizome at 1:14 PM on July 18 [5 favorites]


The coasts are considered borders

Holy shit TIL. I genuinely thought the border began at the International Waters Line for some reason, which now that I think about it makes no sense.


Territorial waters end 12 nautical miles offshore. It's the claimed EEZ that extends further. Portland is well under 100mi from the coast.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:46 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Is this being treated as a national news story in the US or merely as a regional one?

The New York Times ran the story in the rightmost column on the front page, traditionally the spot given to the most important story of the day.
posted by thecaddy at 1:49 PM on July 18 [7 favorites]


The thing about Kristallnacht, is that it was widely criticized at the time. 30,000 Jews arrested, conservatively 91 killed. While few shed tears for the Jews, many even within Germany felt this to be a dramatic over reach by the National Socialist party and a threat to German democracy. More importantly, even if it wasn’t ok, it consciously or unconsciously changed the citizenry’s expectation of what the government was capable of and could be expected to do. Because people are inherently biased toward explanations that maintain the status quo, this kind of thing was widely tolerated even if you weren’t one of the people who celebrated it.

Expressions of disapproval from local leaders or court decisions weeks after the fact have no impact on whether this sort of thing continues or escalates. It’s all about who defines the “new normal.” It’s not enough to roll over and say, “yeah, that’s bad” and write a check to Biden or the ACLU. If history is a guide, what (might) make a difference is local police willing to turn and fire on federal agents in order to protect their jurisdiction. Courts not ruling that such and such is unconstitutional, but actually putting those individuals who gave the orders in jail. I have some, but not much, hope that the people in these positions will have the courage to act.

It would also help if countries that actually endured fascism would weigh in , like Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Cambodia, Uganda, etc, if they don’t then I have to assume this isn’t the same level and wverythings fine. I mean, I have no idea, I’ve neve lived through fascism before.

But, IMO, this seems like a terrible development.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:19 PM on July 18 [38 favorites]


Feds, right-wing media paint Portland as ‘city under siege.’ A tour of town shows otherwise:
Those events are hardly representative of daily life, including peaceful anti-racism demonstrations that have drawn tens of thousands of protesters, in a city of 650,000 people that encompasses 145 square miles.

The vast majority of Portland residents spend quiet home-bound lives on hushed tree-lined streets with coronavirus and its resulting economic catastrophe as the greatest threat to their well-being.
posted by chrchr at 2:41 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


...for now.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:27 PM on July 18


AND the NYT chimes in with an off-kilter reading. Federal Officers Deployed in Portland Didn't Have Proper Training, D.H.S. Memo Said.
posted by Peach at 3:41 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]



Is this being treated as a national news story in the US or merely as a regional one?


I don't read the papers here in Los Angeles. People were out on the street in Silverlake yesterday protesting police violence. I thought "I haven't seen that in awhile" My sense is that the story "landed" here Thursday.
posted by goalyeehah at 4:23 PM on July 18


That wasn't the Times' first story on it. Their earliest focus on this was in yesterday's story Federal Agents Unleash Militarized Crackdown on Portland

When I posted last night about this on FB others said they were seeing it on CNN. One of my older relatives posted a story from USA Today. So at this point it's made a national impact.
posted by Miko at 5:42 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Feds, right-wing media paint Portland as ‘city under siege.’ A tour of town shows otherwise:
Those events are hardly representative of daily life.


Things can be both momentous and not easily noticed. I was in Barcelona during the Catalan separatist uprising, and unless you were in certain parts of the city, you'd never have known it was happening.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:03 PM on July 18 [13 favorites]


Expressions of disapproval from local leaders or court decisions weeks after the fact

These are hard times and it does feel like we are standing on a steep cliff engineered by Trump. But Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she was seeking a temporary restraining order to “immediately stop federal authorities from unlawfully detaining Oregonians,” and pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this can be issued without notice to the opposing party, (FRCP 65. Injunctions and Restraining Orders), so hopefully we will see what happens in court this coming week. If history is a guide, there is no need to give up on our democracy, and I reject your call for violence.
posted by katra at 6:11 PM on July 18 [9 favorites]


...unless you were in certain parts of the city, you'd never have known it was happening.

The media is a resource that can be captured and controlled by any organization, popularly elected government, or group of individuals who pretend to control other people.

What’s going on in Portland is an important story. It’s a substantial escalation of a story that started with the 8 minutes of graphic close up footage of the murder of a black man who whimpered that he couldn’t breathe and called for his mama throughout. The story continued with riots in Minneapolis (recall Philando Castile was killed in broad daylight while a police camera was rolling, on video Castile was complying *fully* with the officer, all while his partner and small child were next to him, their reactions also captured in graphic detail —- the officer that did this was acquitted), which led to the 4 officers involved with Floyd’s murder getting arrested and charged with murder. Previously they were *free*. Continuing to collect a police paycheck.

The next chapter in the story was a national discussion of whether to defund police departments and whether we could do something more effective with the money and what the hell are our police departments doing anyway? And a discussion among white people in every school, place of business, or social organization that at least paid lip service to individual responsibility for the social problem of racism.

And people in Seattle hit the streets hard, running into tear gas and explosives that the mayor promised wouldn’t be used. Also, a cop’s brother plowed his car into an intersection filled with protestors after which he jumped from his car, ran away from protestors (he shot one of them as he ran) into the embracing arms of the Seattle Police Department. Protestors here immediately took over the police precinct closest to the protest, they also broke *into* Seattle City Hall that night and peacefully assembled with city council officials with speeches and applause. The CHAZ had begun.

This isn’t to even mention Breonna Taylor, Charlottesville, Trayvon or any other many graphic portrayals of moral injustice we’ve been presented with at escalating, near constant, frequency.

The government has now, in light of how mass protestors are behaving and controlling the narrative, deployed unidentifiable storm troopers in the middle of the night. (Where did the government get all those uniforms, weapons, and unmarked cars anyway? How long have they been planning for this? And what else are they planning?)

This is a story worth amplifying so every individual person in this country can decide how they want to respond.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:50 PM on July 18 [41 favorites]


Slarty Bartfast: For the vans, at least, apparently they rented them from Enterprise.
posted by ChrisR at 7:32 PM on July 18 [4 favorites]


Time to cancel Enterprise. They are facilitating the stormtroopers. I look forward to seeing Ivanka modeling an Enterprise keychain in the Oval Office.
posted by JackFlash at 7:40 PM on July 18 [6 favorites]


[Several deleted, based on an angry argument that spun up from a misreading of a comment. katra and homo neanderthalensis, please take a break from this thread.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:41 PM on July 18


Here's how to reach Ted Wheeler to support Jo Ann Hardesty's request.
posted by aniola at 8:18 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


[Several comments removed. Short summary: katra misunderstood something Slarty said; Homo neanderthalensis flagged that (fine), and then went on a storm of pretty crappy responses to it instead of letting a mod react (which took 90 seconds), kept going after mod note, got temp banned to stop the storm of comments. EM wrote to H.n. about that and was clear that she'd be okay lifting that ban ASAP if the storm of comments and ignoring mod notes was gonna stop.

There needs to be a way for people to actually engage with the mods in a meaningful way on the site with the tools we have; going offsite and brigading people to come over here and make a thing of it instead is shitty and needs to not happen. Everybody, I need you to cut it out now and let this deescelate and talk about it over the contact form if you need to. H.n. can write back to us and talk it out, this isn't an acceptable approach.]

posted by cortex (staff) at 10:21 PM on July 18 [11 favorites]


This story is absolutely monumental and I think it will be a pivotal event in our civil rights story. Still, the protests do not effect the vast majority of us living in Portland. This is an important point because administration officials claim that our city is a war zone under siege by a violent mob and that the federal police are necessary to restore order. That is a lie.

The truth is that Portlanders are safe and have no need of these federal police. Our neighbors who are exercising their right to protest pose no threat to us.
posted by chrchr at 11:08 PM on July 18 [26 favorites]


There’s a lot going on tonight, I’m following Lindsey Smith for updates! May go down there, but am attempting to have an off night currently. We’ll see!
posted by gucci mane at 11:30 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


This is quite a striking scene of a man being beaten and pepper sprayed by federal police and just taking it in stride.
posted by gucci mane at 11:43 PM on July 18 [10 favorites]


[One deleted. If you have a question about moderation, please contact us. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:50 PM on July 18


Lindsey Smith is reporting via Twitter on a protest consisting of around 350 people. They've already been gassed and driven back once from some federal building.
posted by ChrisR at 11:52 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Are the local police in Portland cooperating with the federal goons?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:00 AM on July 19


Also chiming in to say that most of the town is just fine and safe. I took a walk through downtown this afternoon and it was a nice summer day. People were out on bikes, Saturday market was open and there was a booth selling sweet plague masks, Voodoo Doughnut had a line out the door, children were literally blowing bubbles on street corners. Much of the graffiti on neighboring walls had been power washed, but not the federal building. There were some fences around the park. Near the Apple store someone was in front of the murals with a megaphone saying "I can't breath" Someone else was selling BLM t-shirts on another corner.
posted by DavidHogue at 12:00 AM on July 19 [7 favorites]


Zolan Kanno-Youngs in the NYT: Were the Actions of Federal Agents in Portland Legal?

The article is very much worth reading, but it boils down to: the Federal Government has a legal-ish argument based on the post-September 11th legislation. It reminds me of those deck-building card games where one card potentiates another, which does the same for some more:
[...] officials in Washington said they had clear authority. Customs and Border Protection, which sent tactical border agents to Portland, cited 40 U.S. Code 1315, which under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 gives the department’s secretary the power to deputize other federal agents to assist the Federal Protective Service in protecting federal property, such as the courthouse in Portland.

Those agents can carry firearms, arrest those accused of committing a crime without a warrant and conduct investigations “on and off the property in question.”
Please don't bother pointing out that the officers involved were not actually conducting an investigation and in many cases had no probable cause that a (constitutional) Federal law had been broken. Legal-ish, I said: enough for their boosters to use as a defense; not so much that it would necessarily stand up to scrutiny in a court.

Via Dan Nexon of Lawyers, Guns, & Money
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:15 AM on July 19 [8 favorites]


Luck Dragon: According to the Oregonian/Oregon Live, PPB officers are assisting federal agents, despite denials by the Portland Police Chief of any such policy. Federal agents are co-ordinating efforts through a Portland Police command post.

So either the police chief is lying to the public, or there's a serious crisis of civilian command over the PPB. Or both.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 12:20 AM on July 19 [7 favorites]


One suggestion I have seen is to disband the police entirely and rehire a new police department, with new regulations and standards for hiring (clean records, college degrees, etc.).

Starting over sounds extreme, but if police unions or boards or whatever see Americans as a threat to their job security, they have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with public safety and they need to be removed from any further influence on policing, to protect Americans from further violence.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:00 AM on July 19 [17 favorites]


Slarty Bartfast: It would also help if countries that actually endured fascism would weigh in , like Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Cambodia, Uganda, etc, if they don’t then I have to assume this isn’t the same level and wverythings fine. I mean, I have no idea, I’ve neve lived through fascism before.

For the past 4 years or so we've been shouting DO YOU EVEN KNOW ABOUT WEIMAR GERMANY but somehow the Democratic Party is still doing nothing well after the racial profiling, internment camps and now secret state police desapareciendo people in the purest style of Pinochet or the Argentina's Junta. So, well. We can't do anything from outside except growing stomach ulcers because we see that next November is going to be a shitshow and honestly sooner or later you should be warming up to the idea of demanding international observers to the election.
posted by sukeban at 1:10 AM on July 19 [27 favorites]


The Trump administration chose Portland for this because of the notorious and deep connections between the Patriot Prayer movement and the Portland PD.
posted by jamjam at 1:13 AM on July 19 [9 favorites]


It would also help if countries that actually endured fascism would weigh in , like Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Cambodia, Uganda, etc, if they don’t then I have to assume this isn’t the same level and wverythings fine. I mean, I have no idea, I’ve never lived through fascism before.

Ahem. When I was very young, I didn't want to go to America because what I was seeing on TV looked pretty damn fascist to me. Hitler found inspiration in The Trail of Tears (and the British concentration camps in South Africa, and the Armenian genocide). I've mentioned before here on the blue how it was a huge surprise when I finally went, how much the US and the East Block had in common. The insane bureaucracy, the sub-standard infrastructure, the low prices for food and the weird products, the poverty, the omnipresent armed police.

Also, I came to love America. People are so sweet, it's incredible. There is an amazing energy.

I think that because Americans invented modern democracy, they think they are immune to its diseases, and fascism is a disease of democracy.

Spain was fascist when I was a kid, and while my family went there often, I noped out after one visit. (I've been there dozens of times since). But the thing is, if you are middle class, fascism can be just fine. Fascism offers the middle class relative wealth and stability. A middle class person in Franco's Spain was not as wealthy as a person with the same education and employment in Germany at the same time, but they would be able to afford a bigger house, and a maid. There was police everywhere, but mister middle class knew that they were there to keep the proles down, not him.

I don't think the USA is fascist yet. A lot depends on the November elections. I do think it is fair to worry and wise to fight the good fight.
posted by mumimor at 1:57 AM on July 19 [48 favorites]


Just to underline that I am moderately optimistic: the polls show far most Americans disapproving of Trump. Americans in general are not fascist.
posted by mumimor at 2:02 AM on July 19 [8 favorites]


mumimor: We have an expression, "estómagos agradecidos" ("grateful bellies") for those who were totally fine with Francoism because they benefited from political/business connections or civil service posts from the regime.
posted by sukeban at 3:58 AM on July 19 [26 favorites]


Am I Act 2 of Hamilton because JFC looking at the mod notes what did I miss?

There was police everywhere, but mister middle class knew that they were there to keep the proles down, not him.

A lot of the proletariat support it because they think they're temporarily embarrassed middle class.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:16 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]


We're not on the slippery slope any more. If this use of Federal LEOs goes unchecked, we've fallen off the cliff, and are living in a fascist police state. Now picture Mussolini or Hitler as commander-in-chief of 2020's American military. Numerous people have been warning us about this for over a decade, but most people were "oh, it's not that bad." It was that bad. It is that bad.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:18 AM on July 19 [7 favorites]


A lot of folks have been using the word "disappeared", some referring specifically to Argentina's police abuses in the 70s and 80s. I want to be precise for a moment about what's happening though. Folks are being snatched from the streets and held in detention without probable cause. It's awful. But has anyone in the Portland protests actually disappeared permanently yet or for more than a few hours? Every case I've read the victim has been released again in a few hours.

I'm not trying to downplay the awful fascism on display in Portland. And ICE has "lost" people in the past at the border, including children; "disappearance" is in their playbook. I'm just trying to understand how bad it is right now. (One thing is for certain with Trump, it's going to keep getting worse.)
posted by Nelson at 6:59 AM on July 19 [18 favorites]


A lot of folks have been using the word "disappeared", some referring specifically to Argentina's police abuses in the 70s and 80s. I want to be precise for a moment about what's happening though. Folks are being snatched from the streets and held in detention without probable cause. It's awful. But has anyone in the Portland protests actually disappeared permanently yet or for more than a few hours? Every case I've read the victim has been released again in a few hours.

Yes, this is correct. The direct comparisons are not accurate, in that people are not being "disappeared" in the guerra sucia sense (i.e., systematically taken, tortured, and killed or imprisoned). This sure looks like a step along that path (especially with alt-right activists selling and wearing t-shirts that refer to "free helicopter rides" and similar direct references to the repression in Argentina), but bad as things are, we aren't there yet.

So I think that warnings that this is indeed a slippery slope are correct and appropriate, but there needs to be awareness that we are not currently in (or even all that close to) the level of terribleness that, say, Argentina experienced in the 70s and 80s. It's a warning of where we could go, not a one-to-one comparison of where we currently are.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:18 AM on July 19 [15 favorites]


Oregon attorney general sues federal agencies for allegedly violating protesters’ civil rights (WaPo / ADN reprint)
The Oregon attorney general filed a lawsuit late Friday night alleging that the federal government had violated Oregonians’ civil rights by seizing and detaining them without probable cause during protests against police brutality in the past week. [...] The federal government is “overstepping their powers and injuring or threatening peaceful protesters on the streets of Downtown Portland,” according to a release from the Oregon Department of Justice Friday. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit [pdf] that accused several agencies of unlawful law enforcement, including the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Federal Protection Service. “John Does 1-10” are also named as defendants because “they have made it impossible for them to be individually identified by carrying out law enforcement actions without wearing any identifying information, even so much as the agency that employs them,” the complaint says. Rosenblum said her department was also seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent federal authorities from unlawfully detaining Oregon residents. That comes after Mark Pettibone, 29, was detained by several men in green military fatigues and generic “police” patches on their clothing as he walked home from a protest early Wednesday morning.

[...] The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon has also filed suit [pdf] against DHS and the U.S. Marshals Service. The lawsuit seeks to block federal law enforcement from dispersing, arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force against journalists or legal observers, the organization said. On Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) issued a joint statement drawing on the Portland protests, the crackdown in June by the White House on peaceful gatherings in the District and the death of fellow congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis. “We are again reminded of the immense power of peaceful protest in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality,” the statement read. “Yet time and time again, the Trump Administration shows its lack of respect for the dignity and First Amendment rights of all Americans … We will not tolerate the use of Oregonians, Washingtonians — or any other Americans — as props in President Trump’s political games.”
posted by katra at 7:46 AM on July 19 [11 favorites]


Saw a very strange argument with a bloke on twitter who was claiming that no one could call this "secret police action" because we know that it's happening. He was extremely stuck on the idea of secret police being a literal secret.

Just sharing for some brief if extremely head-desky levity. This whole situation is terrifying and enraging, and much solidarity to everyone on the ground.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 7:57 AM on July 19 [4 favorites]


Can Law Enforcement Officers Refuse to Identify Themselves?, Lawfare, Rachel Brown & Coleman Saunders; June 12, 2020 [wrt previous deployment of unidentified LEOs in Washington, DC and other cities]:
...Broadly speaking, law enforcement officers do not have a legal duty to disclose either their identities or their agencies of affiliation, even if asked directly. Certain municipalities require police officers to identify themselves if asked, but there is currently no federal statute requiring officer disclosure of such information. Generally, federal law enforcement conduct is guided by the internal regulations of the particular law enforcement agency for whom the officers work—or, when federal officials are not involved, the regulations of local police departments.

...there is no absolute requirement that law enforcement officers identify themselves prior to conducting a search or seizure. Instead, a failure to do so bears on the [legal] reasonableness of the officers’ overall behaviors...
More details and discussion in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 8:29 AM on July 19 [3 favorites]


Can Law Enforcement Officers Refuse to Identify Themselves?, Lawfare, Rachel Brown & Coleman Saunders; June 12, 2020 [wrt previous deployment of unidentified LEOs in Washington, DC and other cities]:
In certain circumstances, including the recent protests, there is also a genuine risk that militarized civilians dressed similarly to militarized law enforcement officers may also be operating on the scene. In such circumstances, peaceful protestors may not know who is actually law enforcement unless those officers clearly identify themselves. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how other circuits or the Supreme Court would interpret the present scenario. Moreover, the lack of reasonableness in officers failing to identify themselves may be heightened in the context of the current protests, because the protestors are unlikely to flee or be armed and thus cause the type of threat where such a tactic would be necessary.

[...] The Justice Department has also previously played an important role in making sure that police departments meet accountability standards for displaying identifying information. [...] A Justice Department letter sent to Ferguson police explained that “[o]fficers wearing name plates while in uniform is a basic component of transparency and accountability. … Allowing officers to remain anonymous when they interact with the public contributes to mistrust and undermines accountability. The failure to wear name plates conveys a message to community members that, through anonymity, officers may seek to act with impunity.” Requirements that officers introduce themselves by name and rank as soon as practicable during investigatory and noncustodial stops was also part of the consent decree between the City of Ferguson and the Department of Justice, which was entered into in March 2016 in the wake of the Justice Department’s investigation.
posted by katra at 9:14 AM on July 19 [5 favorites]


Time for the NFL Jersey Law Enforcement Reform Act of 2021.. All officers should be uniquely identifiable for accountability. Jail time for people like Barr who send in the brownshirts knowingly should be a consequence of non-compliance.
posted by benzenedream at 9:40 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]


Oregon Attorney General sues DHS amid reports of unlawful detainment of Portland protesters (NBC News)
The suit also claims that law enforcement violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendment by seizing people without a warrant and denying them due process of law. [...] “Ordinarily, a person exercising his right to walk through the streets of Portland who is confronted by anonymous men in military-type fatigues and ordered into an unmarked van can reasonably assume that he is being kidnapped and is the victim of a crime," Rosenblum's lawsuit states. [...] “DHS and DOJ are engaged in acts that are horrific and outrageous in our constitutional democratic republic,” Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said in a statement Friday. "First, they are deploying paramilitary forces with no identification indicating who they are or who they work for. Second, these agents are snatching people off the street with no underlying justification. Both of these acts are profound offenses against Americans," Merkley continued, demanding that the officers be removed.
Fires set, fences moved: Police call Portland protest a riot (AP)
In a statement Saturday, Portland Police said as they responded to the overnight protests — which included people throwing projectiles at them — some federal agencies took action “under their own supervision and direction.” Portland Police said city officers arrested seven people, and one officer sustained a minor injury. The statement said the city’s police supports peaceful protests, and beginning Saturday night Department of Homeland Security police wouldn’t work in the Portland Police incident command center.
Portland: protesters' outrage grows over federal officers' 'blatant abuse' (Guardian)
On Saturday night, police said protesters broke into the Portland Police Association building, set it on fire and started dumpster fires. The department declared a riot and teargas was used, according to pictures and video from the scene. In a video posted by Zane Sparling, a reporter for the Portland Tribune, a federal officer appeared to be repeatedly hitting with a baton a man standing virtually still.

[...] Juniper Simonis said the presence of such officers and their own experience meant: “We can talk about defunding the police, but it’s more than that. We need to defund Ice [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], we need to demilitarize our border. There’s so much that’s wrapped up in this.”
posted by katra at 9:59 AM on July 19 [5 favorites]


And should you wonder if this might make fine American patriots raise a questioning finger and go "Uh...!" at this series of kidnappings, the ranting from the usual sources are clear. They are propagating the message that the "endless rioting" in these cities is 100% Antifa-driven, who are violent, racist, Marxist and fascist terrorists, and they and anyone allied with them are fair targets for this "legitimate law enforcement" that Democrats refuse to provide.

And not just the usual dingbats like Andy Ngô and Dan Bongino, to whom I will not link but are merrily frothing away; these are more and more the mainstream right-wing talking points on the issue.

So if there are people in your life to whom you can pass on a less batshit explanation about who are protesting, and why, and who are cracking down on them with unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping and violence... a little deprogramming never hurts.
posted by delfin at 10:43 AM on July 19 [5 favorites]


So if there are people in your life to whom you can pass on a less batshit explanation about who are protesting, and why, and who are cracking down on them with unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping and violence... a little deprogramming never hurts.

There's actually social science research that seems to support such efforts. Based on my own experience, I suggest being very careful about trying to do such a thing on an empty stomach or after a long day. It can be much more difficult to clearly communicate without attention to self care.
posted by katra at 11:04 AM on July 19 [7 favorites]


katra (quoting Lawfare) > In certain circumstances, including the recent [Washington, DC] protests, there is also a genuine risk that militarized civilians dressed similarly to militarized law enforcement officers may also be operating on the scene. In such circumstances, peaceful protestors may not know who is actually law enforcement unless those officers clearly identify themselves.

In a live situation, bona fide law enforcement officers can also be fooled. Armed man at Black Lives Matter protest charged with impersonating officer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, David Ferrara, 6/12/2020:
[Photos of suspect among Las Vegas police during protest, 5/30/2020]

A formidably armed man with a Nazi tattoo who tried to march alongside police at a Black Lives Matter protest in Las Vegas is facing a charge of impersonating a federal officer.

Zachary Sanns was spotted at a rally that moved along Fremont and Seventh streets late last month, wearing plain clothes, a tactical vest, a ballistic helmet and night-vision goggles, according to a federal complaint filed this week. Sanns, who faces one count of false impersonation of an officer or employee of the United States, had driven to the protest in a black Chevy Tahoe with blue lights in the grill activated...

...he walked up behind a line of officers known as the “skirmish line,” or a barrier between protesters and a command post, the court papers filed Wednesday said. He carried an AR-15 rifle with a holographic sight and a magnifier, “similar to how law enforcement and military carry their rifles when not in use but can be quickly accessed,”...
“The manner in which this subject was dressed is nearly identical to how a plainclothes local and federal law enforcement officer would be in this situation.”
posted by cenoxo at 12:00 PM on July 19 [12 favorites]


Schrödinger's cop?
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:58 PM on July 19 [5 favorites]


Unfortunately, our local police are already concealing their identities, with support from police leadership. The justification for this is the fear that antifa will dox them and threaten their families.

Police Leaders Say Portland Officers Can Cover Nametags At Protests
[Former police chief] Resch made the decision after officers were allegedly “doxxed,” the term for when personal information, such as home addresses or cellphone numbers, is discovered and released online.
The officers are wearing numbers on their badges and helmets, but the numbers can only be used to identify the officers by the department:

For Portland police to provide the name of an officer at protests, you have to give them the officer’s name first

I am not an expert, but this seems bad.
posted by chrchr at 1:00 PM on July 19 [7 favorites]


This absolute fucking unit of a vet gets beaten on by a CBP fuck, then pepper sprayed and the vet remains standing.

On the way out he gives the fuckers the middle finger.

I wish I had even 1% of the tenacity that he did.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:57 PM on July 19 [14 favorites]


It makes me so happy to watch them back up because they know even 5v1 those CBP guys are coming out second best.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:59 PM on July 19 [5 favorites]


Can we stop using the word "antifa"? The mindset of these people is antifascist, and using antifa only buys into the branding of them as a unified group that the Right wants to use as a label. They are antifascists, and it won't hurt your fingers to type the entire word out. Thanks.
posted by hippybear at 2:07 PM on July 19 [26 favorites]


I mean, I guess I get your point, but asking people to stop using the word antifa is a bit ridiculous. Antifa isn't some central organization, but even individually independently operating coalitions of antifascists refer to themselves (ourselves) as antifa. It's not a bad word, despite the fascist's attempt to make it one. It's a sort of King Holding Back The Tide request to suggest that MeFites stop using the word, and the condescension in the "it won't hurt your fingers" is unnecessary.

Proud to be antifa.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:28 PM on July 19 [22 favorites]


Six months ago, loudmouths on the right were mostly calling leftists effeminate and gay (well, slurs to that effect). Now they're mythologizing us into an army of antifa super-soldiers bent on destruction. It's fucking hilarious.

Antifa branding is cool as hell.
posted by ryanrs at 2:35 PM on July 19 [12 favorites]


Portland protester describes beating by federal officers
Christopher David is not the man of steel.

The Portlander earned that and other nicknames — some call him "Captain Planet" or "Supersoldier" — after he stood as solidly as a rock while federal officers pepper sprayed him and struck him at least five times with a baton during a rally outside the Hatfield Courthouse on Saturday, July 18.

Of the attack, captured on video by the Portland Tribune, David says he "just took it."

"I knew I was never going to react. I was never going to fight back," he said. "I'm a little too old to be beaten by a bunch of young guys."

David, 53, is hardly an anti-establishment type. He says he joined up at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland after high school, later becoming a commissioned officer and aeronautical engineer — better known as the Navy Seabees.
They fractured his hand and he’s going to require surgery.
posted by gucci mane at 2:39 PM on July 19 [27 favorites]


Donavan La Bella making ‘remarkable’ recovery from head injury after being shot by feds, sister says
Donavan La Bella remained hospitalized on Sunday with head injuries he suffered one week ago after he was shot by a federal law enforcement officer.

La Bella, 26, is being treated at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, where his sister, Stephanie Thornton, said Sunday that her brother has made remarkable improvement given the extent of his injuries. She said her brother gets “really bad headaches” but continues to recuperate.
Good news here though!
posted by gucci mane at 2:42 PM on July 19 [12 favorites]


I see that I'm not the only one worried that these guys could be used to suppress the vote.
We could end up seeing armed private contractors hired by the RNC and affiliated conservative organizations to intimidate Democratic-leaning voters, bolstered by camouflage-wearing taxpayer-funded rifle-toting border patrol agents aggressively checking papers of every voter in line in the guise of “securing against voter fraud” on the president’s orders.
Also in the link is discussion of a consent decree that enjoined Republicans from harassing minority voters. A judge allowed that decree to expire last year.
Clark, the Trump campaign lawyer, told the group of Republicans at the private meeting last November that the end of the consent decree was “a huge, huge, huge, huge deal,” freeing the RNC to directly coordinate with campaigns and political committees on so-called Election Day operations.
Expect the worst.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:45 PM on July 19 [9 favorites]


Six months ago, loudmouths on the right were mostly calling leftists effeminate and gay (well, slurs to that effect). Now they're mythologizing us into an army of antifa super-soldiers bent on destruction. It's fucking hilarious.

No, it's the modern American fascist movement turning us into the new mythical enemy who must always be feared lest we destroy them but is also always on the brink of defeat because of their inherent superiority.

It's not hilarious. It's terrifying.
posted by Scattercat at 2:51 PM on July 19 [8 favorites]


it's the modern American fascist movement turning us into the new mythical enemy who must always be feared lest we destroy them

are we not?
posted by ryanrs at 3:03 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]


Leaked Documents Show Police Knew Far-Right Extremists Were the Real Threat at Protests, Not "Antifa" (The Intercept, July 15, 2020) As protests against police violence spread to every state in the U.S. and dramatic images flooded in from cities across the country, President Donald Trump and his attorney general spun an ominous story of opportunistic leftists exploiting a national trauma to sow chaos and disorder. They were the anti-fascists known as “antifa,” and according to the administration they were domestic terrorists who would be policed accordingly. But while the White House beat the drum for a crackdown on a leaderless movement on the left, law enforcement offices across the country were sharing detailed reports of far-right extremists seeking to attack the protesters and police during the country’s historic demonstrations, a trove of newly leaked documents reveals.

Among the steady stream of threats from the far-right were repeated encounters between law enforcement and heavily armed adherents of the so-called boogaloo movement, which welcomes armed confrontation with cops as means to trigger civil war. With much of the U.S. policing apparatus on the hunt for antifa instigators, those violent aspirations appear to have materialized in a string of targeted attacks in California that left a federal protective services officer and a sheriff’s deputy dead and several other law enforcement officials wounded. The cache of law enforcement materials was recently hacked and posted online under the title “BlueLeaks,” providing an unprecedented look at the communications between state, local, and federal law enforcement in the face of the nationwide protests.

posted by Iris Gambol at 3:18 PM on July 19 [9 favorites]


ACTING Secretary. DHS hasn't had an actual secretary for 15 months.

This bullshit is another one of those broken norms that should be laws. They should do something like require a replacement within three months at most and if not the #2 takes the top spot after Senate confirmation.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:26 PM on July 19 [6 favorites]




It's good to have hobbies.
posted by delfin at 8:18 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, our local police are already concealing their identities, with support from police leadership. The justification for this is the fear that antifa will dox them and threaten their families.

Require them to wear four-digit ID tags uniquely issued when they are deployed for an event. The ID = officer list is given to an oversight group, so when complaints are made about an officer with a tag ID, it can be linked to a specific officer.

If not more than 9999 officers deployed for an event, will be easier to remember than a typical ID number.

Assumes good faith of the police supervisors and that officers would not remove the ID.
posted by rochrobbb at 9:08 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's a lot of hoops to jump through to support what's already a bullshit excuse to avoid being held accountable by the public for their own reprehensible actions.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 9:19 PM on July 19 [14 favorites]


Proud to be antifa.

Me, too — as should any American who opposes fascism — but it's an open question how much power using that term gives to Republicans, who control the media and the narrative the media portrays, and that makes me think twice about using language in a way that furthers the Republican agenda. It seems complicated.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:11 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


That's one of the reasons antifa is being hyped up; the claims that officers will be doxxed and their families killed is the excuse for having no officer accountability. it drives a wedge between law enforcement and their communities and makes it easier for fascism to take over.

It was an article/comment a while back which of course I can't find which claimed that many officers in a terrorism training class did not know antifa stood for anti-fascism. I would bet this is not uncommon among Fox viewers.
posted by benzenedream at 10:25 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]


oh man, just wait until they find out what acab means
posted by ryanrs at 10:36 PM on July 19 [6 favorites]


> we've fallen off the cliff

from the American Holocaust Museum: EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF FASCISM

> what (might) make a difference is local police willing to turn and fire on federal agents in order to protect their jurisdiction.

antifa supersoldiers...
@LindseyPSmith7:[1] "The moms are chanting, 'Feds stay clear! Moms are here!' at the federal courthouse."

@LindseyPSmith7: "Feds are out. They shoved the moms. Lots of tear gas and flash bangs."

@IwriteOK: "I am beginning to think the Feds may have made a tactical error in gassing the moms."

@PopMobPDX: "The Moms are assembling again!"

@LindseyPSmith7: "moms here."[2]
posted by kliuless at 10:59 PM on July 19 [13 favorites]


That's one of the reasons antifa is being hyped up; the claims that officers will be doxxed and their families killed is the excuse for having no officer accountability. it drives a wedge between law enforcement and their communities and makes it easier for fascism to take over.


They aren't part of the community anyway.

Less than one in five Portland cops live in the city. They don't even have to live in the state. And I bet a bunch of them live in Vancouver Washington where housing is cheaper.

Portland cops are literally an occupying army, and that's what I'd use against them: first put in some nice diversity requirements for new hires and let the dust-up settle; then give them nine months to move to Portland or lose their jobs.

A new and far more diverse police force just like that.
posted by jamjam at 10:59 PM on July 19 [13 favorites]


Federal officials dismiss Portland leaders’ calls to leave city as clashes with protesters continue (WaPo / MSN reprint)
A top Homeland Security official on Sunday said the agency will maintain a heavy presence in Portland — and send reinforcements to other U.S. cities if violence surged — as the mayor of Oregon's largest city implored federal agents to stand down amid escalating clashes with protesters. Kenneth Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, [...] said DHS had expanded its numbers in other cities as well, including Washington, D.C., as demonstrations escalated in recent months. “You can expect that if violence continues in other parts of the country, the president has made no secret of the fact that he expects us where we can cooperate or have jurisdiction to step forward and expand our policing efforts there to bring down the level of violence,” Cuccinelli said in an interview Sunday.

DHS and Justice Department personnel have made about two dozen arrests since July 4 in the vicinity of the federal courthouse in Portland, not including short-term detentions of suspects whom agents want to question, according to a DHS official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss federal law enforcement operations in Portland. The protesters’ use of black clothing, face coverings and diversion tactics have made it difficult for federal agents to identify suspects, they said. DHS teams were deployed to reinforce the Federal Protective Service in Seattle, as well, before July 4 in anticipation of major disturbances, but the Seattle team has been withdrawn, the official added.

While the DHS official said there are no immediate plans to increase the presence in other cities, the president of Chicago’s police union on Saturday published a public letter to President Trump asking for federal assistance in controlling the “chaos” in city. Union President John Catanzara also criticized Mayor Lori Lightfoot, whose office called the letter “a stunt,” in a statement to CBS. [...] Cuccinelli said the agency isn’t naming the federal officers to protect them and their families from doxing and other harassment, but he said they are wearing patches identifying their agencies and numbers that can be traced to them in case someone wishes to file a complaint.

[...] Portland [...] officials — who are also contending with the novel coronavirus — say the Trump administration is antagonizing protesters, violating their rights and interfering with local efforts to quell the demonstrations. [...] Wheeler hadn’t been told federal forces would descend on his city, he said, until after the officers were already there and said he was never asked whether Portland wanted the federal government’s help. [...] “It’s totally disingenuous,” Wheeler said. “What we needed were people who were trained in de-escalation, containment strategy, targeted arrests of individuals who are actually engaged in illegal activity. Instead what they’ve given us is warfare on our streets.”
posted by katra at 11:26 PM on July 19 [4 favorites]


the president of Chicago’s police union on Saturday published a public letter to President Trump asking for federal assistance in controlling the “chaos” in city.
OK, so that is another step towards fascism right there. It is outrageous! He, and all of his ilk, should be fired on the spot, why doesn't the mayor do just that?
posted by mumimor at 12:16 AM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Hey all.

I've been following the PDX protests ever since they started, and I made a list of protesters/independent journalists who are on the ground, covering the events night after night. Feel free to use, to monitor the nightly protests: PDX Action Info.

Stay safe, y'all. My heart is with you, PDX.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:28 AM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Pretty sure our feckless mayor in Chicago can't fire the police union chief...the police superintendent is in charge of that. But regardless, our mayor is failing us, big time.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:28 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Hmmmm, the State’s Rights party ignoring a governor’s wishes...?

I know this comment was meant sarcastically, but can we please drop the dubious comfort of pretending the Republicans actually believe anything they claim to? The Confederacy prohibited its states from ever abolishing slavery.

They make arguments like "liberty" and "states rights" because they do not dare advocate for what they really want. (What's that, you ask? Frank Wilhoit's postulate that “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect” about sums it up for me.)

Even pretending to be shocked when Republicans act like hypocrites gives Republicans the pretense that they believe what they say. They do not, and as such, they don't care about sounding like hypocrites. They believe in their tribe, and as such, they oppose what they think the other tribe wants.

Republicans aren't the nihilists from The Big Lebowski, though they're just about as whiny. They're the real thing.
posted by Gelatin at 6:46 AM on July 20 [21 favorites]


Watching Trump's paramilitary squads descend on Portland, it's hard not to feel doomed (Francine Prose, Guardian Opinion)
With so much doom to scroll through, it’s hard to know when to stop and pay attention, but one story that jumped out at me – and, I hope, at many others – is the account of how demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, protesting racism and police brutality earlier in July, were tear-gassed, beaten, seized off the street by unidentified, masked federal agents in camouflage and fatigues, hustled into unmarked vans and detained for hours. [...] A US Customs and Border Protection internal memo, obtained by the Nation and dated 1 July, offers some answers. In response to a presidential order “Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Activity, “ the acting director of homeland security has created the “DHS Protecting American Communities Task Force (Pact) to provide an ongoing assessment of potential civil unrest and property destruction”.

The italics are mine, but the memo describes the formation of a paramilitary organization, reporting to the federal government and free from the laws, rules and conventions followed (even nominally) by police and the army. [...] Is all that manpower necessary to protect statues? [...] These attacks are about exerting power, bullying dissenters, intimidating Americans into giving up their first amendment protections, their constitutional rights. [...] Fortunately, there’s been pushback. The demonstrations in Portland have gotten larger and more impassioned. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler called the violence “an attack on our democracy”. The ACLU and the Portland Mercury are suing federal agents. The Portland city commissioner asked the troops to leave. Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Chuck Merkley, and New York senator Chuck Schumer, are demanding a federal investigation. [...] Americans who care about our country and still hope we can fix our flawed democracy should pay attention. [...] What happened in Portland is an important story hiding in the shadow of Covid-19’s devastations. If we let the increasingly empowered paramilitary arms of the government deny our right to assemble and speak freely, to circumvent our legal system and eliminate the writ of habeas corpus, we won’t need to scroll down our phones to know that we are doomed.
House Democrats call for 'urgent' investigation into federal policing in Portland (Guardian)
“This is a matter of utmost urgency,” wrote House judiciary committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, homeland security chairman Bennie Thompson and oversight and reform chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, in a letter to the inspectors general of Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The lawmakers are seeking an investigation “into the use of federal law enforcement agencies by the attorney general and the acting secretary of homeland security to suppress first amendment protected activities in Washington DC, Portland and other communities across the United States”. They wrote on Sunday, before another night of confrontations between protesters and federal forces outside the US courthouse in Oregon’s largest city. Early on Monday, Portland police said such scenes included a small fire outside the building and tear gas deployed to disperse the crowd.
posted by katra at 8:38 AM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Homeland Security making plans to deploy some 150 agents in Chicago this week, with scope of duty unknown

Hey House Democrats, if you could hurry it up with that investigation, or better yet, join the damn lawsuit against it, that'd be great.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:37 AM on July 20 [12 favorites]


These modern brownshirts are why any future Biden administration (TTTCS) must not listen to the inevitable calls to "look forward, not backward," but rather must vigorously and ruthlessly prosecute these kidnappers and the ones who gave them their orders, up to and including Attorney General Barr and Trump himself.

If we don't root out the fascists, they will remain in a position to threaten our democracy.
posted by Gelatin at 10:13 AM on July 20 [30 favorites]


lol the Dems can sit there and “investigate” all they want, we’re still getting gassed and abducted out here and in other cities. It’s not gonna do anything. We’ve had federal police nearly kill one person, we’ve shown the world them beating people indiscriminately, using abortifacients on pregnant mothers, what more needs to happen before somebody actually does something? It’s in our hands, it always has been.
posted by gucci mane at 10:33 AM on July 20 [10 favorites]


Trump Plans to Send Federal Law Enforcement Personnel to Democratic-Led U.S. Cities.
Trump, a Republican, mentioned New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland, California, as possible places for sending in federal forces, noting the cities' mayors are "liberal Democrats."
This is literally the fascist playbook. Deploy troops making you look tough and strong to people who like authoritarians. Provoke the leftists into protesting, ideally violently, to make them look insane and dangerous. Be Big Daddy who comes in and keeps law and order.

Counter-actions like the Wall-o-Moms are brilliant in the face of this. So is peaceful resistance. These goon squads have already sent several folks to the hospital with broken bones, though, if they continue to escalate the violence it's hard to say what happens.
posted by Nelson at 10:48 AM on July 20 [30 favorites]


I dare to hope the opposition to this is manifesting much more strongly and more effectively than to previous fascist atrocities. In bygone decades, news from most places traveled at the speed of post and word-of-mouth and was as credible as whoever happened to be writing it down (or if you were really lucky, photographing). That made it hard to produce an uproar while things were still going on. Today, every act of authoritarian violence against peaceful protesters, even if there aren't major media presences onsite, has video visible worldwide within hours.

(OK, that's true only of places with uncensored internet access. So, not China, for instance. But still the US and many other places where there's a public outcry to be raised.)
posted by jackbishop at 11:07 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Trump, a Republican, mentioned New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland, California, as possible places for sending in federal forces, noting the cities' mayors are "liberal Democrats."

Many of these cities are also reliable generators of Democratic votes, enough to swing the electoral vote outcome of the region or state that they're in. [Had heard Milwaukee mentioned.]
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:05 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Most of these cities are also exploring defunding (outright, and/or allocating monies in different ways) their local police forces. Map. For example: Portland City Council defunds police bureau by $15 million (KGW8.com June 17, 2020) The budget approved Wednesday will eliminate three PPB specialty units, which many in the community say disproportionately target people of color. This means armed officers will be pulled from schools, Portland police will no longer be used as law enforcement on TriMet, and the Gun Violence Reduction Team will be disbanded. The city will also cut eight positions from the Special Emergency Reaction Team and stop cannabis tax money from going to the police bureau.

Nearly $5 million from the police bureau will go to the Portland Street Response, a new program by the city to dispatch unarmed first responders to answer calls for people experiencing homelessness. There will also be money previously earmarked for the police that will now go to a fund to develop black youth leadership, a tribal liaison position within the city’s Office of Governmental Relations, and additional funding for the Civil Rights Title VI Program in the Office of Equity and Human Rights, among other uses.

posted by Iris Gambol at 1:30 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Keep in mind, the Portland police budget is approx. $241 million. Seattle is apparently cutting their police budget by 50%. What percent is $15 million of $241 million? It’s a start, but it’s egregiously low compared to what people were pushing on city hall to do. It caused quite an uproar here.
posted by gucci mane at 1:38 PM on July 20 [4 favorites]


Ryan Goodman and Danielle Schulkin have a receipt at Just Security (July 19, 2020): “Portland’s Pretext: Barr’s Long History Manipulating Law to Put Federal Forces on U.S. Streets”
Attorney General Barr has been building his playbook for using federal forces against an unwilling state for decades. In an interview with the Miller Center in 2001, Barr explained his strategy for deploying federal troops to address unrest in the Virgin Islands after a major hurricane in 1989. At the time of the incident, Barr was an assistant attorney general and head of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. He boasted that during this time he found a way to deploy federal forces based on a legal justification that appears to now being played out in Portland…
posted by Going To Maine at 1:41 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


gucci mane, Seattle's considering cuts, as is Chicago, where Portland's gone and done it. Absolutely, it's barely a drop in the funding bucket (that street response program is more significant), but I think part of the Federal activity may be 'punishment' for the decision, as well as a warning to the city councils which haven't finalized budgets yet.

Thank you for this post and your updates to it.

[edited to add the DHS Chicago link]
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:02 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


What You Need to Know About the Battle of Portland—local journalist Robert Evans has been covering these events since they started, this is a great summary of some of the key events.

As this gets rolled out to Chicago and elsewhere...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:30 PM on July 20 [12 favorites]


I am thinking this may turn out to be more difficult that these proto-fascists have considered. From a Washington Post article:

In a statement on Monday responding to Trump's suggestion that he could send more federal forces to Philadelphia, Krasner invoked his father and uncles who "served in World War II to fight fascism … so we would not have an American president brutalizing and kidnapping Americans for exercising their constitutional rights."

Krasner also bluntly warned that federal officials could face prosecution.

“Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges from my office," Krasner said. "At trial, they will face a Philadelphia jury. It’s the least we can do to honor those who fought fascism, including those who are fighting it even now.”

posted by Dip Flash at 3:58 PM on July 20 [39 favorites]


Elections matter, and I am glad we elected Larry Krasner.

The lack of charges against the police indiscriminately spraying abortifacient gasses all over West Philly residential streets, against the armed white vigilante mobs patrolling Fishtown and South Philly after curfew a month ago, as well as the lack of charges against the cops that protected them while simultaneously arresting protestors out after curfew, does not necessarily inspire in me the confidence that the DAs office has the will and power to follow through on this statement. So while I am glad to see that they put this out, I still don't think institutions will save me in Philly - even ones that make all the right noises.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:04 PM on July 20 [7 favorites]


Federal agents, local streets: A ‘red flag’ in Oregon (AP)
State and local authorities, who did not ask for federal help, are awaiting a ruling in a federal lawsuit filed late last week by state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. She said in court papers that masked federal officers have arrested people off the street, far from the courthouse, with no probable cause — and whisked them away in unmarked cars. Constitutional law experts said Monday the federal officers’ actions are a “red flag” in what could become a test case of states’ rights as the Trump administration expands its federal policing into other cities. “The idea that there’s a threat to a federal courthouse and the federal authorities are going to swoop in and do whatever they want to do without any cooperation and coordination with state and local authorities is extraordinary outside the context of a civil war,” said Michael Dorf, a professor of constitutional law at Cornell University. “It is a standard move of authoritarians to use the pretext of quelling violence to bring in force, thereby prompting a violent response and then bootstrapping the initial use of force in the first place,” Dorf said.

[...] One prominent Republican, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is from the libertarian-leaning flank of the party, came out publicly against the federal agents. “We cannot give up liberty for security. Local law enforcement can and should be handling these situations in our cities but there is no place for federal troops or unidentified federal agents rounding people up at will,” Paul said in a tweet Monday. [...] Affidavits filed in federal court in cases against recently arrested protesters also show that federal officers have posted lookouts on the upper stories of the courthouse and have plainclothes officers circulating in the crowd. Court papers in one case — against a man arrested on federal charges for shining a green laser in the eyes of Federal Protective Service agents — show that Portland police turned him over to federal authorities after federal officers identified him, in part with the testimony of their undercover officers. [...] “It seems clear that there were at least some federal crimes committed here,” said Steve Vladeck, a constitutional law professor at the University of Texas. “But the notion that a handful of federal crimes justifies a substantial deployment of federal law enforcement officers … to show force on the streets is, to my mind, unprecedented.”
posted by katra at 5:10 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


"red flag" is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that headline.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:20 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


said Michael Dorf, a professor of constitutional law at Cornell University

picturing someone looking and sounding like a mixture of Tim Conway and Michael Dorn
posted by entropicamericana at 5:46 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Am I the only one feeling utterly grim and hopeless about this whole situation. I'm tired of Trump, tired of protesting and tired of coronavirus. Yet it goes on and on and doesn't seem to have an ending that is anything other than people finding a new way to be shitty and destructive.
posted by interogative mood at 5:59 PM on July 20 [11 favorites]


Am I the only one feeling utterly grim and hopeless about this whole situation.

I think Naked Athena did a pretty great job recently in reminding us that all is not lost - and they are just one example of the power of protest and its importance in our current events. I also think it is important to remember that institutional checks are available, including TROs, and the constitutional claims, and how the burden is on the federal government to show in both fact and law that they can take these unprecedented actions. I encourage people to not mistake the lies being told by the Trump administration as facts they can prove in court and to remember how frequently he loses in court (e.g. Trump has the worst record at the Supreme Court of any modern president, WaPo, Jul. 20, 2020). The stakes are extremely high here, but we have not lost yet, and we still have our democracy. Trump is wounded, and therefore he seems even more dangerous and that is frightening, but I think that holding onto our democratic norms and ideals is going to be what helps get us through this dark time in our history.
posted by katra at 6:18 PM on July 20 [19 favorites]


But has anyone in the Portland protests actually disappeared permanently yet or for more than a few hours?

Not yet, but it's an implicit threat to do so. You're supposed to be thankful, and then start thinking to yourself, if they didn't let me go, who would know? Who would stop them?
posted by ctmf at 6:51 PM on July 20 [14 favorites]


Anyone can buy the same military-style gear worn by federal officers making secretive arrests in Portland, Business Insider, David Choi, 7/17/2020 [summarized & edited for brevity]:
Unknown federal officers had few identifiable patches or insignia normally worn by armed forces and law-enforcement agencies. One officer had a generic Velcro patch on his left shoulder and a "POLICE" patch on his tactical vest. Such patches or replicas are sold online, including those for the Department of Homeland Security, other law-enforcement agencies, and military units.

Two people wearing the US Army Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform were shown detaining a protester and taking them to a minivan. These uniforms and other US military gear (including combat helmets and replicas) are sold online and in military surplus stores. The entire ensemble seen in the videos, down to weapons and the minivan, is readily available to civilian consumers, making it very hard to identify a legitimate authority vs. a provocateur masquerading as one.
See details and links in the BI article. It also mentions the arrests of heavily armed federal impersonator Zachary Sanns (comment above) in Las Vegas, and National Guard impersonator Gregory Wong (armed with a home-made rifle) in Los Angeles, who was spotted by real National Guard members after he joined their formation.
posted by cenoxo at 7:00 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


But has anyone in the Portland protests actually disappeared permanently yet or for more than a few hours?
> DHS and Justice Department personnel have made about two dozen arrests since July 4 in the vicinity of the federal courthouse in Portland, not including short-term detentions of suspects whom agents want to question, according to a DHS official who spoke on the condition of anonymity
posted by katra at 7:14 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Trump Threatens to Send Federal Law Enforcement Forces to More Cities (NYT)
Democrats said the president was the one out of control. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon said he would introduce legislation to limit the role of federal agents in cities like Portland. “This isn’t just an Oregon crisis,” he said. “It’s an American crisis. We need to stop Trump before this spreads.” He added, “We won’t let these authoritarian tactics stand.”

[...] Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago made clear on Monday that the federal agents would be no more welcome in her city than they have been in Portland. “We don’t need federal agents without any insignia taking people off the street and holding them, I think, unlawfully,” she said at a morning news conference before reports of the deployment were confirmed. “That’s not what we need.” In a four-page letter to Mr. Trump sent later in the day and obtained by The New York Times, Ms. Lightfoot said if the president really wanted to help Chicago, he should enact gun control, do more to curb the coronavirus and invest in community programs.

[...] “What’s happening is the administration is using D.H.S. to perform basically a federal policing function, which in my view is unconstitutional and is certainly not what Congress intended when it created the department,” [Carrie Cordero, a senior fellow for the Center for a New American Security] said. [...] Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said it was not clear how federal agents could occupy the streets of a city that is 99 percent not federal property. “It’s of course the prerogative of the federal government to enforce federal law and protect federal property,” Mr. Vladeck said. “It is not the job of the federal government to be a general police force for all crimes.”
posted by katra at 11:21 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


WOKE on Twitch is the place to watch this live. Protester multi stream with well-modded and protest-supporter chat. Can get overwhelming with up to 16 simultaneous windows, but it's fascinating to watch it all unfold. The crowd in Portland is absolutely huge tonight!
posted by postagepaid at 11:26 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


If you want a singular view, https://www.twitch.tv/teebsgaming has been in the thick of it every night.

The crowd is now chanting 'Thank you, Mom'." Few things were more inspiring than seeing those rows and rows of yellow clad moms, and orange clad dads, marching along with everyone else - and then actively supporting the Black Bloc as they got gassed.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:51 PM on July 20 [9 favorites]


Wow, there is a massive crowd in Portland tonight! This fuckery from the feds has really backfired on them.
posted by ryanrs at 11:59 PM on July 20 [8 favorites]


Also - if you're hearing squeaking noises on the streams, the Black Bloc members have tiny squeak toys that they're squeaking at the Feds.

Of course, they're squeaky pigs.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:16 AM on July 21 [7 favorites]


And the Feds just teargassed and shot at with rubber bullets a crowd of middle aged protesters in khakis and sun dresses, as well as sending tear gas canisters into random traffic that was in the area.

That's a good look.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:39 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Protesters ran up on federal police and I guess de-arrested somebody? I’m going down there rn, will try to report back.
posted by gucci mane at 12:54 AM on July 21 [16 favorites]


Please be safe. Protesters and press are being shot at close range with large rubber bullets, and press are confirming that the Feds are using military grade tear gas.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:58 AM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Oh baby I’m always safe downtown. I’m geared up ☺️
posted by gucci mane at 1:03 AM on July 21 [15 favorites]


O.C. sheriff’s deputy under investigation for extremist group patches on uniform at George Floyd protest, KTLA 5 News (Los Angeles), Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime, 6/3/2020:
An unidentified Orange County sheriff’s deputy is under investigation for wearing patches connected with extremist groups on his uniform during a protest in Costa Mesa over the killing of George Floyd. Sheriff Don Barnes [statement] launched an internal investigation into the deputy, who was seen in photos and videos wearing the patch at a protest in Costa Mesa on Tuesday.

[Photo] A patch of the United States flag partially covered by the logo of the Three Percenters above the word “Oathkeeper” was seen on the deputy’s uniform located in the middle of his tactical vest. Another patch of the historical Gadsen flag with a rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me” can also be seen on the uniform.

The deputy’s name was not visible....
If the real thing isn’t available, create your own custom military patches and add to the general confusion.
posted by cenoxo at 4:16 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Protesters ran up on federal police and I guess de-arrested somebody? I’m going down there rn, will try to report back.

Holy fuck that brownshirt drew his weapon. I'm so glad this didn't end in tragedy.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:04 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


Here is a link to the de-arrest that was rotated per Cory's (the person who posted it on twitter) request (they had changed from portrait to landscape during recording but the video stayed in portrait when posted:
https://twitter.com/AcabStudios/status/1285488788811034624?s=20
posted by affectionateborg at 6:10 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


A mom group here, which activated for gun reform, realize we can’t safely travel to Portland, because pandemic, but we’ve just “armed” a Portland compatriot with hundreds of dollars To go restock Riot Ribs. Southern moms, we’re gonna make sure everybody gets fed. Power to the people.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:28 AM on July 21 [24 favorites]


Violent protest clashes turned Portland into a ‘right-wing boogeyman.’ Here’s how it happened. (WaPo / SFGate reprint)
On Monday, President Trump painted another dire picture of the ongoing protests in Portland, Ore., telling reporters the demonstrators there are “anarchists” who “hate our country.” So awful is the violence, Trump alleged, that he’s been forced to flood the city with federal officers. But Democrats and local leaders reiterated on Monday that protests have been largely peaceful, and harshly criticized the federal forces, which have shot and seriously injured one peaceful protester and shoved others into unmarked vans. [...] Experts and local activists say Trump’s claims are the latest in a sustained efforts by conservative commentators and politicians to marry the myth of antifa terrorists to a city where discontent has grown for years over increasingly harsh police responses at protests.
DHS Authorizes Domestic Surveillance to Protect Statues and Monuments (Steve Vladeck, Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare, Jul. 20, 2020)
DHS official Ken Cuccinelli appeared to allude to this activity on CNN, stating of Portland, Ore., “we got intelligence about planned attacks on federal facilities.... If we get the same kind of intelligence in other places about threats to other facilities or officers, we would respond the same way.” But the memo makes clear that the authorized intelligence activity covers significantly more than just planned attacks on federal personnel or facilities. It appears to also include planned vandalism of Confederate (and other historical) monuments and statues, whether federally owned or not.

[...] So in other words, protestors can reasonably expect that there will be ongoing DHS collection and analysis of public source information about—and likely the social media postings of—people involved in protests. [...] Of course, if there are groups plotting more serious violence, we wouldn’t dispute for a second that such plotting is appropriately within the purview of I&A and other federal intelligence components—or that existing authorities allow the federal government to act aggressively to preempt and deter such criminal conduct. But we do not accept that graffiti and vandalism are remotely comparable threats to the homeland—or that they justify this kind of federal response even if, in the right circumstances, such activity would technically constitute a federal crime. A memo like this leaves the unfortunate impression that, once again, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security are using disagreements over monuments as an opportunity to send a much larger message—in this case, that the current administration sees dissent itself as a threat to homeland security.
posted by katra at 1:02 PM on July 21 [8 favorites]


Fox's Napolitano rips 'unconstitutional' Trump crackdown on Portland: 'Just plain wrong' (The Hill)
“What happened in Portland over the weekend, it was not only unlawful and unconstitutional, it’s just plain wrong,” the former New Jersey Superior Court judge continued. “Sending armed, untrained police into the streets wearing fatigues without the knowledge or consent of the local police actually caused more violence.”
posted by katra at 1:04 PM on July 21 [13 favorites]


Federal presence in Portland gives protests new momentum (AP)
“It’s like a dictatorship,” Widman, a grandmother of five, said, holding up a sign that read: “Grammy says: Please feds, leave Portland.” [...] Far from tamping down the unrest, the presence of federal agents on the streets of Portland — and particularly allegations they have whisked people away in unmarked cars without probable cause — has given new momentum and a renewed, laser-sharp focus to protests that had begun to devolve into smaller, chaotic crowds. [...] A constant focus of protesters has been the federal courthouse, which sits in the heart of downtown and is now covered with graffiti and completely boarded up, with only thin slits cut into the plywood for federal agents to use as peepholes. Portland police used tear gas on multiple occasions until a federal court order banned its officers from doing so without declaring a riot. Now, anger is building as federal officers deploy tear gas. State and local authorities, who didn’t ask for federal help, are awaiting a decision in a state lawsuit that seeks to restrain the federal agents’ actions.

[...] The federal government faces also another lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court. In it, The Western States Center, two state representatives and others argue federal agents violated protesters’ 10th Amendment rights because they engaged in police activities that are designated to local and state governments. The Western States Center, based in Portland, helps organize and promote the rights of minority and low-income communities.
posted by katra at 2:29 PM on July 21 [11 favorites]


Oregon sues feds again over 10th Amendment violations (KOIN6)
A second lawsuit was filed against the federal government [complaint] over the Trump Administration’s deployment of federal officers to the streets of Portland, calling it at the very least a violation of the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by Oregon State Representatives Karin Power and Janelle Bynum, the Western States Center, the First Unitarian Church of Portland and ACLU observer and attorney Sara Eddie, wants a permanent restraining order against all the defendants.

Those defendants are the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Protective Service and the US Marshals Service. “The purpose of this lawsuit is to stop the federal government, its officials, and any others who have acted in concert with them, from depriving Portlanders of the right to be policed solely by those the Constitution permits, and who are accountable to Portlanders and Oregonians,” it states. The requested restraining order would prevent federal officers from doing any law enforcement activities other than “the immediate defense of federal personnel or property,” and prevent people from being seized or arrested without probable cause or a warrant.
posted by katra at 3:00 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


How long will it be before there is any meaningful action by the courts? If ever?
posted by interogative mood at 4:13 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Attorney General Rosenblum Files Lawsuit Against U. S. Homeland Security; Announces Criminal Investigation (Press Release, July 17, 2020)
The lawsuit will be followed by a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) regarding the forcible detainment of an Oregon resident, Mark Pettibone. If granted, the TRO would immediately stop federal authorities from unlawfully detaining Oregonians. Rosenblum’s actions come in response to two disturbing incidents that occurred this week. Both involved federal authorities overstepping their powers and injuring or threatening peaceful protesters on the streets of Downtown Portland. [...] The Oregon Department of Justice Criminal Justice Division has also opened an investigation into the July 12 incident. It is joined in this criminal investigation by Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill.
My understanding is that a TRO can happen very quickly (FRCP 65), but this is a massive civil rights case that is testing the authority of the federal government, so there also seems to be a need to act with care and thoroughness when writing the decision. fwiw, I have been hitting refresh on my browser more frequently lately, because I am hoping that the TRO decision is made this week.
posted by katra at 5:29 PM on July 21 [9 favorites]


Actually, I need to clarify what I just wrote, because the press release indicates that AG Rosenblum is following what I understand to be a reasonable strategy for winning a TRO. My understanding is that it can be helpful to first make good faith efforts to resolve the dispute with the opposing party (e.g. after they are served with the complaint [pdf]), and then file a motion for a TRO with a declaration that details the efforts to resolve the dispute without Court action, and ask the Court to intervene due to the emergency. So it could still happen this week, but I should be refreshing my browser to check for the TRO motion and the decision.
posted by katra at 5:53 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Who Actually Wants Trump to Send in the Feds? Police Unions. (Kelly Weill & Winston Ross, Daily Beast; Jul. 21, 2020)
Protesters say local cops and the feds are clearly colluding on the spooky crackdown that began in Portland and could soon spread to Chicago and other cities.

Although Portland leadership roundly decried the federal presence, the president of Portland’s police union met with the head of the Department of Homeland Security last week to discuss the agents, apparently without the knowledge of the city’s police chief. The president of Chicago’s police union made his own envoys, asking Trump for federal intervention.

Trump might have heard him: 150 federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations are gearing up to head to the city, the Chicago Tribune first reported. Either way, protesters say local cops and the feds are clearly colluding.
They seem to be running joint operations in Portland.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:38 PM on July 21 [15 favorites]


I mean, how is it even legal for the police union to be negotiating with DHS? Especially behind the backs of elected officials. If anything shows how much we need to disband the police unions, it's this. (Ok, lots and lots of things, the primary of which is them sullying the name "union" by using it cover up their crime family activities, but still, this is more likely to get the attention of boomers.)
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:42 PM on July 21 [18 favorites]


I expect that the judge will schedule a hearing which will take a weeks or more. Then after the hearing we’ll wait for a ruling for more weeks. If the judge rules in our favor and issues a TRO; then the DOJ will appeal and the TRO will probably be stayed pending the appeal. So the courts are not going to give us any kind of quick relief for this, if ever. The court system’s inability to deliver swift and certain justice in the face of the blatant lawlessness of the Trump administration is another part of the crisis in this country. John Roberts spoke in his confirmation hearing of being the guy calling the balls and strikes - but it is as if his court would prefer to call the balls and strikes years after the game was played.
posted by interogative mood at 8:18 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Trump’s show of federal force sparking alarm in cities (AP, Jul. 20, 2020)
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was at first highly resistant, but her tone changed after she and members of her administration, along with Police Superintendent David Brown, talked with officials about the government’s plan. “I’ve been very clear that we welcome actual partnership,” Lightfoot said. “But we do not welcome dictatorship. We do not welcome authoritarianism, and we do not welcome unconstitutional arrest and detainment of our residents. That is something I will not tolerate.” The comments from Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, slightly deescalated a days-long war of words with Trump over violent crime in the city, which has seen 414 homicides this year, compared with 275 during the same period in 2019.

[...] But former Homeland Security officials say they’ve seen nothing like the Portland deployment, which has included using highly trained Border Patrol agents to confront protesters outside the downtown courthouse, without the cooperation or consent of local law enforcement or government officials. “Urban policing and crowd control and civil unrest isn’t something that is in their wheelhouse,” said Gil Kerlikowske, a former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection under President Barack Obama. “It’s not something they are trained for. It’s not something they have any experience or expertise in.” [...] John Cohen, a former senior DHS official under Obama and President George W. Bush, said such a high-profile presence of federal agents without local support created the risk of escalating the situation, and that appears to be what happened.
posted by katra at 8:18 PM on July 21 [7 favorites]


Cities Say They Want Federal Agents Fighting Crime, Not Protesters (NYT)
“The deployment of unnamed special secret agents onto our streets to detain people without cause and to effectively take away their civil rights and civil liberties without due process — that is not going to happen in Chicago,” Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said at a news conference on Tuesday. Instead, Ms. Lightfoot said, Chicago will be receiving resources from the F.B.I., the D.E.A. and the A.T.F., agencies that the city has worked with regularly in the past “to help manage and suppress violent crime in our city.” It is this type of help that many mayors say they need. In Chicago, the deployment will be coordinated with local officials, unlike in Portland where the city’s wishes were ignored, Ms. Lightfoot said, adding, “What happened was not only unconstitutional, it was undemocratic.”

[...] Kansas City, Mo., has found itself struggling with a wave of shootings this year, and its Police Department asked for federal help. Rick Smith, the police chief, said that his department had applied for a grant for federal assistance and that officials in Washington quickly offered federal resources. [...] But the city’s mayor, Quinton Lucas, a Democrat, was caught by surprise when Washington suddenly mapped out an entire project called Operation LeGend after LeGend Taliferro, the 4-year-old boy who was killed. Mr. Lucas said he learned about the operation on Twitter. He supports receiving help in solving crimes but is worried that the federal agents may end up being used for more intrusive purposes. “When you have a president of the United States who talks about cities as if they’re his enemies, as if they’re lawless hellscapes, that gives me concern that a federal government-led program may descend into that,” he said. “I fear that there may be an expanded focus.”
As Trump Pushes Into Portland, His Campaign Ads Turn Darker (NYT)
The Trump campaign is spending millions on ads that promote a dark and exaggerated portrayal of Democratic-led cities, a tactic that reinforces his “law and order’’ campaign message.
posted by katra at 8:42 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


I expect that the judge will schedule a hearing which will take a weeks or more. Then after the hearing we’ll wait for a ruling for more weeks. If the judge rules in our favor and issues a TRO; then the DOJ will appeal and the TRO will probably be stayed pending the appeal. So the courts are not going to give us any kind of quick relief for this, if ever. The court system’s inability to deliver swift and certain justice in the face of the blatant lawlessness of the Trump administration is another part of the crisis in this country.

There are at least three lawsuits filed, and I don't think it is possible to predict what the courts will do. Oregon AG Rosenblum has raised major civil rights claims, with strong facts, while the Trump administration, as noted above, is bringing a "dark and exaggerated portrayal" that may play well on television but may not hold up so well in court. Similarly, the Trump administration appears to be proceeding under a patchwork of statutes conveniently stitched together and arguably not intended by Congress. So as a matter of fact and law, it does not look great for the federal government.

As to the procedure, if the TRO is granted, the government can appeal within the trial court process (i.e. Motion to Dissolve, FRCP 65, which is one of the reasons why it can be a good idea to engage in good faith efforts to resolve the dispute before seeking a TRO), and there is also a hearing as to whether it becomes a preliminary injunction (FRCP 65) in advance of trial. Oregon, the ACLU, and the Western States Center are alleging extraordinary harms to civil and state rights, while the Trump administration has "dark and exaggerated portrayals" and what appears to be an unprecedented use of legal authority - at least from my view, the emergency need for intervention favors Oregon, because the Trump administration does not appear to be able to meet its burden to show the factual and legal basis for its actions. While we can't know what the courts will do, the cases against the federal government appear to be strong.

In the meantime, what Mayor Lightfoot may be doing is a 'good faith effort' to resolve the dispute, and what may look like a retreat may actually be the early stage of what could become another lawsuit if the federal government steps outside of the lines that Mayor Lightfoot is drawing.

It is true that the judicial branch has no army and it has no purse, and can be seen as the weakest branch because it lacks direct enforcement mechanisms. But I also think Naked Athena is an example of persuasive authority, including because "About 10 minutes after she arrived, the officers left."
posted by katra at 9:39 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I am downtown again and filming some vids! Thousands of ppl down here! Big energy!
posted by gucci mane at 10:17 PM on July 21 [10 favorites]




This is the best article I've seen so far for context. The writer is a war correspondent and has been at the protests since they started. His livestreams are the best ones out there when he does them.

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/americas/2020/07/20/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-battle-of-portland/
posted by bink at 11:13 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


My dudes we are tear gassed
posted by gucci mane at 11:28 PM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Federal officers gas protesters in downtown Portland Tuesday (live updates) (Oregon Live)
By 11 p.m., at least several hundred people remained downtown. Large crowds gathered in front of the Justice Center and at the federal courthouse. Some people outside the courthouse used their fist, pieces of wood and other objects to bang on the front of the courthouse. People propped pieces of wood next to the entrance of the building.

At 11:10 p.m., federal officers wearing camouflage emerged to press back the crowd. Officers used gas, stun grenades and less-lethal munitions.

Officers formed a line in front of the federal court house. About a dozen other officers formed a line at Third Avenue and Madison Street, next to the other federal building. A crowd of people faced off with officers, and shouted, “Who do you protect? Who do you serve?”
posted by katra at 11:37 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Link goes to Tweet with video. Yeah:
Ben Phillips @benphillips76

OMG now the mothers’ group are singing “hands up please don’t shoot me” in the style of a lullaby. Impossible to watch and not cry.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:20 AM on July 22 [10 favorites]


It’s 230 AM and I am in a literal fire fight with federal police.
posted by gucci mane at 2:32 AM on July 22 [8 favorites]


gucci mane... why the focus on the federal courthouse? is the intention to provoke the reaction we're seeing? is there something else at work here?

I'm asking sincerely because from across the country, this seems like a repeating cycle that's a different focus from the initial protests and I'm wondering where you see things going from here
posted by kokaku at 2:56 AM on July 22 [2 favorites]


i wrote that before following your 'this is downtown' link

Tuck Woodstock provides some good context
posted by kokaku at 3:01 AM on July 22 [1 favorite]


from what i've heard on twitter, the protests were mostly over anyways and most people had left when she showed up.

But I also think Naked Athena is an example of persuasive authority, including because "About 10 minutes after she arrived, the officers left."


she didn't arrive in the middle of it all, she arrived at the end. i both get what she did but also it's not like she showed up in the midst of a hail of gas and impact rounds like the Mom wall stands against.
posted by affectionateborg at 4:17 AM on July 22 [4 favorites]


The “Justice Center” in Portland has a jail, and behind it is the Portland Police Bureau’s central precinct. Next to it is a federal courthouse. The two parks directly across the street, Lownsdale and Chapman Square, are where everybody camped at during Occupy Portland, and City Hall is right there as well, as well as another courthouse.
posted by gucci mane at 5:07 AM on July 22 [6 favorites]


That Bellingcat piece is by Robert Evans, host of podcast Behind the Bastards (previously) and co-host of podcast Worst Year Ever (previously), author of A Brief History of Vice, machete enthusiast, and has been all over the world on the ground at troublespots. He's done several recent episodes on the Black Lives Matter protests, and a six-part series, Behind the Police, with Propaganda, that details that profession's long and problematic history in the United States. He's awesome, and it's hard to believe that it wasn't that long ago that he was an editor at Cracked.
posted by JHarris at 7:06 AM on July 22 [9 favorites]


she didn't arrive in the middle of it all, she arrived at the end. i both get what she did but also it's not like she showed up in the midst of a hail of gas and impact rounds like the Mom wall stands against.

According to Oregon Live:
The officers shot pepper balls at her feet. Another protester ran out in front of her with a homemade shield, Killen added, but she sidestepped him and his shield.
posted by katra at 7:51 AM on July 22 [1 favorite]


The Wikipedia article on anasyrma has already been updated to include naked Athena. Anasyrma is this weird thing found in many ancient (and some modern) cultures where women basically destroy things by flashing their vulva. It sounds like something out of The Golden Bough but it has really good historical antecedents and apparently works, viz: naked Athena, so I suppose I can't argue.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:13 AM on July 22 [12 favorites]


Another protester ran out in front of her with a homemade shield

It was brave of that man to do this without a riot fedora on.
posted by thelonius at 8:53 AM on July 22 [16 favorites]


Yeah I hated that guy! Leave Naked Athena alone!
posted by tiny frying pan at 9:15 AM on July 22 [8 favorites]


Yeah I hated that guy! Leave Naked Athena alone!

Seriously. That was disgustingly white-knighty and smacked of shame and prurience and patriarchy. It sucked.
posted by Miko at 9:31 AM on July 22 [8 favorites]


After Donovan La Bella was shot in the head by vigilante feds, perhaps he/they just wanted to keep those same vigilantes from shooting her with a tear gas canister, possibly causing worse injuries for lack of any protection that clothing might provide, however meager.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:16 AM on July 22 [3 favorites]


Perhaps he could have asked if she'd wanted that, rather than simply deny her personal choice and autonomy?
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:30 AM on July 22 [7 favorites]


Perhaps they could have. It seems like a volatile situation to have a casual chat, in the context of the aforementioned protestor suffering life-threatening injuries, but maybe a journalist could ask them.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:39 AM on July 22 [4 favorites]


Perhaps it was both an instinctive and well meant reaction in a stressful situation, and a bad move that we all can learn from.
posted by Reverend John at 10:41 AM on July 22 [8 favorites]


The Root on 'Bucknekkid Becky'

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with what this lady did, but why does she feel the need to transform a protest movement centered around Black lives into a stage for her whatever-the-fuck-she-was-trying-to-say? Even when they aren’t weaponizing their privilege, they will find a way to make the shit about them.
posted by weed donkey at 10:42 AM on July 22 [14 favorites]


thanks weed donkey, i saw that in a tweet and then could not find it.
posted by affectionateborg at 10:48 AM on July 22


Well meant? We don't need men defending a man they don't know. Maybe just listen to the women in the room who found it sexist, weird, protective in a way that she didn't ask for, and insulting.

THINK before you decide to defend men who behave in ways women find abhorrent.
posted by tiny frying pan at 10:48 AM on July 22 [9 favorites]


And yea, whatever she was trying to achieve, I think it was possibly about herself. But whatever. I don't know her motives, or his, but his weird me out more than hers.
posted by tiny frying pan at 10:50 AM on July 22


Judge hears Oregon request to restrain federal agents (Politico)
A federal judge heard arguments Wednesday on Oregon's request for a restraining order against federal agents sent to the state's biggest city to quell protests that have spiraled into nightly clashes between authorities and demonstrators. The lawsuit, filed by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, alleges that federal agents sent by President Donald Trump have arrested people with no probable cause, whisked protesters away in unmarked cars and used excessive force to quell the unrest. It's part of growing pushback against the Trump administration's use of federal agents in Portland and its plans to do the same in other cities.

[...] The motion for a temporary restraining order asks the judge to immediately command agents from the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the Federal Protective Service and the U.S. Marhsals Service to immediately stop detaining protesters without probable cause, to identify themselves before arresting anyone and to explain why an arrest is taking place. During the hearing — held by videoconference because of the coronavirus pandemic — Rosenblum said she was asking the court to “declare it not acceptable for federal officers to use unconstitutional police state-type acts to detain citizens of Oregon without cause.” [...] [U.S. District Court Judge Michael] Mosman said the declaration of one man, who said in court papers that he was arrested by federal agents for no reason and later released, seemed meet the bar for Oregon’s motion for a temporary restraining order. But in a back-and-forth with Oregon attorneys, Mosman focused on a Twitter video of another arrest that showed a person being placed in an unmarked van and seemed skeptical of the state’s argument that that arrest in particular was made without probable cause. It wasn't clear when Mosman would rule.

The suit by Oregon’s attorney general is one of several filed over law enforcement's response to the Portland protests. On Thursday a judge will hear arguments in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of journalists and legal observers who say they were targeted and attacked by police while documenting demonstrations. A freelance photographer covering the protests for The Associated Press submitted an affidavit that he was beaten with batons, chemical irritants and hit with rubber bullets.
posted by katra at 11:57 AM on July 22 [7 favorites]


And fwiw, I had been trying to refer to Naked Athena as a metaphor for judicial authority, and I am sorry to have set off what seems like an in-fighting kind of derail. I was trying to speak to the larger issue of judicial power in a situation like this, and have been impressed by Naked Athena, not so much in how the officers stepped back, but much more in how they didn't step forward, and how much that seemed to show about where we are right now. Naked Athena had no armor, and someone rushing to protect them with a shield became another opportunity for them to step forward again, but I was raising the image as an example of the current limit of federal authority being exercised, and ultimately, my point was that democratic institutions, including protest and judicial power, still exist.

‘What choice do we have?’: Portland’s ‘Wall of Moms’ faces off with federal officers at tense protests (WaPo / Seattle Times reprint)
The fledgling collective, formed less than a week ago, has dubbed itself the Wall of Moms — and new chapters have already formed in cities around the country from St. Louis to New York, Chicago to Philadelphia and even in the nation’s capital. The groups have organized in anticipation of a national deployment of federal law enforcement personnel to Democratic-led cities — a nascent plan President Trump announced he was putting into action earlier this week.
posted by katra at 12:37 PM on July 22 [10 favorites]


Authorities are absolutely not showing much restraint, with the number of peaceful protesters and press being attacked and tear gassed. I can't say I agree there's any limits still in play about what they feel they can't do.
posted by tiny frying pan at 12:48 PM on July 22 [1 favorite]


What is Operation Legend? Trump May Use Federal Forces in U.S. Cities (Newsweek, July 20, 2020) The influx of officers may be part of an initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice called Operation Legend. In July, a press release described Operation Legend as "a sustained, systematic and coordinated law enforcement initiative across all federal law enforcement agencies working in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight the sudden surge of violent crime." [...] "Operation Legend was created as a result of President Trump's promise to assist America's cities that are plagued by recent violence," the release said. Named after LeGend Taliferro, a four-year-old Kansas City, Missouri boy who was shot in the face while sleeping, Attorney General Barr said the operation would "combat the disturbing uptick in violence" in U.S. cities.

US attorney: Feds will be identifiable in Kansas City action (AP, July 21, 2020) The top federal prosecutor in Kansas City said any federal agents involved in an operation to reduce violent crime in the area will be clearly identifiable when making arrests, unlike what has been seen in Portland, Oregon. U.S. Attorney Timothy Garrison said in a written statement Monday that a new federal effort called Operation LeGend in Kansas City is in response to an increase in violent crime, not local protests, The Kansas City Star reported. “These agents won’t be patrolling the streets,” Garrison said. “They won’t replace or usurp the authority of local officers.”

Garrison has said that the additional 225 federal agents from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will join 400 agents already working and living in the Kansas City area. Those outside federal agents are now in Kansas City and the operation is “engaged, is rolling out” said Don Ledford, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.


Lucas raises concerns about Trump’s ‘dog-whistling’ as federal Operation Legend expands (Kansas City Star, July 22, 2020) Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas expressed concern Wednesday afternoon about the widening scope of federal law enforcement in Kansas City and racial “dog-whistling” in President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about crime in cities. Lucas said he’s spoken this week with both Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, whose cities will soon see an influx of federal law enforcement officers under Operation Legend, a Department of Justice initiative that launched this month in Kansas City. All three mayors share “concerns that the operation could expand beyond as it’s been described,” Lucas said.

[The governor of Missouri is Michael "Mike" L. Parson, a white Republican politician and a former sheriff; Parson served as lieutenant governor before scandal led to Gov. Greitens's resignation in 2018. Quinton Lucas, a Black man with a JD from Cornell, is a law professor at the University of Kansas; he was elected mayor in 2019 with 59% of the vote.]

Hijacking a child's murder to justify authoritarian overreach and make political gains, while misspelling his name? Stay classy, Trump Administration.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:55 PM on July 22 [7 favorites]


Apparently DHS had somebody planted with the Portland police since day one. As Trump now plans to “surge” Chicago, and soon other cities, with federal police, it’s looking more and more like this was the plan all along.
posted by gucci mane at 2:13 PM on July 22 [10 favorites]


Barr is sending 35 trump troops to Albuquerque.

"In response, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General have announced a new civil rights monitoring program. According to a release, the office will target investigative and prosecutorial resources at any suspected civil rights violation stemming from federal law enforcement operations."
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:25 PM on July 22 [5 favorites]


This surge in Chicago is going to line up with our projected heat wave this weekend, eh? Super.

In case you're unaware, Chicago, in Mefi parlance, doesn't do heat waves well. This should get interesting quickly. I fear for the people of my city.
posted by heyho at 3:35 PM on July 22 [5 favorites]


Rather ironic that the anti-immigration president is pulling hundreds of border patrol agents off the job of immigration enforcement to work on re-election efforts for Trump. I guess you could argue he is taking the long view.
posted by JackFlash at 3:36 PM on July 22 [3 favorites]


Conservative media helps Trump perform ‘law and order’ in Portland, with risks for November (WaPo)
The decision to insert the federal government into spasms of racial unrest so close to a national election — as the Trump administration strains to respond to a pandemic that has claimed close to 140,000 American lives — resembles efforts to arouse fear of the migrant caravan heading to the U.S. border in the lead-up to the midterm election in 2018. Those efforts sputtered, with suburban voters propelling Democrats to a House majority. Similarly, the administration’s moves now to “dominate” the streets, as Trump characterized his vision, risks backlash in both parties.

[...] Neither the chaos depicted in conservative media nor the president’s caricature of protesters as extremists who “hate our country” is reflected in what the city’s leaders describe as mostly peaceful assemblies, including by dozens of women who this week formed a “wall of moms” around demonstrators. Local officials have condemned the presence of federal forces, who have struck a protester in the head with a less-lethal round and whisked others away in unmarked vans.

[...] The justification offered by the Trump administration represents “an excuse rather than a real reason for these deployments,” said Margo Schlanger, a law professor at the University of Michigan who served as an officer for civil rights and civil liberties at the Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama. “If the courts don’t put it down, we should be very worried,” she said, condemning in particular accounts of protesters being detained without justification by unidentified tactical teams. [...] Even as conservative pundits raise alarm about turmoil in Portland, [Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor of communication at University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication,] said, they have not yet produced imagery to support their warnings. Still, the persistent verbal reinforcement “makes you think you are seeing a reality when in fact what you’re seeing is selected distortion.”
posted by katra at 8:05 PM on July 22 [2 favorites]


Named after LeGend Taliferro, a four-year-old Kansas City, Missouri boy who was shot in the face while sleeping, Attorney General Barr said the operation would "combat the disturbing uptick in violence" in U.S. cities.

Oh, hey AG Barr, I was wondering whether you have any plans for an operation named after Breonna Taylor? No.

Huh. How about that.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:19 PM on July 22 [11 favorites]


Trump’s Portland crackdown is controversial. The man spearheading it might be doing so illegally. (Aaron Blake, WaPo Analysis)
What’s also problematic here — and perhaps even illegal — is the man calling the shots. This controversial effort is being spearheaded not by a duly confirmed DHS secretary, but by acting secretary Chad Wolf, whose long-running service in that role runs afoul of the law, according to experts. Trump has made use of acting Cabinet officials in ways with no apparent precedent. [...] In other words, the man running this controversial effort has not been signed off on for his current role (Wolf was confirmed to be an undersecretary at DHS). The lack of confirmation for his current position is a problem for two reasons.

One is that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act only allows acting officials to serve for 210 days after a vacancy is declared or a new permanent head is nominated and rejected. Wolf has served 251 days. Because a new nomination hasn’t been announced, much less rejected, the clock has never reset. And University of Michigan law professor Nina Mendelson, an expert on federal vacancies, says that 210-day window was violated even before Wolf was appointed, given that McAleenan served more than 210 days himself as acting secretary. “The language of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act is very clear,” Mendelson said. “It’s 210 days, beginning on the date the vacancy occurs, so an acting secretary cannot serve legally past that time.”

[...] And even setting that aside, [Mendelson] says that Wolf’s continued service is also unconstitutional, given that the Constitution states that the president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate,” such officials — which Trump has made no effort to do. “The issue has not gone to the courts as yet, but such lengthy service also in my view violates the Constitution,” Mendelson said. “The Constitution requires confirmation of Cabinet officials. Empowering someone not confirmed for the job to run the agency for such a lengthy period of time violates that requirement.” [...] Brianne J. Gorod, chief counsel of the Constitutional Accountability Center, said Wolf “is a prime example of this administration’s unlawful use of acting officials.” [...] And there is some reason to believe this could actually impact any legal cases resulting from the use of DHS personnel in cities such as Portland.

In March, for instance, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., suspended asylum policies put forward by acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Ken Cuccinelli, ruling that his appointment had violated the FVRA. [...] Perhaps more important is a 2017 Supreme Court decision. In that decision, the court affirmed a lower court’s decision voiding an action taken by Lafe Solomon, who served as acting general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, because he was found to be illegally serving in that role. [...] Whether this might factor into any legal challenges to the DHS’s actions in Portland or elsewhere remains to be seen.
posted by katra at 8:32 PM on July 22 [13 favorites]


Federal agents retreat to Portland base as protesters control streets (Guardian)
Department of Homeland Security taskforce agents were again out firing waves of teargas and throwing stun grenades against a hard core of a few hundred demonstrators in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The confrontation centered on the courthouse at the heart of several blocks of downtown Portland that have effectively fallen under the control of the protesters after the city police withdrew. But after pushing back demonstrators, many of them kitted out in helmets and gas masks, the federal agents retreated into their courthouse citadel to mocking jeers and women who were part of the “Wall of Moms” protest linking arms and chanting: “Our streets.” [...] In a visible surrender of ground, the DHS taskforce has even abandoned bothering to re-erect a fence around the federal building torn down on Saturday night.

[...] While the federal agents play out their nightly ritual, the city’s police are visibly absent. Although the Portland police bureau headquarters is in the building next to the federal courthouse, its officers appear to have abandoned any attempt to police the demonstrations after the mayor, who serves as police commissioner, sided with the protesters against the president. On top of that a court order limited the city police’s use of teargas and other means of restraint.
posted by katra at 10:38 PM on July 22 [5 favorites]


I’m out of downtown rn but it turned into a wild night. Mayor got tear gassed, and PPB came out and shutdown the city, declaring a riot.
posted by gucci mane at 12:38 AM on July 23 [8 favorites]




Here’s a longer clip of the riot designation. It is a significantly large section of downtown.
posted by gucci mane at 12:43 AM on July 23 [4 favorites]


Evan McMurry of ABC tweets:
Navy vet seen in viral vid clashing w/federal officers in Portland tells
@ABC
he wants to use attention on him "to refocus this whole discussion back to Black Lives Matter."

“If I had been a black veteran...do you think I would have gotten as much attention as I did?”
The linked tweet contains what appears to be about a minute of edited clips from a video interview with Christopher 'Captain Portland' Davis. He calls the interviewer on it when she tries to suggest a Black vet would have gotten the same press coverage.
posted by bcd at 12:46 AM on July 23 [20 favorites]


I was not expecting to see a leaf blower brigade successfully turn back a big cloud of federal tear gas in front of a phalanx with shields made of rain barrels of pool noodles in 2020, but it's been a year of surprises.
posted by StarkRoads at 1:16 AM on July 23 [31 favorites]


I'm wondering if modern Freedomites will make a comeback to shame the shit out of the Federal troops.
posted by benzenedream at 1:53 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Democrats' Dangerous Gamble
The House Judiciary Committee held one hearing about the Trump administration’s politicization of the Justice Department, but Attorney General Bill Barr has still yet to testify, and months after he attempted to seize control of multiple criminal cases of interest to Trump, there’s little indication he ever will. With a small army of secret federal police set to fan across the country, for the explicit purpose of harassing citizens and scapegoating local Democratic officials, House appropriators have advanced legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security for a full year.
[...]
Democratic leaders adopted this posture of conflict avoidance shortly after the midterms to protect members who represent districts Trump won from the perception that they’re too anti-Trump. They haven’t flinched from it as Trump has grown more unpopular and his abuses more severe, perhaps in part as a matter of risk aversion—why veer from a light-touch strategy that has Trump losing the election in a landslide? We can more generously imagine that their unwillingness to react has served the purpose of channeling deep national disquiet over Trump’s abuses of power toward the voting booth—after all, if the House won’t use its powers to expose and hinder Trump’s corruption schemes, the only hope for the country is at the polls.

Their strategy may work—I’d go so far as to say it probably will work. But from Trump’s perspective, the way to avoid the inevitable is to keep pushing and pushing and pushing against open doors until he’s subverted the election itself. This, too, may fail, and if it does, the basic obligations of government will practically require the Biden administration to throw open the books and do the oversight that wasn’t done in 2019 and 2020; to assure allies and adversaries alike that Trump didn’t permanently turn the United States into a mafia state. But if Trump’s efforts succeed, we will be in the dark and at Trump’s mercy, left to wonder what we might have learned and been spared from if Democrats had taken a different approach, and if it might have saved us from catastrophe. The plan Democrats have adopted is to put every egg that matters in a single basket and hope the most volatile and crooked president in American history doesn’t knock it over.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 7:53 AM on July 23 [12 favorites]


I haven't seen this pointed out anywhere else but I can't help but notice that Portland, Albuquerque, Chicago and Kansas City all have something in common (besides being the places Barr's sending in the paramilitary): they're all democratic strongholds in otherwise red states. The rest of Missouri's so red that it tends to go red anyways, but if you can sufficiently depress voter turnout in Portland, Albuquerque and Chicago, those entire states could flip from blue to red. And you can be they're planning to stay through November: "Senior DHS officials said they expect the unrest to escalate at least through the November election" (Politico). That's what makes it clear to me that this is 100% about stealing the election. You can be they'll be doing plenty of "proactive policing" around polling places.

Perspective: "all federal law enforcement, taken together, is about twice the size of the NYPD."

Unfortunately I wouldn't take too much comfort in that: "Trump announced the department would also allocate $61 million in grants to send more police officers to US cities as part of a mission dubbed Operation Legend." (Business Insider) You can bet they'll be ramping up quickly; $61 million buys you a lot of jackbooted fascists, especially given the numbers of white supremacists that would probably be willing to do it for free.

The only thing more alarming to me than all this is how...not alarmed all the Congressional Democrats seem to be. Like, our democracy's sliding off a cliff here, I get that there's a lot of other things going on too but maybe prioritize saving the existence of a form of government that gives you the power to deal with those other things.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:55 AM on July 23 [12 favorites]


Oregon elections are vote by mail.
posted by aniola at 9:27 AM on July 23 [3 favorites]


That's okay, mstokes650 -- the Congressional Democrats aren't dealing with the other things going on, either! So.
posted by Gadarene at 9:32 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Remember that this is the same strategy Trump ginned up right before the 2018 election. He activated and sent 5,200 national guard troops to the border in a big show against the invading hoards of the caravans, just days before the election. The same dangerous caravans that mysteriously disappeared from concern shortly after the election.

Invent a dangerous enemy then make a show of military strength to protect the public from the danger. It didn't work in 2018. Hopefully it will fail again.
posted by JackFlash at 9:43 AM on July 23 [5 favorites]


Oregon elections are vote by mail.

It's bad news on that front, too.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:52 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]




How Portland Could Undermine Trump’s Urban Crackdown (Kimberly Wehle, Politico Magazine Opinion)
Kimberly Wehle is a professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law.
From its inception straight through to its heavy-handed and widely condemned implementation, Trump’s crackdown on protesters has flouted well-established constitutional protections. Just how improper it is should have been clear from the executive order that underpins it. It might not be the quickest way to challenge Trump’s authoritarian crackdown, but anyone with constitutional standing to sue the Trump administration—one of the many people rounded up or injured in Portland, for example—would have a strong case.

[...] The First Amendment’s free speech clause vigorously protects speech that is targeted for its content or point of view. The framers did not want government singling out certain people for punishment based on what they say. The Supreme Court has thus consistently rejected laws that put prior restraints on speech—i.e., government proclamations that stop speech from occurring in the first place. Trump’s executive order targets speech for its viewpoint, threatening federal action against protesters with perceived “left-wing” ideologies before they’ve even spoken. In the wake of 9/11, former Attorney General John Ashcroft and then-FBI Director Robert Mueller were sued for allegedly imposing a top-down discriminatory policy against Muslims, rounding them up because of their race, religion and national origin. The Supreme Court threw the lawsuit out on the grounds that there was no reason to believe Ashcroft and Mueller acted with discriminatory intent rather than out of a legitimate desire to protect the public from further terrorist attacks. But Trump’s executive order says the illegal stuff out loud. His unconstitutional motive—targeting people for their viewpoint—is crystal clear.

The Trump administration’s actions in support of the executive order are also offensive to the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment (among other provisions). [...] But even if Trump’s federal agents had jurisdiction over offenses that traditionally fall to state and local police (which is a big “if” here, to the extent these victims were on state and local property and nobody crossed state lines), and even if there is probable cause to believe in a particular case that a demonstrator hypothetically committed a nonviolent offense like jaywalking that might justify an arrest under state or local law, there is no legal or constitutional justification whatsoever for physical violence under these scenarios. The Fourth Amendment’s touchstone is reasonableness. Fracturing someone’s skull for standing on a sidewalk is not reasonable. Indeed, the Supreme Court has held that police cannot use deadly force even on a fleeing felon unless the suspect poses a substantial risk of serious physical harm.
posted by katra at 10:23 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


But Trump’s executive order says the illegal stuff out loud. His unconstitutional motive—targeting people for their viewpoint—is crystal clear.

But don't let that stop John Roberts from letting Trump know how to do it "legally" from the bench.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:38 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


The Supreme Court has thus consistently rejected laws that put prior restraints on speech

Ah yes, the Sobchak doctrine. Kinney v. Barnes, 443 S.W.3d 87, fn. 7

calmer than you are
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:21 PM on July 23 [6 favorites]


$61 million buys you a lot of jackbooted fascists

It's essentially a bribe for authoritarian right-wingers. Throw money at cops in one of the only legal ways to do so, they beat their families into voting R, and hopefully word of mouth sweeps T into the WH again. Note that there's nobody talking about whether that money means it's more lucrative for these people to infringe Posse Comitatus than to be an honest local police officer, the way they do with stimulus for individuals.
posted by rhizome at 3:04 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


" I can't help but notice that Portland, Albuquerque, Chicago and Kansas City all have something in common (besides being the places Barr's sending in the paramilitary): they're all democratic strongholds in otherwise red states."

Chicago is a democratic stronghold in an otherwise blue state or maaaaybe a purple state. Literally 3/4 of the state's population is in and around Chicago, and there are other blue cities downstate. Yeah, there's a lot of red counties on any election-map-by-county, but some of those counties have 4300 people. Not 4300 voters -- 4300 people, total. The Democrats have supermajorities in both houses in the statehouse, and hold ALL statewide elected offices. If literally no one in the city of Chicago had voted in 2016, Clinton still would have won Illinois, 2,177,786 to 2,010,698. If you managed to only throw out Democratic ballots in Chicago, you'd still have Clinton winning Illinois, 2,177,786 to 2,146,015, which is a margin of just over 135,000 votes.

Vote-by-mail sign-ups in Cook County (which includes but is not limited to Chicago) for the November election surpassed 135,000 in the first week of signups, and Illinois has extensive early voting, absentee voting, and vote by mail -- all "no excuse required." Illinois does not require ID to vote, and allows election day voter registration when you arrive at the polls. With the state GOP in disarray and having a nightmare fundraising cycle and looking to lose statehouse seats and possibly a ("safe") House of Reps seat in 2020, trying to flip Illinois red through voter suppression would be a gigantic waste of cash and effort.

Honestly I think Trump just hates Chicago, I don't think there's anything deeper to it than that. Federal thugs coming in is absolute bullshit and people are going to end up dead because of it, but it won't do a damn thing towards flipping Illinois for Trump. (And is tending to push public opinion in the opposite direction, people are PISSED.) It'll just make Trump feel like a big man that he got to send guys in to crack heads in a city that he can't stand and that has a married black lesbian mayor who said on national television that what's she'd like to tell Trump "starts with an F and ends with a U."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:46 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


Cracking down on Chicago is a racist dog whistle. This is red meat for all the Miller-lites out there.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:58 PM on July 23 [8 favorites]


I think it's even simpler than that.

"Two years after graduating from Columbia, Obama moved from New York to Chicago"
-- Barack Obama page on Wikipedia
posted by ctmf at 5:54 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]




And the order makes it much more difficult to claim qualified immunity:
the judge wrote that any “willful violation'' of his order or any direction by a federal supervisor or commander to disregard or violate the order will not shield a federal law enforcement officer from liability through the legal doctrine of qualified immunity.

For this reason, the judge ordered that his 22-page ruling [pdf] be widely distributed within 24 hours to the U.S. Attorney General William Barr and acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, all federal officers deployed in Portland, including but not limited to any federal personnel in Portland who are, or may become part of “Operation Diligent Valor,” or “Operation Legend.”
The Portland Tribune also reports on the order.
posted by katra at 6:11 PM on July 23 [9 favorites]


Bill Barr speaking at a White House Press conference: “We’ve named the operation, as we’ve said, ‘Operation Legend,’ and we started rolling it out a couple of weeks ago in Kansas City,” Barr said. “And just to give you an idea of what’s possible: The FBI went in very strong into Kansas City, and within two weeks, we’ve had 200 arrests.”

So the Kansas City Star went to work fact checking. Turns out the total FBI arrests in the last two weeks is one, not 200, just one.

It turns out that the 200 refers to arrests going back to December, long before George Floyd, long before the protests, and so having nothing to do with Operation Legend.

Oh, so they fact checked that too and it turns out that the 200 arrests aren't just FBI arrests, but also local police arrests.

So it turns out that Barr's statement was a complete lie from beginning to end.

It wasn't Operation Legend.
It wasn't 200 arrests.
It wasn't two weeks.
It wasn't just the FBI.

This kind of deceit is deliberate.
posted by JackFlash at 7:19 PM on July 23 [37 favorites]


The Kansas City Star is paywalled; here's a crowing summary with a couple of article excerpts: Justice Dept forced to correct AG Bill Barr's latest tall tale (MSNBC, July 23, 2020) “To give you an idea of what’s possible, the FBI went in very strong into Kansas City and within 2 weeks we’ve had 200 arrests,” Barr said, despite reality
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:36 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


Here’s Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos on twitter, whom I’ve posted a lot on here as his coverage, like all of our local reporters, has been exceptional) on BBC Newshour. Approx. 5 minutes or so at the beginning of the show.
posted by gucci mane at 7:52 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


The one man arrested in Kansas City is 20-year-old Monty W. Ray, described by U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Garrison, the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Western District of Missouri, as "a violent crime waiting to happen" and I hope that line figures in his defense, if only towards creating an impartial jury. Here's the justice.gov July 20 press release with that quote, KC Man Charged with Illegal Firearms. (Here, the initiative is spelled "Operation LeGend" but the release is issued by the DOJ's US Attorneys' Office, Western District of Missouri; Kansas City's KCTV's article about the arrest calls the program "Operation: LeGend"; justice.gov also has yesterday's Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks During the Operation Legend Expansion Announcement document and it's "Operation Legend" in that. During Barr's speech, he says, "We are honored to have LeGend’s family here with us in the audience today," yet -- separate from the varying spelling of the official operation throughout the .gov site and media outlets -- the single page of Barr's remarks manages to misspell the four-year-old's name twice across four mentions.) (Yes, I complained about this upthread and no, I can't explain why it's still cheesing me off to this extent.)

Per Barr's remarks, there's also a small Federal subsidy program to hire additional local police officers in the cities where Federal agents are operating:

Linked to this increase in federal law enforcement officers, we are also providing financial assistance to state and local law enforcement in these cities. For example, in Albuquerque we have made available over $1.5 million in funding for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department to hire five deputies. [I've linked to some horrifying issues/lawsuits involving racist and/or violent Bernalillo deputies.] Sheriff Manny Gonzalez is here today and will be providing five Deputy Sheriffs as federal task force officers to help support these joint violent crime reduction efforts. Thank you, Sheriff.

We are also making available $3.5 million in federal funding to the city of Chicago in order to compensate local law enforcement for overtime, equipment, and other expenses incurred in support of federal task force operations. And in Kansas City, we have awarded the Kansas City Police Department, who is represented here today by Chief Richard Smith, over $3.6 million in COPS hiring grants to onboard a total of 18 police officers. As part of that award, Kansas City PD will be providing nine police officers to serve as federal task force officers focused exclusively on our federal partnership to reduce violent crime.

posted by Iris Gambol at 10:39 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


No mention of Portland in his remarks; Feds are "making available" funding to Chicago, not that the city will accept it, otherwise their flunky would've been present and name-checked, too. I'm not sure that it's come up -- some of these cities (and mayors; The United States Conference of Mayors is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30000 or more) with current or threatened Federal encroachment have older, immigration-policy-related legal beefs with AG Barr. SF, NY, DC, Boston, Albuquerque (take two), and some recent decisions (City of Chicago v. Barr) have not broken his way.*

City of Chicago v. Barr represents the second time that the Seventh Circuit has looked at efforts by the US Justice Department (DOJ) to force compliance with Trump Administration immigration policy by rendering the City of Chicago, which has a “Welcoming City” law– e.g., it is a sanctuary city– ineligible to receive federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants. April 2018 - a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit unanimously struck down the Attorney General’s coercive funding conditions and upheld the district court’s preliminary injunction. April 30, 2020 - Seventh Circuit issues its opinion affirming the permanent injunction.

*Unless Barr and his administration are running a Xanatos Gambit, with authoritarian overreach of federal-level LEO actions ultimately resulting in a strengthening states' rights and further dissolution of our national government as just one of several wholly-acceptable end goals. Would somebody mind my bingo card array while I duck out for some air? Thanks.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:41 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


I nearly got my head taken off tonight. I’m still downtown rn. It’s complete mayhem.
posted by gucci mane at 2:01 AM on July 24 [20 favorites]


Columbus statues removed in Chicago overnight. If only we could defund CPD overnight.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:37 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


Medics at protests sue Portland police, federal agencies over attacks (Portland Tribune, Jul. 23, 2020)
Four medics volunteering at the ongoing Portland protests allege that they were targeted and attacked by Portland and federal law enforcement in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, July 22, in Oregon U.S. District Court. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union Oregon and Perkins Coie LLP, the medics filed the civil rights action against the City of Portland, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshall Service, as well as Portland Police Officer Stephen Pettey, who allegedly arrested one of the medics.

The lawsuit alleges that while serving a "central role" at protests, the medics have been repeatedly attacked by law enforcement with tear gas, pepper spray, batons, rubber bullets and flash bangs. "While they work as protest medics, Plaintiffs often are left in the impossible position of complying with the orders of law enforcement while rendering aid to injured protesters, journalists, and legal observers," the complaint states. They allege that Portland police and federal agents have "indiscriminately attacked, and at times have specifically targeted protest medics." The police and federal agents violated the medics' Constitutional rights to peacefully protest and from excessive force. According to the complaint, the plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment declaring that targeting medics for arrest or attacks is unconstitutional, as well as monetary damages for the medics.

[...] One of the medics is Christopher Wise, a former EMT and one of the few Black medics at the protests, according to court documents. "Black lives matter; my life matters. We have to keep saying it until people understand it," he said in an ACLU press release. "I act as a protest medic because I believe what people have to say is important, and no one should be forced to stop saying it with these protests."
posted by katra at 9:10 AM on July 24 [11 favorites]


Oregon senators lose bid to compel Trump to withdraw fed forces (Portland Tribune, Jul. 23, 2020)
Oregon's U.S. senators have been rebuffed in their effort to compel President Donald Trump to withdraw federal law enforcement from Portland streets. The Senate passed the $740 billion military authorization bill (S 4049) on Thursday, July 23, but Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley were among those who voted against the bill. On an 87-13 procedural vote Wednesday, July 22, the Senate voted to cut off debate, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denied Wyden and Merkley from offering an amendment to block the president from deploying federal officers.

Wyden and Merkley sought to attach their amendment to the bill, which is considered must-pass legislation before Congress starts its late-summer recess. They had mustered about 40 sponsors. [...] On Thursday, the inspectors general of the two federal agencies agreed with a request by the senators and Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici to investigate the situation in Portland. Blumenauer said in a statement: "I'm glad that inspectors general ... have granted our request for independent investigations. We need to know how these abuses of power were allowed to happen and what can be done to stop President Trump and his cronies from deploying more federal law enforcement officers across the country."
Trump is using federal agents as his 'goon squad', says Ice's ex-acting head (Guardian)
John Sandweg, the former acting director of Ice, who also served as general counsel for the DHS, said Donald Trump was using the agency as his own “goon squad” by sending federal law enforcement agents to Oregon’s biggest city and vowing to send more to other cities around the country, including Chicago and Albuquerque. Sandweg, in a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian, called the administration’s policy a “failure of leadership in the Trump administration”. He added: “I think it’s an abuse of DHS. I mean really the president’s trying to use DHS as his goon squad. That’s really what’s going on here.” Sandweg went on to offer scathing criticism of the administration’s handling of the protests, calling it a “manufactured crisis” driven by politics from the president.
posted by katra at 9:32 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Columbus statues removed in Chicago overnight. If only we could defund CPD overnight.

Fuck Lightfoot only doing this now that she assumes it'll buy her cred, especially since she's making it explicit that this is only temporary. Two weeks ago, she directly ordered CPD to beat the shit out of protestors for asking for this exact outcome and then blamed them for their own beatings, including knocking out the teeth of teenagers. Lightfoot has been complicit with the CPD's violent fascism and copagandizing against protestors from the very beginning, and photo ops like this are just a fraction of what she would need to do to make that right. Naturally, she's done a 180 and is totally cool with the feds coming in (and is using the CPD as her personal protection service), so I don't see that ever happening.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 9:33 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Mercenaries in Portland: Barr's Army includes a bunch of poorly vetted hired thugs.
posted by Nelson at 9:50 AM on July 24 [7 favorites]


The President’s Private Army (Elizabeth Goitein, Just Security, Jul. 24, 2020)
It doesn’t take a legal expert to know that what’s happening in Portland, Oregon is an abuse of power. When unidentified federal forces dressed as soldiers pull people off the streets into unmarked vans, something is gravely wrong. What’s less apparent is that this abuse is part of an ongoing effort by the administration to get around “posse comitatus”: the principle that the president cannot use the military as a domestic police force. The implications for the rule of law — and potentially for the 2020 election — are staggering. [...] So the administration is trying out a new end run around the Posse Comitatus Act. The Department of Homeland Security has sent dozens of agents to Portland to “restore order,” against the will of Portland’s mayor and the governor of Oregon. The official justification for the deployment is to protect federal property, which federal law enforcement agencies may do with or without local authorities’ consent. But in less scripted moments, the president has blown this cover, repeatedly declaring that he’s sending the feds to do the job of local Democratic officials because those officials are doing it so badly. “You’re supposed to wait for them to call, but they don’t call,” he complained.

In any case, it’s fairly obvious that DHS agents aren’t in Portland simply to protect federal property or personnel. They’ve been recorded driving in areas far from any federal building and apprehending people who are not visibly engaged in any crime, let alone a federal one. In these cases, no charges are brought, no laws “enforced.” After holding the person for a short but terrifying period of time, the agents release them, leaving no record of the event. What they leave instead is a message of intimidation. This isn’t the behavior of a law enforcement agency, state or federal. It’s the behavior of a lawless paramilitary force — and it’s no accident that President Trump chose DHS for the job. [...] As a legal matter, Trump’s misuse of federal law enforcement in Portland doesn’t violate the Posse Comitatus Act, because the agents are not members of the armed forces. But with DHS acting as a paramilitary force, the deployment nonetheless violates the fundamental principle behind the law. And it highlights the reason that principle exists in the first place: so that the president will not have a personal army at his disposal to “take over” local governments or to suppress domestic dissent.

Congress and the courts must step in. Otherwise, having found his army, Trump is sure to use it again in coming months. Bullying Democratic mayors and governors plays well with his base, whose support was beginning to waver due to Trump’s disastrous mishandling of Covid-19. More chilling, he could deploy his paramilitary forces in Democratic strongholds on Election Day as a means of suppressing voter turnout. President Trump has already used federal forces to undermine local sovereignty and the rights of protesters. This practice must be stopped, lest he use these same tactics to undermine our democracy come November.
posted by katra at 9:55 AM on July 24 [11 favorites]


Mercenaries in Portland: Barr's Army includes a bunch of poorly vetted hired thugs.

They really bury the lede here:
“… Outsourcing [to private contractors] is the way to protect your actual mission,” the former DHS agent says. “Layering [mixing federal agents in with contractors] provides plausible deniability. Jurisdiction and authority are given by the attorney general [in this case, William Barr].
“They can also use the authority of another agency [i.e., FPS] by being next to them (implied authority) …. Finding thugs is not a problem. Remember, they used mercenaries to capture [DEA agent] Kiki Camarena’s torturers [in Mexico].”
Which is exactly what Barr is trying to do in this case. Even if Democratic House members do get the Sergeant At Arms to drag Barr kicking and screaming into a committee hearing he just shrugs and says "DHS have been perfect angels, I don't know anything about the abuse of private security contractors."
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:26 AM on July 24 [10 favorites]


I began by asking Professor Chomsky to respond to the surge of federal agents Trump is promising to unleash on the country.

NOAM CHOMSKY: President Trump is desperate. His entire attention is—there’s one issue on his mind; that’s the election. He has to cover up for the fact that he is personally responsible for killing tens of thousands of Americans. It is impossible to conceal that much longer. Just compare the United States with Europe or even Canada; it’s becoming a pariah state to the point where Americans aren’t even permitted to travel to Europe. Europe won’t accept them.

His chances of victory depend on his doing something dramatic. He was trying very hard to set up military confrontations that you mentioned, martial law. It’s moving toward martial law. He might even be able to try to cancel the elections. There is no telling what he would do. He is completely desperate. This is like the actions of some tin-pot dictator in a neo-colony somewhere, small country that has a military coup every couple of years. There is no historical precedent for anything like this in a functioning democratic society. If he could send Blackshirts out in the streets, he would be happy to do that.

Exactly how this will eventuate is very hard to say. The courts are unlikely to do anything. We may even get to a point where the military command has to decide which side they are on. The man is desperate. He is psychotic. He is in extreme danger of losing his position in the White House and will do anything he can to prevent it.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Professor Chomsky, what you just said echoed the concerns of Senator Ron Wyden that we may be headed—the U.S. may be headed towards the imposition of martial law. You’ve just called Trump psychotic, previously having referred to him as a sociopath. And pointed to the differences between—the massive differences between Biden and Trump when we had you on earlier this year, saying about Biden that he is pretty empty, you can push him one way or another. And you’ve also said that this is the most crucial election in human history, literally. Now, in a Fox News interview just on Sunday, Trump refused to commit to accepting the outcome of the 2020 election.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I’m not a good loser. I don’t like to lose. I don’t lose too often. I don’t like to lose.

CHRIS WALLACE: But are you gracious?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You don’t know until you see. It depends. I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election. I really do.

CHRIS WALLACE: Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results of the election?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I have to see. Look, Hillary Clinton asked me the same thing.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Could you comment on that and what your concerns are in the event—I mean, you’ve just said that in fact the elections somehow could be canceled. Could you talk about under what conditions Trump might be able to do that? And in the event they are not canceled, what are your concerns, depending on the outcome of the vote, what Trump might do?

posted by infini at 11:46 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]




Downtown jail inmates hitting panic buttons due to tear gas wafting into cells, lawyers say (Oregonian)
Inmates at Portland’s downtown jail have complained this week about tear gas seeping into their cells, making it difficult to breathe and causing their eyes to burn. Women housed on the eighth floor of the Multnomah County Justice Center reported waking up in the early morning hours Tuesday and Wednesday and hitting panic buttons in their cells because they were choking on the gas, according to Oregon Federal Public Defender Lisa Hay. [...] Reports of ventilation in the jail being shut down also concerns the federal public defender at a time when the spread of the coronavirus remains a danger to inmates. “Good ventilation is critical for keeping the virus at bay,‘' Hay said.
US attorney: 18 more arrested in Portland on US charges (AP)
The number of arrests doesn’t include those made early Friday, when federal agents again used tear gas against demonstrators. The charges involving the protests include assaulting federal officers, arson and damaging federal property, U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams said. All the defendants are local, and they were released pending trial after making a court appearance. Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf previously said there had been 43 federal arrests as of Tuesday.
Protester in Portland sues Trump for 'conspiracy to violate the U.S. Constitution' after alleged attack by feds (Portland Tribune, Jul. 23, 2020)
A Seattle resident is suing president Donald Trump and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf for "conspiracy to violate the U.S. Constitution" after allegedly being beaten by federal law enforcement officers at a Portland protest on July 18. The lawsuit, first reported by The Oregonian, was filed in U.S. District Court on July 21.

It alleges that Jeff Paul, who works in special education, attended a protest outside the Justice Center when federal officers charged without warning and "viciously beat and mutilated" Paul with a baton. According to court documents, Paul spent the night in a hospital emergency department. The lawsuit alleges that Wolf and the federal agents who work for him violated Paul's First and Fourth Amendment rights to peacefully protest and from unlawful uses of force. It further alleges that world and federal law enforcement conspired to deprive Paul of his civil rights and failed to prevent that conspiracy. [...] Paul is represented pro bono by Michael Fuller, Kelly D. Jones and Jane Moisan. The lawsuit is one of many filed by the team of Portland lawyers on behalf of protesters and homeowners who have been impacted by the law enforcement tactics used at protests.
posted by katra at 12:33 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


Concerns about federal agents wearing military camo raised by DoD in after-action review (The Military Times, July 22, 2020) Defense Secretary Mark Esper is concerned about how federal agents are identifying themselves, as camo-clad law enforcement rebuff nation-wide protests this summer and confuse the public about the role the military is playing domestically. Esper wants the public to be able to differentiate between the police and military personnel. His concerns were raised as part of an after-action review currently underway that is looking at the National Guard’s response to protests this summer, chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said Tuesday.

The latest media attention has centered around protests in Portland, Oregon, where federal police have been videoed detaining demonstrators without identifying themselves and placing people in unmarked vehicles. [...] In one instance, captured in a video seen about 10 million times, a former Navy Seabee had his hand broken by federal officers. Neither the National Guard, nor the active-duty military, are currently being used in Oregon for civil disturbance response, according to defense officials.

DC Lawyers File a Complaint with Bar Association Against AG Barr; the July 22, 2020 40-page complaint, Professional Responsibility Investigation of William P. Barr; via justsecurity.org.

Portland transportation officials have jumped into the disputes between local officials and the Trump administration, demanding federal agents remove a large, reinforced fence in front of the federal courthouse erected to keep demonstrators away from a building. (WaPo, July 24, 2020). The Trump administration has cited defending the building as central to its mission in Portland. Un-paywalled: Portland officials demand feds remove courthouse fence in bike lane (OregonLive, July 23, 2020) “It is shameful that unnamed, unannounced federal agents would illegally erect a wall to hide from the people they are sworn to serve, and I have instructed PBOT to closely monitor the federal occupiers’ actions for additional violations,” [Portland Commissioner of Transportation Chloe] Eudaly said.

The city has also constructed fences during the nearly two months of protests in Portland following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The first such fence was erected May 30 around the downtown Justice Center and gained a cult social media following as orders to not damage the fence were regularly given by officers. City officials also placed a fence around City Hall, but began deconstructing it the same day amid criticism
. Cease and Desist demand letter.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:12 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


Here is the full unedited video of my close call. I have a ton of videos from the past few nights, I just gotta go through them all because for the most part things are pretty mundane ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ then shit starts flying and you’re ducking behind cover.

Here’s a video of a woman being arrested simply for dancing with flowers. And the use of full auto pepper ball launchers. Mean lil fuckers.
posted by gucci mane at 2:48 PM on July 24 [8 favorites]


Dad with leaf blower arrested Tuesday, says he was taken to ground by federal officers during Portland protest (Oregonian, Jul. 24, 2020)
A man who attended Monday’s Portland protest as part of the PDX Dad Pod, was arrested by federal officers early Tuesday morning. He said officers took him to the ground after they tried to take away his leaf blower. Zack Duffly, a 44-year-old Portland attorney, attended the protests for the first time Monday. He said he went to express his opposition of police treatment of Black people and of federal officers’ treatment of protesters in downtown Portland. He arrived before 9 p.m. and met up with the group of dads, who organized to protest and support the Wall of Moms. Many Dads wore orange, hard hats and some brought leaf blowers which can be used to disperse tear gas. They marched and listened to speakers.

[...] Around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, officers used tear gas on the crowd. Duffly said he didn’t hear any warning, but started backing up and leaving amid flashbangs. There was an officer nearby who was telling people to get out of the street. Duffly said he didn’t feel threatened by the officer at that time. One of the agents in camo, holding a baton, came from Duffly’s side and charged him, he said. Duffly believes he was targeted because he brought a leaf blower. Duffly said the agent tried to grab his leaf blower, which was strapped to his body. Since he didn’t have time to unstrap, he said he was taken to the ground and his glasses were broken as the two officers arrested him. [...] His arraignment happened around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. He was charged with federal disorderly conduct. He has a trial date set for the misdemeanor charge. He also has a curfew and cannot be within five blocks of the courthouse.

In the days following, he said he can still feel and smell the tear gas. But the “greatest amount of stress right now,” he said, is that he was doxed, meaning his personal information, including home address, was posted on Twitter. He has received a threat since that happened and has installed security cameras at his home. He said his experience was “terrifying” but believes that was the intent. “I think federal agents are here to terrorize the city and to chill our free speech and our rights to assembly,” he said.
posted by katra at 3:31 PM on July 24 [17 favorites]


Judge denies Oregon’s request to stop arrests by US agents (AP)
A U.S. judge Friday denied an order sought by Oregon’s top law enforcement officer to stop federal agents from arresting people during nightly protests in Portland that have roiled the progressive city and pitted local officials against the Trump administration. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman said the state lacked standing to sue on behalf of protesters.
Federal judge finds state lacks standing, denies Oregon attorney general’s motion to restrict federal police actions (Oregonian)
A federal judge Friday denied a restraining order that Oregon’s attorney general sought to restrict federal officers’ tactics in Portland, finding the state lacked legal standing and presented scant evidence to support allegations that federal officers were illegally snatching people off city streets. [...] “Because it has not shown it is vindicating an interest that is specific to the state itself—I find the State of Oregon lacks standing here and therefore deny its request for a temporary restraining order,‘' Mosman ruled in the 14-page decision.

[...] “The State has presented just one example of an arrest without probable cause and one example of an unreasonable seizure. That is the sum total of the evidence before me that underpins the legal injuries the State asserts in its brief,” the judge wrote. “In both instances of a federal seizure it is either admitted or clearly visible that the agents’ uniforms say ‘Police.' " Beyond the two examples, the state failed to show that the federal officers were engaged in any widespread, unlawful practice or that others would be harmed in the future, the judge found. “It has presented no evidence of any official orders or policies and has presented no evidence that these allegedly illegal seizures are a widespread practice,” the judge wrote. “Despite the broad language in the complaint, Oregon has shown—at most— that this type of seizure has happened twice.”
Portland protesters accuse federal officers of indiscriminate tear gas attacks (NBC News, July 23, 2020)
posted by katra at 3:59 PM on July 24 [5 favorites]


Judge Mossman was appointed (for life) by a Republican President (W.) after clerking for SCOTUS Justice Powell (a Nixon apointee) and then working for fifteen years as a Federal prosecutor.

He was the US Attorney in Oregon from 2001-2003 (i.e. during 9-11 and then the establishment of the DHS in 2002) immediately before his appointment in 2003.

He was in private practice for less than three years. This kind of bio is exceedingly common for Federal judges, especially after the successful effort to obstruct as many Obama appointments as possible.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:48 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


Judge Rejects Challenge to Federal Agents Targeting Portland Protesters (NYT)
“I am quite disappointed,” Ms. Rosenblum said in an interview. “If I don’t have standing, I’m not quite sure who does.” A number of other lawsuits have been filed by private parties against the presence of the federal agents, and Ms. Rosenblum said she hoped they would be more successful. “Every American needs to be concerned about what’s happening in Portland,” Ms. Rosenblum said. “It could be happening in your city next.”
posted by katra at 4:55 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Seattle officials uneasy as more US agents arrive in city (AP, Jul. 23, 2020)
More federal agents have been dispatched to Seattle to protect federal property amid lingering unrest in the city following the shutdown of a protest zone where demonstrators camped for weeks during George Floyd protests. The agents are with a special response team of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said she felt she was misled by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, whom she said told her that the U.S. government had no plans to send federal agents to Seattle. [...] The agents sent to Seattle are on standby to help other federal law enforcement officials protect federal facilities in the city, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the plans who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the operation publicly.

[...] King County Executive Dow Constantine tweeted Thursday that a federal plane landed at an airport in Seattle that evening and that “more than a dozen personnel drove off to an unknown destination.” [...] Constantine said people in the Seattle area reject “Trump’s unconstitutional use of federal force. It is a transparent attempt to intimidate. But we will not be intimidated.”
posted by katra at 5:45 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


'That’s an illegal order': veterans challenge Trump's officers in Portland (Guardian)
The Black Lives Matter protest in Portland looked to be winding down last Saturday night when US marine corps veteran Duston Obermeyer noticed a phalanx of federal officers emerge from the federal courthouse. They shot teargas at the crowd and pushed a protester to the ground with such force that, Obermeyer said, she slid 6ft across the pavement. [...] “They are not supposed to be coming and attacking protesters,” Obermeyer told the Guardian. “They didn’t even give any warning, there was no ‘hey you need to move’, ‘hey back up’. There was basically them walking out and assaulting a protester just to prove that they could.” Just a few feet away, Obermeyer was aware of another man, US navy veteran Chris David, asking virtually the same question. Despite both being graduates of the naval academy, David is 11 years older and thus the pair had never met. But after more than 50 consecutive days of anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests in Portland, following the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, and the recent deployment of militarized federal agents by Donald Trump, both veterans had decided simultaneously now was the time to start asking questions.

[...] Obermeyer also asked the officers whether they understand what an illegal order is, referencing the fact that military officers are required by law to disobey illegal or unconstitutional orders. “Assaulting an unarmed protester who is exercising their first amendment rights is illegal, that’s an illegal order,” he said. That’s when teargas was fired on the two men. When that didn’t deter them, Obermeyer said an officer tried to hit him with a baton, but he caught it and quickly pushed him back. Another officer repeatedly beat David with a baton, breaking his hand in two places, an injury that will require surgery on Monday. He was also sprayed in the face with a white chemical irritant that he said “felt like flaming gasoline.” Obermeyer recalls an officer sticking an automatic weapon in his face, while another shot him at point-blank range with an orange chemical irritant. After serving in the marine corps for over a decade, including as an officer, Obermeyer has experienced being gassed many times. In this case, he wasn’t sure what they had used because, he said: “I’ve never felt worse than I did that night after being sprayed in the face.”

[...] Meanwhile, inspired by the events last Saturday, “Wall of Vets” groups have formed in Portland and at least five other cities across the country, similar to the walls of moms and dads, who stand in lines to protect the protesters.
posted by katra at 11:49 PM on July 24 [13 favorites]


The Wall of Moms made me cry. And then the Wall of Vets made me cry again. I am so proud of these people.

Here's an interview with one of the Vets mentioned above, deployed three times to Iraq.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:26 AM on July 25 [9 favorites]


Judge blocks Seattle law banning police use of pepper spray (AP)
A federal judge late Friday blocked Seattle’s new law prohibiting police from using pepper spray, blast balls and similar weapons that was passed following confrontations with protesters. The Seattle Times reports that U.S. District Judge James Robart at an emergency hearing granted a request from the federal government to block the new law, which the Seattle City Council passed unanimously last month. The U.S. Department of Justice, citing Seattle’s longstanding police consent decree, argued that banning the use of crowd control weapons could actually lead to more police use of force, leaving them only with more deadly weapons. Robart said the issue needed more discussion between the city and the Justice Department before the change went into effect Sunday. Ruling from the bench, just before 9 p.m., Robart said the temporary restraining order he granted would be “very temporary.”

“I urge you all to use it as an occasion to try to find out where it is we are and where it is we’re going,” Robart said. “I can’t tell you today if blast balls are a good idea or a bad idea, but I know that sometime a long time ago I approved them.”
Made-for-TV fascism: how Trump’s ‘crime explosion’ ploy could backfire (Tom McCarthy, Guardian, Jul. 25, 2020)
The deployment against anti-racism protesters is a ploy to burnish his strongman credentials, critics say – Trump is pursuing made-for-TV fascism, with the imposition of federal forces into US cities against the will of local authorities. As with 2018, the unmistakeable bogeyman is people of color, whom Trump portrays, with the help of conservative media, as again posing an existential threat to the country that only he can defend against.

[...] “What one has to ask is, how much is spectacle and how much is reality?” said Jason Stanley, a Yale philosophy professor and author of How Fascism Works. “Now, the spectacle should already worry us, because he did the spectacle in Lafayette Square,” Stanley said, referring to Trump’s violent clearance of peaceful protesters from a park near the White House in June. [...] “The spectacle normalizes, and then you can’t tell – say it’s November – you can’t tell if it’s still spectacle any more. It’s spectacle until someone gets hurt.” [...] “Unilaterally deploying these paramilitary-type forces into our cities is wholly inconsistent with our system of democracy and our most basic values,” more than a dozen mayors of major US cities warned Trump in an open letter last week.
posted by katra at 9:08 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


The Not Fucking Around Coalition (NFAC) is heading to Louisville today for a demostration re: Breonna Taylor. Militias have boots on ground too. Terrorism researcher JJ MacNab has assembled a list of Twitter accounts covering the event.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:17 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Yet another Bush judicial appointee coming down on the side of the Trumpers.

Elections have consequences, in this case an election 20 years ago. We won't be rid of the Trump appointees for decades.
posted by JackFlash at 9:25 AM on July 25 [7 favorites]


Since 2012, Judge James Robart has presided over the federal consent decree regarding the Seattle Police Department's history of racism and abuse of power. In 2016, the SPD was trying to negotiate its way out of the consent decree. Judge Robart shot them down, and in open court said "black lives matter" which, sadly enough, was remarkable at the time.

More recently, Judge Robart granted a temporary restraining order against Trump's executive order limiting immigration. Trump called him Robart a "so-called judge."

Judge Robart is not a friend of Trump or the SPD.

Elections do have consequences, but Judge Robart's appointment was not one of the many negative consequences of the GWB presidency.
posted by lumpy at 12:10 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


The involvement of the consent order does neatly dramatize the "Xanatos Gambit" potential of the situation suggested upthread.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:34 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Unpacking DHS’s Troubling Explanation of the Portland Van Video (Andrew Crespo, Lawfare, Jul. 25, 2020)
The basic legal framework here is not particularly complex. As noted at the outset, arresting someone without probable cause is unconstitutional. One important question to consider when assessing the legality of the viral van encounter is thus whether the agents had probable cause. As I’ve described at length in an article recently published in the Yale Law Journal, probable cause can sometimes be an elusive concept. But in some cases, like this one, its application is straightforward: The police do not have probable cause to arrest you just because you are standing in the vicinity of someone who may have committed a crime. As the Supreme Court explained in Ybarra v. Illinois, “a person’s mere propinquity to others independently suspected of criminal activity does not, without more, give rise to probable cause.” Rather, a “seizure of a person must be supported by probable cause particularized with respect to that person.” There is no such thing as probable cause by mere association.

[...] According to [Kris Cline, Deputy Director of the Federal Protective Service], the agents’ conduct was lawful because what they did was a “simple engagement.” “It was not,” Cline says, “a custodial arrest.” The argument, in other words, is that these agents complied with the Fourth Amendment because they did not need probable cause to put the man in the van in the first place. This assertion is glaringly wrong. It has been glaringly wrong for at least forty years, ever since the Supreme Court’s opinion in Dunaway v. New York. The question there was “whether the . . . police violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments when, without probable cause to arrest, they took petitioner into custody, transported him to the police station, and detained him there for questioning.” The answer, the Court said, was unequivocally yes: such a detention is “indistinguishable from a traditional arrest.”

[...] I do not know if Cline is trying to gaslight America. But I do know that, if he is not, there is only one other possible conclusion: He does not know what an arrest is. And that, too, is extremely problematic. If the person in command of a newly beefed up federal paramilitary police force does not know whether his agents are arresting people, he cannot possibly know whether they are doing so constitutionally—on the streets of Portland, or wherever President Trump deploys these federal agents next.
posted by katra at 1:20 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


It's easy to ruminate with other peoples' time and lives, but for these contractors or however they are legally categorized, I wonder what the actual consequences would be for resistance. Someone else disables a van, does anybody have recourse besides Enterprise? Kick them in the balls or run away?

With police, pulling away can be charged as assault on a police officer, but here? Physically engaging with them, would that be anything more than simple battery? It seems like them putting hands on a person is the point of greatest vulnerability: no rubber bullet guns, no tear gas or other area-denial weapons, just hands and camouflage and an abduction. Surely a person is legally allowed to use whatever they have at hand in self-defense against kidnapping.
posted by rhizome at 2:04 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


Protesters’ Rights (ACLU)
The First Amendment protects your right to assemble and express your views through protest. However, police and other government officials are allowed to place certain narrow restrictions on the exercise of speech rights. Make sure you’re prepared by brushing up on your rights before heading out into the streets.
posted by katra at 2:33 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Federal agents use tear gas to clear rowdy Portland protest (AP)
Thousands of protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, into the early hours Saturday, shooting fireworks at the building as plumes of tear gas dispensed by U.S. agents, lingered above. The demonstration went until federal agents entered the crowd around 2:30 a.m. and marched in a line down the street, clearing remaining protesters with tear gas at close range. They also extinguished a large fire in the street outside the courthouse. [...] As the crowd dispersed, someone was found stabbed nearby, Portland police said. The person was taken to a hospital and a suspect was taken into custody.

By 3 a.m., most demonstrators had left, with only some small groups roaming the streets. Earlier Friday night, the protest had drawn various organized groups, including Healthcare Workers Protest, Teachers against Tyrants, Lawyers for Black Lives and the “Wall of Moms.” As the crowd grew — authorities estimate there were 3,000 present at the peak of the protest — people were heard chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “Feds go home” to the sound of drums. Later, protesters vigorously shook the fence surrounding the courthouse, shot fireworks towards the building and threw glass bottles. Many times these actions were met by federal agents using tear gas and flash bangs. The flow of tear gas caused protesters to disperse at times, as others remained toward the front of the courthouse with leaf blowers directing the gas back to the courthouse. Federal agents had leaf blowers of their own to counteract.

[...] Oregon was seeking a restraining order on behalf of its residents not for injuries that had already happened but to prevent injuries by federal officers in the future. That combination makes the standard for granting such a motion very narrow, and the state did not prove it had standing in the case, Mosman wrote. Legal experts who reviewed the case before the decision warned that the judge could reject it on those grounds. A lawsuit from a person accusing federal agents of violating their rights to free speech or against unconstitutional search and seizure would have a much higher chance of success, Michael Dorf, a constitutional law professor at Cornell University, said ahead of the ruling.
posted by katra at 4:33 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Short film promoting local Portland journalists who've been covering this story. three nights in Portland, Oregon from July 20th to the 22nd, 2020. [CW: A whole lot of thug brutality]

Sacred Fence: America

(The crowd waving flashlights is even better with sound)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:39 PM on July 25


This is all so fucking awful. :-(
posted by Gadarene at 9:07 PM on July 25


Police declare riot at Seattle protests, make arrests (AP)
Thousands of protesters had initially gathered peacefully near downtown in a show of solidarity with fellow demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, where tensions with federal law enforcement have boiled over during protests stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Initially there was no sign of law enforcement near the Seattle march. Later, Seattle Police said via Twitter that about a dozen people breached the construction site for the King County youth detention facility. Also, police said protesters broke out windows at a King County court facility.
Seattle police declare riot at renewed Black Lives Matter protests (WaPo / MSN reprint)
Protesters erected barricades and fended off police efforts to disperse them with homemade shields, umbrellas and leaf blowers, tactics borrowed from Portland, Ore., protests, where activists have clashed nightly with police for nearly two months. [...] Christine Edgar said that when the yellow-clad Wall of Moms emerged at Portland’s Black Lives Matter protests last week she decided that Seattle mothers needed to adopt the tactic as well. With three days’ notice, she said, a Seattle Wall of Moms formed to march in the streets to protest the federal presence. “I wanted to make sure that Black and Brown voices were represented among the moms,” Edgar, who said her son was at the protest, told The Washington Post before addressing the crowd with a megaphone. “When people hear ‘mom,’ they always think of white moms,” she said, “and Black, Brown, and Indigenous women have been on the forefront of liberation movements for centuries.”
Youth Liberation Front protest in Seattle recalls familiar police standoffs as federal agents stay out of view (Seattle Times)
Seattle police declared a “riot” after the vandalism on 12th Avenue. As the protest group reached the area near the Police Department’s East Precinct, the site of repeated clashes last month, police began using pepper spray and flash-bang grenades on protesters and journalists, including some at close range. Protesters threw rocks, water bottles and colorful smoke bombs toward the line of police. It’s unclear which side struck first. Skirmishes broke out at several locations in the area as police declared the group an unlawful assembly and pushed protesters through the neighborhood near Cal Anderson Park and Seattle Central College.

One police officer in riot gear wore a patch that read, “Stop screaming, I’m scared too.” Police said some in the crowd threw explosive devices toward officers. Seattle police said three officers were injured, two who returned to work and one who was hospitalized with a leg injury “caused by an explosive.” Harborview spokesperson Susan Gregg confirmed an officer was admitted with a knee injury and said he was in satisfactory condition. The full scope of injuries was not immediately clear Saturday evening. The Seattle Fire Department responded to multiple calls in the area, but could not immediately give an accurate assessment of protest-related injuries, a spokesperson said.
posted by katra at 9:08 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Real-time updates: Group of protesters remain in standoff with police on Capitol Hill / WATCH LIVE: Group of protesters remains in standoff with police on Capitol Hill (King 5)
9:20 p.m. Group remains in Capitol Hill in standoff with police

A group of protesters are continuing to stand their ground in Capitol Hill as Seattle police intermittently deploy flashbangs and pepper spray to try and get them to disperse. The group is centered near Cal Anderson Park on 11th and East Pine Street. There have not been any reports of damage for several hours, but tensions continue to be high between the smaller group of protesters remaining and police.
Police report 25 arrests, 3 cops injured in Seattle riot (My Northwest)
The Seattle Police Department declared events Saturday afternoon in the city a riot due to “the ongoing damage and public safety risks.” SPD reports 25 people have been arrested for assault on officers, obstruction, and failure to disperse. Follow tweets from KIRO Radio’s Hanna Scott, KTTH’s Jason Rantz, and Seattle Police Department:
posted by katra at 10:03 PM on July 25




'White as hell': Portland protesters face off with Trump but are they eclipsing Black Lives Matter?
Teal Lindseth surveyed the sea of mothers she was about to lead into the firing line.

“I look at this crowd and I don’t see many black people,” lamented the 21-year-old African American activist. “Oregon is white as hell. Whitewashed.”
posted by dmh at 12:11 AM on July 26


“I look at this crowd and I don’t see many black people,” lamented the 21-year-old African American activist. “Oregon is white as hell. Whitewashed.”

Counterpoint: The issues caused by white supremacy in the USA were 100% created by white people, so it's 100% the responsibility of white people to fix them.
posted by mikelieman at 1:10 AM on July 26 [17 favorites]


The Wall of Moms in Portland had all the leaders step down since they were all white. The organization is now led entirely by Black women.

Yes, Portland is very white, but trying to do the work.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:33 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Portland is white af but I wanna know where these ppl are at that they aren’t seeing black ppl at the protest. If you’re hanging out off to the side a block away from where the park is maybe that’s why you aren’t seeing any black ppl, because every single time I go downtown I see tons of black ppl.
posted by gucci mane at 4:27 AM on July 26 [14 favorites]


NBC:
Still, some Black leaders in Portland say any attention drawn to inequities is a step in the right direction. Reginald Richardson Jr., pastor of Your Bible Speaks Seventh Day Adventist Church who describes himself as “nonviolent,” encourages white allies to act as shields for Black people, who have a historically fraught relationship with law enforcement.

“Black men and women will go to jail at a higher rate than our white brothers and sisters,” he said. “It is time for our white brothers and sisters to stand up and be that barrier.”
posted by katra at 7:29 AM on July 26 [5 favorites]


Racism, police violence protest and 'Rise Up Patriots' rally converge at Oregon Capitol (Salem Statesman Journal, Jul. 25, 2020)
From opposite sides of Court Street, Black Lives Matter demonstrators and right-wing counter-protesters converged to make their voices heard in front of the Oregon State Capitol early Saturday evening. [...] The "Black Lives Matter" chants were met with "All Lives Matter" from the group on the other side: a collection of people supporting an event called "Rise Up Patriots." At about 6 p.m., the two groups met suddenly for several minutes in the street, raising their voices after what appeared to be a brief altercation.
Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter groups face off at federal courthouse in Eugene (Register Guard, Jul. 25, 2020, updated Jul 26, 2020)
Eugene police initially stayed away from the courthouse Saturday night during a face-off between pro-Black Lives Matter protesters and counter-protesters who waved American flags and held All Lives Matter signs. Police only made their presence known later that night just before midnight, after protesters had marched throughout downtown spray painting property, breaking windows and lighting trash cans on fire along the way. [...]

The evening started quietly around 8 p.m. with local grassroots groups, such as Eugene’s own Wall of Moms, in attendance with Black Lives Matter sitting outside the courthouse. [...] But the protest didn’t really begin until a group of counter-protesters arrived with tall wood planks reading “All Lives Matter” and American flags and formed a line along East Eighth Avenue. Eugene’s own Wall of Moms, clad in bright yellow “Black Lives Matter” shirts ran to form a line in front of them. For at least the next hour, members of the groups were in heated arguments, and slowly protesters started to surround the counter-protesters and push them back into the street. But things boiled over when a counter-protester tried to cross through the protester’s line, protesters pushed back and a physical fight ensued between the two groups.

Even before this, one counter protester had pulled out what appeared to be a Taser and used it on people in the crowd a little before 9 p.m. At one point a shot was fired into the air, and a University of Oregon Daily Emerald journalist also captured a short video showing a man in a truck and a protester clad in black pointing guns at each other. As of 9:30 p.m. Eugene police were not at the scene. Eventually, the group of protesters (which spanned at least three blocks) pushed counter-protesters back from the courthouse and up Pearl Street. There were about 30 counter-protesters at this time.
posted by katra at 8:20 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Car drives through Black Lives Matter protest in Aurora, Colorado (Guardian / AP)
In Kentucky meanwhile, hundreds of armed, predominantly [B]lack, activists demanded justice for Breonna Taylor during peaceful demonstrations in Louisville that drew counter-protesters from a white militia group. Police closed streets and set up barricades to keep the two groups apart as tensions remained high in a town where protests have flared for months over the death of Taylor, a [B]lack woman killed when police burst into her apartment in March. By the time [B]lack activists dressed in black fatigues arrived in the heart of downtown Saturday afternoon, most of the white militia members had already left. Police in full riot geared looked on. [...] The only confrontation among the competing groups appeared to occur earlier Saturday when white militia members and Black Lives Matter activists yelled at each other over the police barricades.
posted by katra at 9:00 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Hundreds turn out for Oakland demonstration in solidarity with Portland protesters (Mercury News)
The march started at 7:30 p.m. in Frank Ogawa Plaza and 14th and Broadway, drawing a mix of groups supporting Black Lives Matter movements and reform of police departments and tactics. Signs calling for the defunding of police and keeping federal agents out of Oakland dotted the crowd, as well as anti-President Trump signs. Oakland police on social media said the protest continued past midnight. [...]

Oakland police said some within the crowd of an estimated 700 demonstrators vandalized the police station, breaking windows, spray painting graffiti, setting off fireworks and aiming laser pointers at officers and helicopters, according to a social media post from the Oakland Police Department. Several people were arrested, police said. The department also said a fire was set at the Alameda County Superior Courthouse. [...] But an organizer for the Wall of Moms Bay Area, a nonviolent group formed to protect young protesters from police force, said the event was peaceful and disputed any characterization of widespread chaos. The Bay Area woman attended the rally between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., and said she did not witness any violence while taking videos and circulating among the crowd. The Wall of Moms, many dressed in yellow and carrying peace signs, marched at the front of the protest with about a dozen military veterans, she said.
posted by katra at 9:09 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Police, protesters clash as US cities endure violent weekend (AP)
A protester in Austin, Texas, who was apparently armed with a rifle was shot and killed after witnesses say he approached a car that had driven through a march against police violence. [...] In the Texas capital of Austin, a protester was shot and killed Saturday night after witnesses say he approached a car that had driven through a march against police violence. In video streamed live on Facebook, a car can be heard honking before several shots ring out and protesters start screaming and scattering for cover. Police could then be seen tending to someone lying in the street. Michael Capochiano, who attended the protest, told the Austin American-Statesman that the slain protester had a rifle and that the car’s driver fired several shots at him before speeding away. Police said the driver was detained and was cooperating with investigators.

[...] In Virginia’s capital, Richmond, a dump truck was torched as several hundred protesters and police faced off late Saturday during a demonstration of support for the protesters in Portland. Police declared it to be an “unlawful assembly” at around 11 p.m. used what appeared to be tear gas to disperse the group.
posted by katra at 9:51 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]




Another piece of footage from Robert Evans. This one is particularly staggering to me. It’s hard to express what it’s like being there, seeing all of these intensely contrasting sights and sounds and smells. You can be getting tear gassed eating a burger while a drumline plays through, and people run up asking if you need saline and cries for medics ring out. Then there are things like this which are just absolute mayhem: people yelling over megaphones, pepper balls flying at you, explosions going off, gas is everywhere, and you have no idea if they’re going to use live rounds on you or not.
posted by gucci mane at 5:15 PM on July 26 [15 favorites]


Unexpected perspective on how police response to nights at the Justice Center is broadly affecting the city:

I was running daytime errands close in on the east side of town on Saturday and there was a weird acrid haze just hanging over inner southeast Portland. Our eyes and noses started watering after hanging out in town on the other side of the river. We've lived here for almost 20 years on and off, through multiple forest fires and industrial accidents, and I don't recall encountering anything like this before.

I am so mad at the stupid, punitive, short-sighted, vicious response to the uprising, and like mad 4x at legislators somehow unwilling or unable to stop paramilitary dipshits (PPB and fed) from fucking up their citizentry. To hell with them. Tired of it all. No pleasure in told you sos.
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 9:45 AM on July 27 [8 favorites]


Anti-fascists linked to zero murders in the US in 25 years (Guardian)
A new database of nearly 900 politically motivated attacks and plots in the United States since 1994 includes just one attack staged by an anti-fascist that led to fatalities. In that case, the single person killed was the perpetrator. Over the same time period, American white supremacists and other rightwing extremists have carried out attacks that left at least 329 victims dead, according to the database. [...] The database was assembled by researchers at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a centrist thinktank, and reviewed by the Guardian.

[...] Defining which violent incidents constitute politically motivated acts of terrorism, and trying to sort political violence into leftwing and rightwing categories, is inherently messy and debatable work. This is particularly true in the US, where highly publicized mass shootings are common, and some have no clear political motivation at all. Stated political motives for violent attacks often overlap with other potential factors, including life crises, anger issues, a history of violent behavior and, in some cases, serious mental health conditions. While researchers sometimes disagree on how to categorize the ideology of specific attacks, multiple databases that track extremist violence, including data maintained by the Anti-Defamation League, and from journalists at the Center for Investigative Reporting, have found the same trend: It’s violent rightwing attacks, not “far-left” violence, that presents the greater deadly threat to Americans today.

[...] The new CSIS database only includes attacks through early May 2020, and does not yet list incidents connected with the massive national protests against police violence after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, including the killings of two California law enforcement officers by a man authorities say was linked to the rightwing “boogaloo” movement.
posted by katra at 9:48 AM on July 27 [10 favorites]


Trump administration sending more federal agents to reinforce Portland courthouse (WaPo)
To strengthen federal forces arrayed around the city’s downtown courthouse, the U.S. Marshals Service decided last week to send 100 deputy U.S. Marshals to Portland, according to an internal Marshals email reviewed by The Post. The personnel began arriving Thursday night. The Department of Homeland Security is also considering a plan to send an additional 50 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel to the city, but a final decision on the deployment has not been made, according to senior administration officials involved in the federal response. Such moves would mark a significant expansion of the federal force currently operating at the courthouse — there were 114 federal agents there in mid-July — though it is unclear how many personnel there now would be relieved and sent home once the reinforcements arrive.

[...] As the nightly street battles in Portland have gotten more attention, they have triggered internal investigations into the conduct of federal agencies like the Marshals and CBP. Federal law enforcement officials have grown increasingly worried that they may be losing control of Portland’s streets, and losing the public debate over their handling of the unrest, according to people familiar with the internal discussions who were not authorized to discuss those conversations with reporters. [...] The potential deployment of 50 additional CBP personnel is in anticipation of possible larger clashes with protesters and rioters by the weekend, according to people familiar with the discussion.
On Portland's streets: Anger, fear, and a fence that divides (AP)
This weekend, journalists for the Associated Press were both outside, with the protesters, and inside the courthouse, with the federal agents, documenting the chaotic fight that has become an unlikely centerpiece of the protest movement gripping America.
posted by katra at 11:12 AM on July 27 [4 favorites]


PDX protest bail fund for those interested in supporting.

There are comparable funds across the country.
posted by StarkRoads at 11:25 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Rethinking Domestic Terrorism Law After Boogaloo Movement Attacks (Jon Lewis, Lawfare, Jul. 27, 2020)
The need to recognize the true nature of this broader threat has become paramount as the increased prevalence of online incitement by these movements appears to have led to attempted acts of real-world violence in recent weeks. In addition to the targeting of law enforcement officers in Oakland, numerous individuals self-affiliated with the boogaloo movement have been arrested prior to engaging in acts of violence. In Nevada, three individuals face state terrorism charges after being arrested in Las Vegas while attending a protest. They were in possession of Molotov cocktails and allegedly intended to incite violence and chaos. The group had reportedly planned to target power substations or ranger stations with explosives and discussed the need to “violently overthrow the United States government.” In Denver, Bradley Bunn, who reportedly posted a manifesto calling for “armed defiance against tyrants,” was arrested for possession of four pipe bombs. In Oklahoma, Christopher Ledbetter, who was charged with and pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a fully automatic machine gun, was alleged to have openly discussed “hunting cops” and his belief that “police were the equivalent of terrorists.” In Texas, Aaron Swenson was arrested and indicted on state charges for attempted capital murder of a peace officer after reportedly broadcasting his hunt for a police officer on Facebook Live.

This recent spike in extremist activity related to the boogaloo movement has not gone unnoticed by policymakers. Congress has pressured law enforcement agencies and social media companies following recent incidents targeting law enforcement and U.S. infrastructure perpetrated by individuals with links to the boogaloo movement. Rep. Max Rose, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Intelligence & Counterterrorism, sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security requesting “an assessment specifically on this movement and any potential violent threats that they may pose.” And, on July 16, the subcommittee held a virtual hearing titled “Assessing the Threat From Accelerationists and Militia Extremists,” with Rose’s opening statement noting that “[t]he Boogaloo movement has been thrust into the spotlight in recent months as we have seen attack after attack, arrest after arrest, of men affiliated with the Boogaloo movement.” However, to date, Congress has not taken substantive legislative action to facilitate better confronting this threat.
posted by katra at 11:58 AM on July 27 [5 favorites]


Democrats seek to limit federal patrols in cities through coronavirus relief bill (NBC News)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that Democrats will push to add a provision to the next coronavirus relief package that would limit the Trump administration’s efforts to send federal agents to patrol major cities. The New York Democrat said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the proposal, from Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., would require that police officers or federal officers identify themselves and where they work during interactions with protesters and that they don't use unmarked vehicles. The proposal would also say that while federal agents can be on federal property, they cannot go up and down streets patrolling cities without the permission of the mayor and governor, Schumer said.
Protesters hit by cars recently highlight a dangerous far-right trend in America (Ari Weil, deputy research director at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats, NBC News Opinion)
Over the past months, as renewed anti-police-violence protests have spread across the U.S., dozens of drivers have accelerated into the crowds. [...] Over the past two years, I have studied vehicle rammings as part of a broader project on the diffusion of terrorist tactics. For the past month, I have tracked these incidents and constructed a database of incident date, location, charges and motive. From May 27 to July 7, I cataloged 72 incidents of cars driving into protesters across 52 different cities, including both civilian and law enforcement vehicles. Less than half of the drivers included in my analysis have been charged so far.
posted by katra at 12:28 PM on July 27 [10 favorites]


There Is Nothing Conservative About What Trump Is Doing in Portland (Paul Rosenzweig, Arthur Rizer, Atlantic)
This is a complete corruption of conservative ideals. There is nothing conservative about unconstitutional police activity, and there is nothing conservative about unilateral federal intervention in state affairs. Those are the acts of an authoritarian. [...] Now is the time for Congress to respond. Most immediate, the appropriations bill for Homeland Security is due for consideration on the floor of the House later this week. [...] Second, America must address the original grievance that has prompted these demonstrations in the first place, and which has only been exacerbated by Trump’s use of federal force. State and local governments must renew their efforts to reform local policing. When law enforcement is perceived as acting arbitrarily or oppressively, it loses a valuable tool in the cooperation and respect of the community. But it also gambles with something essential to police in a democracy—legitimacy and the people’s consent to law enforcement’s use of force on their behalf.

[...] The legitimacy of the exercise of authority in a democratic republic is always a fragile thing, and America’s current approach to policing poor and minority communities is straining it to the breaking point.
'These are his people': inside the elite border patrol unit Trump sent to Portland (Ed Pilkington, Guardian)
“Border patrol has always seen itself as a militarized force, and that aspiration is now being enabled by the current administration,” [James Tomsheck, a former top internal affairs investigator inside US Customs and Border Protection,] told the Guardian. [...] While the size and scope of the agency has mushroomed, its accountability has lagged behind. Daniel Martinez, a sociologist at the University of Arizona, analyzed how abuse complaints are handled and found that the body acts with relative impunity.

His research led him to the conclusion there is “a culture of cruelty towards migrants and border crossers that dehumanizes and demeans border crossers. So to see border agents who have already been desensitized by the mistreatment of immigrants redirected to engaging with protesters in the interior is very concerning.”
posted by katra at 1:18 PM on July 27 [7 favorites]


There Is Nothing Conservative About What Trump Is Doing in Portland

others might say what trump is doing in portland is the natural conclusion of forty years of conservatism and something that conservatives have actually been vociferously rooting for that entire time
posted by entropicamericana at 1:30 PM on July 27 [23 favorites]


others might say what trump is doing in portland is the natural conclusion of forty years of conservatism and something that conservatives have actually been vociferously rooting for that entire time

Remember back during the George W. Bush Administration when Jonah "Still Welcomed on NPR as an "Honest" Conservative" Goldberg wrote a book claiming liberals were really fascists, because Nazi was short for "National Socialist" and Hitler gained power using populist rhetoric? Good times.
posted by Gelatin at 1:35 PM on July 27 [9 favorites]


They are still doing that, Gelatin, as well as noting that the Democrats were the party of the KKK for years. it's obviously in bad faith but I see people falling for it all the time.

Conservative all over the US support a militarized police doing violence against undesirable people. I'd say that's a core tenet of modern conservatism, a veneration of the military/police and a desire to use those forces against people that aren't them.
posted by chaz at 2:04 PM on July 27 [5 favorites]




In Denver, Bradley Bunn, who reportedly posted a manifesto calling for “armed defiance against tyrants,” was arrested for possession of four pipe bombs.

This is why all the clever Twitter posts saying "oh ha ha, where are all you 2nd amendment boys now, thought you had all those guns to fight tyranny" make me cringe. Sure, they're hypocrites. a) They don't care about being hypocrites, and b) Oh, there are some out there, getting ready to "fight tyranny," and that's not good either.

The proposal would also say that while federal agents can be on federal property, they cannot go up and down streets patrolling cities without the permission of the mayor and governor

Strike that part about permission. Border patrol agents are not general law enforcement officers who happen to be on the border. They are only qualified to do certain things related to immigration law. They have no idea what they're doing in a protest and no better, in fact considerably worse than, deputizing random people off the street to "help local law enforcement". Same as the military with respect to domestic law enforcement. Just because you know how to shoot guns doesn't make you qualified.
posted by ctmf at 4:25 PM on July 27 [7 favorites]


They have no idea what they're doing in a protest

Example: wearing camouflage. In an urban environment. Where you aren't trying to hide. In fact the point is to be visible. What could be dumber, unless you didn't care about being effective, only about looking cool and intimidating. They should be wearing bright orange road safety vests with big nametags and playing the "I'm just a safety monitor" bit.

I guess they would have to stop attacking people for that to work, though, heaven forbid.
posted by ctmf at 5:28 PM on July 27 [12 favorites]


Camo isn't really camo in an urban environment. They're not deployed in the Fulda Gap.

And of course they want to intimidate by coming off as paramilitary, and no they don't want to wear nametags. It doesn't matter that they're not properly trained in crowd control, because they're not actually there to perform their supposed mission of premises security.

They aren't trying to play the "I'm a safety monitor" bit.

They're playing the "step out of line, and I'll cave your head in, and there's nothing you'll ever be able to do about it" bit.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:14 PM on July 27 [14 favorites]


Protesters sue Trump administration over Portland tactics (ABC News / AP)
Days after a legal effort by the state of Oregon failed, protesters sued the Trump administration Monday to rein in what they describe as an out-of-control response by federal agents to demonstrations in Portland. The nonprofit Protect Democracy filed the lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., on behalf of several individual protesters as well as the anti-racist organization Don't Shoot Portland and Wall of Moms, a group of mothers who have sought to insert themselves between protesters and police despite being blasted with tear gas.

The complaint argues that while federal law allows federal officials to protect federal property, the heavily militarized agents who have responded in Portland have gone far beyond simply protecting property. Instead, it said, they have repeatedly fired tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades at the crowds in an effort to quell the protests in violation of the Constitution. “The intent of the administration’s deployment of federal agents in Portland appears to be to stifle speech the president doesn’t like," Protect Democracy lawyer Deana El-Mallawany said in a news release. "It’s important to check this unlawful administration policy now, before it is allowed to spread to other cities across the U.S."
Don't Shoot Portland and Wall of Moms v. Wolf (Protect Democracy)
Complaint (July 27, 2020)
posted by katra at 7:30 PM on July 27 [8 favorites]


Some messed up stuff happening with Riot Ribs, heads up for any PDX folks going to be in the area. The folks at the blue tent now appear to *not* be the original crew but instead someone else who has taken over by force in an attempt to cash in on the goodwill and donations of the community. The official Twitter account indicates that they're shutting down and have left for their own safety.

Further details from Twitter: @RiotRibs, @lilithxsinclair

Even before this the @RiotRibs folks had announced that they were no longer accepting donations, they had already been overwhelmed and were working to transfer leadership and funds to Don't Shoot PDX and other local groups, so if you see anyone asking for donations for Riot, it might not be who you think it is.

(Full disclaimer: I don't know Beans or any of the original volunteers, nor do I know the folks who apparently have taken over, and I can't confirm that this is the whole story. PDX folks I trust though seem to be supporting this account of events though. Nothing good lasts forever I guess, not in this hell year anyway.)
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:55 PM on July 27 [12 favorites]


The Invention of the Police, by Jill Lepore (New Yorker)

"Modern American policing began in 1909, when August Vollmer became the chief of the police department in Berkeley, California. Vollmer refashioned American police into an American military. He’d served with the Eighth Army Corps in the Philippines in 1898. “For years, ever since Spanish-American War days, I’ve studied military tactics and used them to good effect in rounding up crooks,” he later explained. “After all we’re conducting a war, a war against the enemies of society.” Who were those enemies? Mobsters, bootleggers, socialist agitators, strikers, union organizers, immigrants, and Black people.

"To domestic policing, Vollmer and his peers adapted the kinds of tactics and weapons that had been deployed against Native Americans in the West and against colonized peoples in other parts of the world, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, as the sociologist Julian Go has demonstrated. Vollmer instituted a training model imitated all over the country, by police departments that were often led and staffed by other veterans of the United States wars of conquest and occupation. A “police captain or lieutenant should occupy exactly the same position in the public mind as that of a captain or lieutenant in the United States army,” Detroit’s commissioner of police said. (Today’s police officers are disproportionately veterans of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many suffering from post-traumatic stress. The Marshall Project, analyzing data from the Albuquerque police, found that officers who are veterans are more likely than their non-veteran counterparts to be involved in fatal shootings. In general, they are more likely to use force, and more likely to fire their guns.)"
posted by Paul Slade at 2:41 AM on July 28 [5 favorites]


Please stop using vets as boogeymen. Yes, cops are disproportionately veterans, but still overwhelmingly are not veterans -- like 20% have ever served. The cops are not a decent bunch who were corrupted by those sinister veterans. The reason they're always beating the shit out of everyone and murdering black men left and right is not that vets showed them how. They do this shit because all cops are bastards.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:34 AM on July 28 [10 favorites]


‘Umbrella man’ was a white supremacist trying to incite violence at George Floyd protests, police say (WaPo live blog)
A masked white man who was seen in a viral video holding an umbrella and smashing the windows of a South Minneapolis auto parts store during the early days of protests over the killing of George Floyd has been identified by police as a suspected white supremacist who was seeking to incite racial violence. The mysterious figure dubbed “umbrella man” on social media is a suspected member of the Hell’s Angels biker gang, the Star Tribune reported, citing a search warrant affidavit filed in court this week by a Minneapolis police arson investigator.

[...] “This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city,” arson investigator Erika Christensen wrote in a court filing obtained by the Star Tribune. “Until the actions of the person your affiant has been calling ‘Umbrella man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful. The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension. Your affiant believes that this individual’s sole aim was to incite violence.” Because the suspect has not been formally charged, the Star Tribune did not identify him, but describes him as a 32-year-old man who has also been implicated in another racial incident in nearby Stillwater, Minn., in which a Muslim woman was harassed by a group of men wearing white supremacist clothing. Police reportedly identified him based on a tip emailed to investigators last week.
posted by katra at 11:36 AM on July 28 [4 favorites]


Seattle mayor says federal agents dispatched to city have left (WaPo live blog)
The office of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) said Tuesday that federal agents deployed to the city amid protests over police violence and racial injustice have left the Seattle area.The Trump administration dispatched members of the Department of Homeland Security’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit to Seattle on Thursday. On Friday, local elected officials delivered a four-page letter to Brian Moran, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington, questioning the administration’s decision and seeking clarification on the federal agents’ purpose in Seattle. The letter asked whether the DHS and the Justice Department were invoking the Insurrection Act and warned that the federal presence could escalate protests in Seattle as they had in Portland, Ore. [...] “This demobilization means Washingtonians no longer have to worry about the White House’s aim to provoke confrontation and undermine peaceful protests,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said in a statement Tuesday. “Those peacefully protesting have raised the public’s consciousness of the urgent need for racial justice, and I have no doubt they will continue to use their voices to call for action.”

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, who signed Friday’s letter, said the federal intervention elsewhere continues to be a concern. “We should all be outraged at the nightly specter we see in Portland of an unaccountable military force that answers only to the president using excessive force on moms, veterans and citizens with a legitimate grievance against their government,” he said in a written statement. “They made everything worse there and they have no exit strategy. This is good news for Seattle, but let’s not lose focus on Portland.”
posted by katra at 4:17 PM on July 28 [7 favorites]


Source: US, Oregon in talks about pulling agents in Portland (AP)
The Trump administration has started talks with the Oregon governor’s office and indicated that it would begin to draw down the presence of federal agents sent to quell two months of chaotic protests in Portland if the state stepped up its own enforcement, a senior White House official said Tuesday. The official stressed to The Associated Press that the talks with the office of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown are in the early stages and there is no agreement. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

[...] The developments came as the American Civil Liberties Union in Oregon filed a motion alleging that the militarized U.S. agents are attacking journalists and legal observers with riot-control munitions, despite a federal court ordering them to stop. Last week, the U.S. District Court in Portland — located in the same federal court building that’s been the focus of protests — temporarily blocked federal officers from targeting journalists and legal observers at the protests. The ACLU asked the court to sanction and hold in contempt federal agents for violating the temporary restraining order. It also asked the court to order Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli to personally appear and show why they should not be sanctioned for contempt. The organization cited numerous instances in which agents have violated the order by firing impact munitions and using pepper spray against people clearly marked as journalists or legal observers.
posted by katra at 5:32 PM on July 28 [6 favorites]


Apparently the paramilitary have moved on to New York City, unidentifiable forces in mini vans are kidnapping protestors (Twitter) in Manhattan.
posted by rambling wanderlust at 6:08 PM on July 28 [3 favorites]


Would have been pretty sweet if someone could have managed to dive in that Kia's driver door, remove the keys and toss them to the crowd.
posted by Reverend John at 7:23 PM on July 28 [2 favorites]


Face masks are breaking facial recognition algorithms, says new government study — Stopping the spread of disease and mass surveillance, The Verge, James Vincent, 7/28/2020:
Face masks are one of the best defenses against the spread of COVID-19, but their growing adoption is having a second, unintended effect: breaking facial recognition algorithms.

Wearing face masks that adequately cover the mouth and nose causes the error rate of some of the most widely used facial recognition algorithms to spike to between 5 percent and 50 percent, a study by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has found. Black masks were more likely to cause errors than blue masks, and the more of the nose covered by the mask, the harder the algorithms found it to identify the face....
Pity.

(NIST is looking for solutions, though: we must not allow a mineshaft facial recognition gap.)
posted by cenoxo at 8:16 PM on July 28 [8 favorites]


If someone could have managed to dive in that Kia's driver door

At some point one of these Barr's Army thugs is going to shoot someone. I hope no one is in a hurry to be the first murder victim.
posted by Nelson at 8:37 PM on July 28 [2 favorites]


Politics at the point of a gun (WaPo)
Across the country, conservative armed civilians have surged into public view — marching on statehouses, challenging Black Lives Matter protests, chasing Internet rumors — and bringing the threat of lethal force to local politics. Their emergence has prompted congressional hearings on the surge in anti-government militias and domestic extremism and has alarmed researchers who track hate groups.

[...] Their appearance at hundreds of events and protests this year across the country is “part of their effort to normalize the presence of armed paramilitaries on the streets, which is a remarkably disturbing turn of events,” said Devin Burghart, president of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a Seattle-based organization that tracks far-right groups. “What we’re seeing right now is the outward manifestation of years of organizing by militia-type groups,” Burghart said. “They’ve moved from backwoods training to on-the-streets activism.”
After protester-motorist encounters, activists press authorities to step up (WaPo)
Since the eruption of coast-to-coast protests after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, dozens of motorists have been recorded driving their vehicles into marchers on city streets or highways. The encounters have produced terrifying videos of protesters leaping to safety or being rammed by vehicles, the latest sign of the nation’s political and cultural division. [...] “A protester has to be protected the same way that a citizen who is just walking down the street and gets attacked would be protected by law enforcement,” said Chris Stewart, a veteran civil rights attorney in Atlanta. “So, if someone is using a deadly weapon, which is a car, it would be mind-boggling that they wouldn’t be charged, because a vehicle is a weapon.” But Stewart said he doubts that the Justice Department under Attorney General William P. Barr has the political will to take on any of these cases as hate-crime or civil rights violations.
posted by katra at 10:41 PM on July 28 [4 favorites]


Would have been pretty sweet if someone could have managed to dive in that Kia's driver door, remove the keys and toss them to the crowd.

Caltrops
posted by rhizome at 11:48 PM on July 28 [5 favorites]


I got shot with a pepper ball right in the goddamn thigh!
posted by gucci mane at 3:31 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


Caltrops (WP) in the news: Texas, Hong Kong, Salt Lake, Regina, and elsewhere. Available on Amazon, eBay.
posted by cenoxo at 4:14 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


That sucks, gucci mane! Hope it was minor, after seeing all of those pictures of injuries that they can cause... (I guess it’ll make a good story, but still..) Thank you for all of the great local coverage, btw, I’ve been worried for your safety and worried knowing that your out there in the thick of it!
posted by rambling wanderlust at 4:33 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


The developments came as the American Civil Liberties Union in Oregon filed a motion alleging that the militarized U.S. agents are attacking journalists and legal observers with riot-control munitions, despite a federal court ordering them to stop.

The ACLU's Press Release and Motion for finding of contempt...
posted by mikelieman at 6:42 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Operation Legend Expanded to Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee (justice.gov)

Three heavily-democratic cities in swing states. Sure, that's just a coincidence.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:02 AM on July 29 [5 favorites]


Are those cities still having ongoing protests? Or are they like Albuquerque, which just got picked because the mayor and governor are both Democratic women and seemed like good punching bags for the fascists in charge?
posted by hydropsyche at 8:24 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Governor Kate Brown
@OregonGovBrown
After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland. They have acted as an occupying force & brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:40 AM on July 29 [19 favorites]


I got shot with a pepper ball right in the goddamn thigh!

Injured Portland Protesters File Lawsuits Against Police Brutality (OPB, Jun. 8, 2020)
In recent days, five protesters in Portland filed lawsuits against the city, arguing that at different times since late May, all five were violently attacked by police using “military-style weapons” while they were peacefully protesting. The civil lawsuits filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court allege battery and seek damages up to $950,000. In addition, each plaintiff is asking a judge for an injunction prohibiting the police from using weapons that launch projectiles. [...] Each of the incidents involving injured protesters took place during different demonstrations, though many of them describe similar scenarios. [...] Julia Leggett, was demonstrating when she alleges police “intentionally launched a flashbang grenade” at her right leg as she was walking away from officers.
posted by katra at 8:44 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]




Chad Wolf denies DHS is leaving Portland:
As I told the Governor yesterday, federal law enforcement will remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends. We are not removing any law enforcement while our facilities and law enforcement remain under attack.

...

The state of Oregon is finally agreeing to cooperate with our federal forces--exactly what we asked for since the nightly violence broke out two months ago.

We're glad Oregon is now correcting their months long error.


So that's clear as mud.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:21 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Chad Wolf is a fraternity bro who will be posturing right up to the day the national council revokes his frat's charter. I mean, just look at his name.

Not that I'm expecting the Trump Stasi to leave Portland any time soon. Just that they won't ever admit to backing down if they ever do.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:35 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


Outcry in New York after police force protester into unmarked van (Guardian)
Police officers in New York have been filmed arresting a female protester by forcing her into an unmarked minivan in east Manhattan. Footage of Tuesday’s arrest drew sharp criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union, which called the arrest “dangerous, abusive, and indefensible,” in a post on Twitter. [...] The arrest drew comparisons to clashes between police and protestors in Portland, Oregon, which have intensified in recent days following the decision by US President Donald Trump to deploy federal officers – led by border patrol agents – to the city.
Think federal cops in Portland are scary? Cops use 'jump-out boys' all the time (Brandon Soderberg and Baynard Woods, Guardian Opinion)
Many around the world were shocked when Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that federal agents wearing camouflage were driving around in unmarked vehicles, snatching up protesters and speeding away. That description sounded all too familiar. We’ve spent much of the last five years reporting on the Baltimore police department. In reporting our new book, I Got a Monster: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Corrupt Police Squad, we found that police units in unmarked cars have long used terror and confusion to destabilize communities. [...] Police departments officially call it “proactive policing”. Chad Wolf, the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, recently used similar language on Fox News to describe what is happening in Portland. [...] Yet the police themselves are rarely held accountable. “Proactive policing” is, at its core, unconstitutional. These practices presume people guilty and ignore constitutional protections.

[...] In Portland, we are seeing the federal version of “proactive policing” sow confusion and chaos – and Trump is betting on the turmoil. Unaccountable police, whether in plainclothes or uniforms, create chaos, which allows authoritarian leaders to argue that we need more police power, the very thing that people in Portland – and across the country – are protesting against. Trump’s federal police simply expand the definition of who is “beneath the law” so that it encompasses white, middle-class protesters as well as Black and brown people. Now, he’s threatening to send the same shock troops to more cities. But our cities do not need more jump-out boys. They’re teeming with them already, and they’ve already contributed enough chaos and violence.
posted by katra at 12:00 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Gov Brown said that feds can/will stay in fed buildings, Wolf is just trying to control messaging as they are GTFO the streets.
posted by rhizome at 12:05 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


US agents to pull back in Portland but will stay on standby (AP)
Federal agents who have been guarding the U.S. courthouse during violent protests in downtown Portland, Oregon, will begin withdrawing in the next 24 hours, Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday, though Trump administration officials said some would remain in the building and the entire contingent would stay in the city on standby. [...] Brown said agents with CBP and ICE will begin leaving the city’s downtown area on Thursday, but Acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf wouldn’t specify where the agents would go. He insisted that a federal presence would remain in Portland until the Trump administration was assured the agreement was working and the Oregon State Police was sufficiently protecting federal property. The plan calls for the U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Protective Service agents to remain inside a fence set up around the federal courthouse, along with some state police, to keep protesters out. State police will also be outside the fence to keep protesters back.

“I want to be clear about this, the entire DHS law enforcement presence in Portland will remain in Portland, whether they’re staying inside the courthouse, next door or a different location, obviously I’m not going to get into that,” Wolf said on a call with reporters. “If ... we have indicators and warnings that (the state police) deployment is not working, that entire DHS law enforcement presence is available.”

[...] The agreement also calls for the U.S. government to clean the graffiti off the courthouse, which is federal property. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has previously said the federal government refused to clean the courthouse, saying that contributed to the mistaken impression that the entire city was under siege.
posted by katra at 12:20 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Portland issues ‘maximum fine’ on feds for unpermitted fence outside courthouse; bill is $192,000 ‘and counting’ (Oregonian/OregonLive, Jul. 28, 2020)
Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said Tuesday the city is fining the federal government $500 every 15 minutes – the maximum charge allowed -- until it removes an unpermitted fence blocking a bike lane on Southwest Third Avenue. Eudaly, who oversees the transportation bureau, said the government hasn’t responded to her demand to remove the fence, which surrounds a portion of the federal courthouse. She said the bill is now $192,000 “and counting.”

“We intend to collect,” Eudaly, who is running for reelection, said in a tweeted statement. She also described the forces at the courthouse as “federal occupiers.” [...] Eudaly said that transportation crews would normally “remove such an obstruction,” but she would not “send workers into harm’s way” to do so. “Yes, I am afraid to direct workers to do their job and enforce our laws against the federal government—I hope that gives everyone reading this pause,” she said. [...] Eudaly said she is also investigating “other legal remedies.”
posted by katra at 12:58 PM on July 29 [14 favorites]


Are those cities still having ongoing protests?

Cleveland: NO.

Every couple of weeks there's maybe a smallish peaceful march or protest gathering, often in majority-minority neighborhoods not very close to downtown. We haven't had any major protests or unrest since May 30.

TBH I think this is more racist dog-whistling/security theater than the start of some attempt to incite a Portland situation. (In Cleveland, anyway, I dunno the situation in the other cities.) There has been a smallish bump in both property and violent crime since the lockdown - sending a handful of actual law-enforcement Feds (not CBP or DHS or private security contractors) and a bit of money to the Cleveland police department is Trump virtue-signaling that he's the "law and order" man to the white suburban/exurban crowd that never comes into the city anyway except for sports or entertainment in a tiny handful of very "safe" areas. They'll make some arrests, crow about it on Fox News and Facebook ads, that'll be that. (Hopefully, anyway.)
posted by soundguy99 at 5:15 PM on July 29


ProPublica: “Defendant Shall Not Attend Protests”: In Portland, Getting Out of Jail Requires Relinquishing Constitutional Rights
Federal authorities are using a new tactic in their battle against protesters in Portland, Oregon: arrest them on offenses as minor as “failing to obey” an order to get off a sidewalk on federal property — and then tell them they can’t protest anymore as a condition for release from jail.

Legal experts describe the move as a blatant violation of the constitutional right to free assembly, but at least 12 protesters arrested in recent weeks have been specifically barred from attending protests or demonstrations as they await trials on federal misdemeanor charges.

... The documents reviewed by ProPublica were signed by a federal magistrate in Portland. ... ProPublica identified several instances in which the protest ban was added to the conditions of release document when it was drafted, before it was given to the judge. It remained unclear whether the limits on protesting were initiated by Justice Department officials or the magistrates hearing the cases.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:26 PM on July 29 [9 favorites]


Not only that, but they are banned from being in a five-block radius of the courthouse. That means the light rail, the Hawthorne Bridge’s west side exits, a portion of the waterfront, City Hall, the parks, businesses, etc.

The “protest” ban isn’t just protests either, but any “public gatherings” in the state.
posted by gucci mane at 6:41 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


Part of me thinks "What if everybody collectively chose to ignore the unconstitutional ban, what are they gonna do?", but the other part of me remembers that I'm too old and give out and drenched in cynicism to actually show up and test that, so I don't have any real say in the matter. But I'm riled up anyway, consarn it!
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:41 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


The White House is building a massive 'anti-climb' wall following protests. These photos show the evolution of White House fencing over the years., Business Insider, Jake Lahut, 7/27/2020:
PHOTO: A new wall blocking off the White House South Lawn on Sunday.
Rebecca Rainey/Politico
  • Once clearly visible from the street, the White House is now obstructed by a massive 'anti-climb' wall.
  • Construction has ramped up following protests over the death of George Floyd, but plans for an 'anti-climb' component to the White House perimeter have been in the works since July 2016, according to the White House history website.
  • A photo of the wall captured Sunday by Politico reporter Rebecca Rainey was widely shared, clearing 24,000 retweets in under 24 hours.
  • The White House would not comment on the record to Insider, while a National Parks Service spokeswoman told Insider a new fence was started in July 2019, with the south portion beginning construction recently.
Perhaps this is more for our protection, not theirs. When the new White House Wall is finished, lock them all up inside without a key.
posted by cenoxo at 5:41 AM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Unlikely allies: How Kate Brown and Mike Pence ended stalemate in Portland.
According to Blosser, Brown and Pence have forged a bond in regular conversations over coronavirus response. Their spouses know each other, and Pence, a former governor of Indiana, can relate to Brown.

“There’s some affection for each other,” Blosser said. “They have a good relationship.”
posted by Nelson at 7:02 AM on July 30


Federal agents show stronger force at Portland protests despite order to withdraw (Guardian)
The Department of Homeland Security paramilitaries guarding the federal courthouse in downtown Portland that has become the focus of protests fired teargas, projectiles and stun grenades into the early hours of Thursday morning against hundreds of demonstrators. Some protesters turned out to proclaim victory over the paramilitaries sent to the city by the US president. The federal agents then drove the demonstrators back several blocks in a stronger use of force than other recent nights, and made more arrests.

[...] Other demonstrators were sceptical that the federal agents would really leave after the head of US homeland security said they would remain in the area until they were sure the courthouse was protected. However, [Gov.] Brown said that was no more than an attempt by the White House to save face after what amounted to a defeat for Trump’s attempt to use federal forces for political ends. She told Oregon public radio “the plan is very, very clear” and that the federal agents “will be out of downtown Portland from Thursday”.
posted by katra at 10:52 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Federal agents show stronger force at Portland protests despite order to withdraw

Extinction burst.
posted by rhizome at 11:37 AM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Their spouses know each other, and Pence, a former governor of Indiana, can relate to Brown.

She's heard of his secrets at the Governor's Association meetings? Threatening to use the Bible against him in public? I bet Pence has many heels Achilles.
posted by rhizome at 11:39 AM on July 30


Having broadcast John Lewis's funeral, an hours-long promotion of the present necessity of civil disobedience for civil rights, Fox News is asking Mike Huckabee for his takeaway. "It just shows how far our country has come. John Lewis was brutally beaten just for standing up for his rights. But now he is lauded by three American presidents! We should celebrate that we have seen the maturing of America."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:53 AM on July 30


DHS compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists who published leaked documents (WaPo / MSN reprint)
Over the past week, the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis has disseminated three Open Source Intelligence Reports to federal law enforcement agencies and others, summarizing tweets written by two journalists — a reporter for the New York Times and the editor in chief of the blog Lawfare — and noting they had published leaked, unclassified documents about DHS operations in Portland. The intelligence reports, obtained by The Washington Post, include written descriptions and images of the tweets and the number of times they had been liked or retweeted by others. After The Post published a story online Thursday evening detailing the department’s practices, the acting homeland security secretary, Chad Wolf, ordered the intelligence office to stop collecting information on journalists and announced an investigation into the matter.

[...] Some of the leaked DHS documents the journalists posted and wrote about revealed shortcomings in the department’s understanding of the nature of the protests in Portland, as well as techniques that intelligence analysts have used. A memo by the department’s top intelligence official, which was tweeted by the editor of Lawfare, says personnel relied on “FINTEL,” an acronym for financial intelligence, as well as finished intelligence “Baseball cards” of arrested protesters to try to understand their motivations and plans. Historically, military and intelligence officials have used such cards for biographical dossiers of suspected terrorists, including those targeted in lethal drone strikes. The DHS intelligence reports, which are unclassified, are traditionally used for sharing the department’s analysis with federal law enforcement agencies, state and local officials, and some foreign governments. They are not intended to disseminate information about American citizens who have no connection to terrorists or other violent actors and who are engaged in activity protected by the First Amendment, current and former officials said. “This has no operational value whatsoever,” said John Sandweg, who previously served as the department’s acting general counsel. “This will just damage the intelligence office’s reputation,” Sandweg said, calling the decision to report on journalists “incredibly dumb.”
posted by katra at 11:14 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


Portland sees peaceful night of protests following withdrawal of federal troops (Guardian)
In contrast, the state troopers did not intervene even when the scale of the protest on Thursday night passed the point, as demonstrators shook the fence around the courthouse, at which in early demonstrations the federal agents generally fired teargas, stun grenades and baton rounds. In the absence of confrontation, and with the state police remaining largely unseen inside the courthouse, tensions quickly eased. Without the federal forces to draw attention, protest organisers kept the focus on Black Lives Matters and reform of the Portland police.

[...] Earlier in the day, Portland police cleared the two parks in front of the courthouse and county jail that served as a staging ground for the protests. Officers then sealed the parks off and marked them as closed. But that appeared strangely provocative and difficult to enforce. When a few protesters tore down the yellow police tape, and began chanting: “Whose park? Our park?”, the Portland city officers quietly left the park and were not seen again for the rest of the evening.
posted by katra at 9:08 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


(Gosh, it is as if the Feds were the ones being violent all along. Who could have imagined? I also have no doubt Tear Gas Ted will be back to his own ways soon enough.)

The gathering of information on reporters is sickening and reminds me a lot of the playing cards with Iraqi commanders that US forces had during the Iraq war. How is this a good use of the government's time? This seems illegal af.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:03 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Ta-frickity-da, like magic.
posted by rhizome at 2:31 PM on July 31


Judge proposes numbered jerseys for federal agents in Portland (Politico)
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon aired the suggestion Friday in connection with a lawsuit he’s overseeing that accuses city police and federal law enforcement officers of unjustified use of force against journalists and legal observers monitoring the protests, which have centered in recent weeks on the main federal courthouse in Portland. “I do think it might be appropriate to require any federal law enforcement officer who steps out of the federal courthouse building to wear a unique identifying code,” Simon said during a 90-minute teleconference with lawyers involved in the case. “I’m taking this very, very seriously.” The judge said he was considering ordering that federal agents — including scores of officers the Trump administration dispatched to the city from across the country — wear numbers about 8 inches high that would make it easier to assess whether some officers are violating a temporary restraining order the court issued last week. [...] He said some videos the plaintiffs presented do appear to show intentional targeting of the press. And he even publicly mulled the possibility of criminal contempt proceedings or a ban from the state for any agents who might defy his order. “Some of the videos ... several of them give me some serious concerns whether or not there are violations of the temporary restraining order,” the judge said.

[...] A Justice Department lawyer, Jordan Von Bokern, sounded unenthusiastic about the judge’s suggestion to emblazon the federal agents with big numbers. Van Bokern noted that federal authorities recently struck an agreement with the state of Oregon to have Oregon State Police take over the job of securing the courthouse’s outer perimeter. While the Justice Department has formally asked the judge to cancel the TRO, Van Bokern urged Simon to let the new deal with the state be implemented before ordering any major changes to how federal agents must conduct themselves. [...] However, Simon said he is closely watching developments in the media and noted that acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told reporters earlier this week that the federal agents weren’t leaving town and were ready to step in if the state can’t maintain order.
posted by katra at 3:49 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


DHS analyzed protester communications, raising questions about previous statements by senior department official (WaPo, Jul. 31, 2020)
In a letter [pdf] sent Friday, Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee asked Brian Murphy, acting DHS undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, about statements he made to committee staff on July 23 regarding the department’s intelligence activities in Portland. “You stated that I & A [the intelligence and analysis office] had neither collected nor exploited or analyzed information obtained from the devices or accounts of protesters or detainees. Please confirm,” the senators wrote.

A DHS Open Source Intelligence Report dated six days before Murphy’s briefing to the committee shows that the I & A office analyzed messages that protesters exchanged on the Telegram messaging app. They discussed which routes to take during marches and how to avoid the police. [...] It’s not clear how DHS obtained the messages and whether an informant or undercover officer had access to the Telegram group. Some officials familiar with the report, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly describe it, questioned why I & A was tracking the communications of people engaged in protests that are protected by the First Amendment. [...] The Telegram messages don’t show the protesters planning to harass or target police or damage property. A significant portion of their discussion is about how to avoid encounters with police, particularly federal officers, who they knew had detained protesters. [...] The senators also asked Murphy about whether I & A had taken part in questioning protesters when they were detained in federal custody. They asked him to confirm his earlier statements “that I & A personnel have not engaged in custodial debriefings” and “that I & A personnel have not interacted with protesters in any way.” The senators further asked Murphy if I & A had “been indirectly engaged with detainee operations,” perhaps by providing “suggested lines of questioning” to authorities who were questioning those in custody.
DHS official whose office compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists and protesters has been removed from his job (WaPo, Aug. 1, 2020)
Acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf made the decision on Friday, one person said. Murphy’s removal follows revelations in The Washington Post that the Intelligence & Analysis Office (I & A) at DHS compiled Open Source Intelligence Reports about the work of two journalists who had published leaked department documents. In a separate intelligence report, the office also analyzed the communications of protesters in Portland.
posted by katra at 9:29 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Portland protests continue Friday as police stay away for 2nd straight night (Oregonian, Jul. 31, 2020, updated Aug. 1, 2020)
Clashes between police and protesters were absent Friday from downtown Portland for the second straight night, a sharp contrast to recent weeks that saw federal officers gas crowds nightly. State police took over federal courthouse security Thursday as part of a plan to phase federal officers out of Portland. Calls for calm also increased among demonstrators at the same time. The relative calm has allowed state troopers to remain almost entirely out of sight. [...] More than 2,000 people turned out at the 65th consecutive day of protests against violence, anti-Black racism and heightened use of force by federal officers.

[...] Speakers at the rally reiterated their grievances over what they consider a disproportionate law-enforcement response to protesters, particularly in recent weeks. “The value of human life matters more than graffiti on a building,” one person said. “Human life matters more than rattling a fence.” [...] The downtown demonstrations are often among several daily Black Lives Matter protests throughout the metro area. A small crowd gathered near West Burnside Friday evening for a firefighters for Black lives protest. Organizers brought supplies, such as paper, paint and duct tape, for people to make signs. Attendees held up their signs as cars passed on Burnside. A fire engine from Portland Fire and Rescue Station 3 drove past and rang a bell in support.
posted by katra at 12:57 PM on August 1


The feeds from Robert Evans and friends I'm seeing tonight make it look as though the Portland Sheriffs have stepped into the role of the feds, and are rushing and teargassing protestors. The feeds from Austin show the same activity from the cops there.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:10 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Portland police declare unlawful assembly during protest (Aug. 2, 2020)
The Portland Police Bureau declared an unlawful assembly Saturday night when people gathered outside a police precinct in Oregon’s largest city and threw bottles towards officers, police said. [...] As one group of protesters gathered outside the courthouse another marched to a precinct for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Portland Police Bureau.

Police stated that protesters threw glass bottles and directed lasers at officers. Just before 10 p.m., Portland police declared an unlawful assembly and told people to disperse or they may be subject to use of force or be arrested. Police could be seen charging, multiple times, at protesters in the area. At the courthouse, the scene was different. Around 11:30 p.m. hundreds of people remained, standing and listening to speakers.
Downtown protests remain calm with police out of sight; march on east side sheriff’s office declared riot (Oregonian, Aug. 1, 2020, Updated Aug. 2, 2020)
Arex Johnson gathered at Laurelhurst Park to protest around 9 p.m. According to Johnson, the group marched to the precinct around 9:30 p.m. Johnson said the gathering had been peaceful, and she didn’t see any vandalism or violence. After Portland police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly, Johnson said police officers used flash bangs and a spray similar to mace or pepper spray to disperse protesters. Videos show Portland police out in the streets, pushing protesters west on Burnside and occasionally rushing into crowds. Johnson also says that police officers were shoving some protesters and that she was pushed down with a baton.

Johnson said the crowd was pushed toward 47th and Stark. Police – some on foot, some riding on the outside of white vans – chased off the crowd south to Belmont, at which point many in the crowd had largely disbursed. Just before 11 p.m., a group of a few dozen roving protesters navigated their way through residential streets in the area as they chanted, “Stay together, stay tight, we do this every night.” After deciding not to confront police again, the remaining protesters marched back to Laurelhurst Park. Some headed downtown where, shortly after 11 p.m., more than 500 people remained. The mood there seemed celebratory, with a saxophone player joining a drum circle and filling the area with music.
posted by katra at 7:04 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


Unmarked vans are so 2020: just wait until 2022 comes around and the scoops show up.
posted by cenoxo at 7:47 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Ode to Putin, a living sculpture protest performance art event in Portland. By The Trump Statue Initiative. Plenty of photos and videos on Twitter.
posted by Nelson at 2:25 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


Portland’s police chief, Chuck Lovell, writes an OpEd in the NYT saying that violence is not an answer. A strange case to be made by a man who oversees a police force which has tear gassed and assaulted peaceful protesters, and who himself put a teenaged girl into a chokehold while she was crying in fear of him back when he was a “school resource officer”.
posted by gucci mane at 3:11 PM on August 3 [11 favorites]


And it was only 2 nights ago that the Portland police slashed journalist’s tires, deployed flashbangs, bullrushed, beat, and pepper sprayed people who were peacefully chanting.
posted by gucci mane at 3:33 PM on August 3 [7 favorites]


Another clip from two nights ago. “Take note of the officer saying "Get the goggles off." at 0:57. After another officer takes this persons goggles off they pepper spray him. Despite them claiming to want him to move faster one officer sticks his baton in the bike spokes at the end of the clip.”
posted by gucci mane at 4:23 PM on August 3 [8 favorites]


Perhaps he meant that regular violence is not the answer.
"The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultraviolence."
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:45 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Tonight Portland police bullrushed protesters, maced protesters, and beat protesters. Allegedly an item was thrown at the cops, which is what instigated the aggression, but live-streams only showed one item that was thrown.
posted by gucci mane at 12:51 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


Portland police smash window, slash tires of woman’s Prius during protest dustup

Police said they believed the car was “a hazard.” - Well it sure enough was after they got done with it!

I thought tire-slashing was the realm of delinquents and psycho stalkers...oh right, cops, same-same...
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:28 AM on August 4 [6 favorites]


One thing I wish journalists would do is leapfrog these instances to the policies themselves. Don't ask the police if an officer did something wrong, to which invariably "it was according to policy" is the answer, ask about the policy, which I think people expect to be written down and not just held in everybody's head in a box wrapped with esprit de corps. "Chief, what is the policy for slashing tires? Under what conditions is it approved for use?"

Anything about the behavior in an instance will always be according to policy, as above, but also "it's under investigation." All of this means "we'll decide." So, OK, lets ask about the criteria by which you decide, where is the rule book? Can we read it, too?
posted by rhizome at 10:26 AM on August 4 [19 favorites]


More Portlanders Share Experiences of Being Snatched—and Detained—by Federal Police
Brittainy, a Portland State University student who asked that we not use her last name because of privacy concerns, was protesting downtown the night of July 25 when she saw some people shaking the fence surrounding the Hatfield courthouse. Federal officers responded by spraying tear gas at the crowd.

As she and her friend began to disperse, Brittainy got hit with pepper spray that clouded her vision. She remembers getting dizzy and nauseous, and feeling disoriented. Her friend grabbed her hand, and a volunteer medic offered to help.

“The next thing you know, I lost my friend, I lost the medic, and I was being pushed to the ground and detained,” Brittainy remembered. Officers wearing DHS uniforms then zip-tied Brittainy’s wrists and walked her toward the Multnomah County Justice Center, which houses a county jail. A social media livestream video viewed by the Mercury shows Brittainy being pulled by two DHS officers, with a third one following close behind.
posted by gucci mane at 3:58 PM on August 5 [7 favorites]


Trump After Portland (The Atlantic, Aug. 5, 2020) The president’s aggressive tactics against protesters have already damaged the reputation of government agencies. [...] Portland may turn out to be a tipping point. Tom Ridge, the department’s first secretary, appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush, told me that scenes from Portland demonstrate his old agency has strayed far from its intended purpose. “The goal then was the same as today: to protect and defend this country and our interests from the ever-present threat of global terrorism, period,” Ridge said. “It was never the intention to establish a department that the president can view as his personal militia.”

What Happened In Portland Shows Just How Fragile Our Democracy Is (FiveThirtyEight, Aug. 5, 2020)

Today is Day 70. Police declare riot amid protest at union building; no injuries in area shootings (OregonLive, Aug. 5, 2020) Portland police said demonstrators caused damage inside the Portland Police Association building. Police declared a riot and eventually cleared the area, using undescribed crowd control munitions that did not include tear gas. Three people were arrested and jailed in connection with the protest, which spanned several hours beginning Tuesday night.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:06 PM on August 5 [7 favorites]


They're doing it again tonight. @MrOlmos on Twitter has clips of bad police behavior with the dystopian soundtrack of creepy LRAD announcements.
posted by bink at 12:05 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Here is an unrolled thread from a person wondering if their chickens will be okay due to the tear gas being used in a residential neighborhood during last night’s protest in east Portland. It is a combination of worry and adorable-ness, perfectly highlighting the absolutely manic situation many of us in the city are living through these days.

East Portland has a lot of immigrants and other non-English speaking people living there, versus places where most of the protests have been at, so some of these people may not understand what the LRAD is saying.
posted by gucci mane at 10:26 AM on August 6 [9 favorites]


And it has been 70 days now. I started this thread 20 days ago, and we are still going.
posted by gucci mane at 10:27 AM on August 6 [10 favorites]


Now in Portland, instead of fire danger, there's a warning for tear gas. This is now with the Feds (theoretically) gone.

This kind of organization cannot be "reformed." There's no kinder, gentler slashing of tires and gassing of citizens.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:08 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


For Portland news, follow https://www.facebook.com/PDXIndyNews for a split-screen view of what's happening, live, from several locations.
posted by bink at 12:05 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Looks like the creative reinterpretation of laws for 'criminal conspiracy' is progressing further:

Madalena McNeil is accused of buying red paint before a protest. Under aggressive new criminal charges, it could mean she spends the rest of her life in prison (thedailybeast)...

A criminal complaint accuses McNeil of positioning herself to shove one of the shield-toting officers, and of buying the red paint that protesters allegedly splashed outside the DA’s office. She and six other protesters face criminal mischief and rioting charges, which usually cap at a second-degree felony, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. (McNeil declined to comment on the details of the case.)

But Gill, the DA who was the focus of protesters’ ire in the first place, enhanced the charges using a provision intended for gangs. Under the new enhancements, which apply to “offenses committed in concert with two or more persons or in relation to a criminal street gang," the protesters can face up to life in prison, if convicted.
posted by rambling wanderlust at 1:20 PM on August 7 [4 favorites]


And a fresh generation gets an education on what trumped-up charges are.
posted by rhizome at 8:34 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


I went to the protest at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, which has been the site of many large gatherings, and it happens to be by my house, which is convenient. Nothing had really happened while I was there, except some people were arrested. The cop propaganda is in full effect, with the LRAD warning about people throwing rocks, which I did not see whatsoever, and apparently neither did any of the other people there live tweeting. Here is an example of the police attempting to stir up sympathy. After a short cop rush, eggs were thrown, and that’s all I saw happening. It’s still going on right now but I returned home for the night.
posted by gucci mane at 1:02 AM on August 8


« Older AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!...   |   'How long does it take to wear down a mountain?' Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.