Friday, July 24, 2020

Siege of Portland, July 24

This happened around two in the morning.

Siege Notes, July 24: On the Fringe

The day before yesterday a lone police cruiser was moving slowly past the former Apple store, now shrine to George Floyd,  around 10 PM. Then I saw a very young woman with shimmering blonde hair, sitting in the passenger seat. I wondered for a moment if someone had gotten hold of a police car and gone joyriding. Something was off.
A single cruiser can't operate unmolested in and around antifa territory and this one was close.

"I know you ain't looking for me..." a negro bellowed from somewhere.

The girl scanned the crowd with a look of concern; the cop's bald head low and dark on his side as he gingerly made his way through the hostile ground. It only occurred to me a moment later this had to be a crime victim and cop looking for a suspect--or missing person.

I gave a homeless guy a sympathetic look as I ducked into the 7/11 on 4th and Taylor downtown. In normal times its corner is dominated by the hardest homeless cases; now it operates on the edge and sometimes in the midst of our nightly riots. Inside an ugly little black teenager, odd looking and sounding with an accent I can't place, is threatening to start breaking stuff over something or other. A motley cast of antifa and assorted weirdos line up, observing social distancing. I bought a pack of cigarettes from an exhausted Arab, watching his screen of multiple security cameras through weary, bloodshot eyes.

The panhandler had made me with that damn sympathetic look I gave him, and promptly accosted me on the way out.
"Need a light?" He asks.
"Thanks I got it." I say.
Needing a break and always looking to blend in, I sat with him for a bit. He wasn't crazy, but an absolute physical wreck. Cancer is eating him from the inside out he tells me, and he can't get treatment. He's making his pitch for charity before asking outright. There are bank-shot panhandler appeals--recently a homeless guy handed me a dime, and asked for a dollar. This guy's thing is more of a long-sell, or at least he had me pegged for it.

"These other guys, they can't prove it." He says of other panhandlers' woe. "I can." He pulls up his pant leg and shows me a withered calf splotched with little dark clouds of melanoma.
He needs fifteen dollars for a bed, he says and I give him ten.
"We should be able to raise you five more dollars." I say. He's eying the twenty I wasn't willing to give him. "Put out a cup or something. All these people."
He chortles with a rheumy thump
"These people?"
"Nobody's giving you money?"
"Hell no."
"Well there's all that food, that's pretty cool?" Antifa's "Riot Ribs" grill-tent cooks up barbecue and hands out food all day.
"I haven't gotten any. All that food and I haven't got shit. These fuckers."
He stops a light-skinned young negro but doesn't get far before the man says, with neither disdain nor sympathy, "I haven't got any money", and rolls.
"See what I mean?" He laughs, with as much good nature as he can muster.
I took back my ten, gave him the twenty, and waded back into the night.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Siege of Soros: The Livestreams for July 21 through 22

5:03:03 Woman beaten unconscious on street. "She's kicking her face!" The livestreamer complains and is chased off the street. I speculated here that she had blurred the screen to protect them but I think her connection was at fault.

Courtesy of AustinZone YouTube channel.

There is almost six hours worth of various livestreams here. I'll try to go through and timestamp various points as I find time. It was an eventful and typical night. The antifa livestreamers are doing remarkable work on the ground documenting it all, despite their bias. On second thought, no one reads this blog so I won't waste the time. Go listen to livestream debates by hack YouTubers, if that's your thing. You deserve this, bastards!
I kid.

Hello darkness my old friend...

Siege Notes, Portland July 21: Good Morning Vietnam

Portland's insurrectionists are more numerous, organized and energized as a result of President Trump's surge of federal law enforcement into the city, now on day fifty-something of the Siege of Soros, but who's counting.

Contrary to Trump's claim, they have not restored order and haven't done--not necessarily their fault--a fine job. In fact at this point he's only managed to place the feds in the same untenable position the police they've come to relieve were in before--the force they need to use is used against them immediately, and so far quite effectively, by treacherous media and political leaders presenting them as military atrocities to a benighted public.

Trump and the poor grunts of federal law enforcement have acquired their own Vietnam. No, Johnny Rambo, you don't get to win this time either.

After introducing harsher riot control measures--lots of tear gas and various munitions--on the first two nights and putting antifa on their heels, the feds have retreated to their fortified courthouse. They are now pursuing the same strategy of the police earlier, ceding the streets and only clearing rioters when their physical attacks on the building get out of hand, as when they try to set the plywood fortifications on fire. Last night they managed to pull away a large section of plywood framing and start in on the exposed (but impressively sturdy) glass underneath.

Today concrete blocks are going up and welders are fusing together heavier fencing in an attempt to stop antifa from dismantling it and barricading the doors, as has become routine. The city recaptured the three affected park blocks last week, declaring them closed for repairs and fencing them off with chain link fencing that is easily removable in sections. At the same time Portland police were being withdrawn from the streets--and abandoning the feds to antifa outfitted with the mobile siege barriers they've made of the dismantled fencing, and invigorated by the victory of recapturing their after-dark autonomous zone.

The Portland Police Bureau has been forbidden from communicating with the feds, and a controversy is brewing over a violation of that after the revelation an office of the PPB has been communicating with the feds next door. Longtime progressive anti-cop activist Jo Ann Hardesty is applying it to her effort to gain control of the police bureau (the mayor serves as commissioner now, but it's not clear what that means). No one locally is questioning the extraordinary (unprecedented?) move of isolating the feds.

With the new front opened, now against Trump's putative brownshirts, antifa continues to show improvement in organization and tactics. Nightly now their teams of bikes--motorcycles, bicycles, scooters--move in rapid response teams to blockade streets and observers are stationed on the perimeter of the three-block radius antifa now claims nightly with impunity. Their autonomy is only disturbed by riot police after they've managed, after much effort, to draw the "pigs" out of their fort by setting fires and barricades and trying to break inside.

Journalists enjoy some protections from arrest and dispersal (last night I watched one of the antifa livestreamers unmolested behind federal lines as they cleared out Lownsdale Square; agents escorted her out at her request after she became nervous) as a result of a restraining order granted by a liberal federal judge and ally from within the besieged walls of the courthouse. But any journalist on the ground identified as unallied or suspect is immediately set upon by the crowd. One was beaten last night.

Another beating for unknown reasons left someone knocked out on the street. The cries of those around suggest it was a woman:

Portland's coup-complicit local journalists are glorying in their role and the national attention. "Portland journalists are killing it" one enthused after promoting another local going on national television.
So far the narrative holds and they continue to win.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Siege Notes, July 20: Keep Portland Cruel

Salmon Street in between 4th and 3rd Avenues is very rough during the day. Antifa hangers-on and homeless crazies predominate on the short block bordering what is in effect antifa occupied territory--Lownsdale Park across from the US District Court.

Homeless schizophrenics and the like are attracted to the camp with its free food and excitement. Ranters are pleased to have a somewhat captive audience, and can be seen inveigling, completely ignored, among the crowd.

I was in front of the federal courthouse on Sunday when I heard angry shouting. Nothing unusual here and now, but it persisted so I made my way over to the corner of Salmon to have a look. Someone was taunting someone over getting "knocked out".

An older homeless man lay propped up on an elbow in the middle of the street surrounded by protesters. I think someone offered to get an antifa medic when he shouted defiantly.

"I want an ambulance. I want 911."

A pair of women watched with me for a moment. I told them what I knew. A thirty-something nice liberal lady, clearly distressed but apologetic, pointed out the homeless man was a troublesome character who'd been clashing with people for days.
"He needs help." I said like an idiot. "I mean, professional."
She nodded under eyes arched in concern. I walked away thinking to myself, yes, help from, you know, police and paramedics.

And it fell to the most wretched to expose their hypocrisy and bear their wrath. 
--not in the Bible, as far as I know

 Paramedics and police would normally have been on hand in ten minutes and would have handled the situation with the care and restraint determined by the terms of an Obama-era lawsuit and ensuing consent decree.
 This after an investigation by race man Eric Holder's Justice Department couldn't contrive enough evidence for Jo Ann Hardesty and other local anti-cop activists to warrant a finding of racial bias. Certainly that wasn't for lack of trying.

I was surprised and concerned to see an hour later from the other side of antifa-occupied Lownsdale Park the confrontation with the homeless man was still going on. Someone restrained from attacking him a scrawny kid who flailed away in the air furious, or pretending to be. The old guy had lost his pants I could see. Various people were shouting.

"Are they getting violent over there?" a big guy, a suburban dad with a tribal tattoo, had gotten out of his car, phone in hand.

"Yeah." I said, restraining the urge to say "You appear normal. So am I."

His wife pleaded with him to get in the car.

Another fellow, a stout biker/hipster type walking a muscular pit bull with huge spike collar--sympathies uncertain--got out his phone and, probably, called 911. The confrontation there had been going on almost an hour at this point. A bus was stopped for a time and I thought, stupidly, the driver would take the old guy away.

I ventured into the middle of Lownsdale and watched the standoff for a while, afraid to film in the midst of antifa and sympathizers, who own the park now by day as well as night as a result of their inspired redoubling in the face of the feds attempts to restore the city.

I went back to the sidewalk and headed north, thinking I'd come wide around to observe, maybe dare to film, when a wiped-out looking kid, tall with greasy locks and a nose ring that looked like it was fashioned out of a paper clip, approached.

"What's this?" He asked, pointing to my hand, without hostility.
"It's my selfie stick. I use it to take pictures and video."
"Can I see it?"
Against my better judgement I handed it to him.
"I'm an artist." With the stick he indicated a poster on the ground with a couple of letters and crude shapes. I rested my hands on my knees and made a show of appreciating it.
A spectral negro sidled up to us, his eyes between the mask and dark cap he wore took me in with that familiar black look: wide-eyed and wary. I took out a cigarette and gave one to the kid--who turned out to be 28, by his account. I offered one to the black; he took it wordlessly.

As I spent some ten minutes sitting on the sidewalk listening to the young man's story, a homeless man standing nearby streamed a continual narrative to the oblivious stream of people passing by.

"...I was a real badass..."

As for the young man's story , it was incoherent and probably a lie--his biker father didn't want to be a hit-man for the Mob and left the life to raise a family. But he treated his son too harshly and scarred him. Doctors have told him he showed symptoms of schizophrenia, but he didn't believe it. He's an Indian he says, and practices Indian magic.

"...knew a guy, used to work out..."

A girl with a shaved head came over and gave instructions, something about keeping an eye out for something--I sat there invisible--and he assured her he would, but I think he forgot immediately after she left.

"...I'm a magician, motherfucker..." the homeless guy happens to say at some point.

"Yes, yes, we've established that." The young man responded, smirking at me and rolling his eyes in the direction of the speaker.

I worried for a moment he might try to keep the selfie stick when I got up and brushed myself off, but he remained friendly.

"Good luck." I said, shaking his hand, only later thinking of Covid.

I went to the standoff on Salmon, and joined a pair of sane-looking older Portlanders standng nearby watching with concern. No one was filming so I didn't. The old guy still didn't have his pants and bled from a cut over the eye.

"This is fucked up." A man said. I nodded in agreement.

"People called 911. They won't come here" he said. We were across and one street over from the police station.

A fat man in a late-model Cadillac, clothes and car sharing an Italian gangster aesthetic, shouted from the curb.
"Fuck him. He's been giving people shit...fuck that bastard."

"Yeah, yeah,'s just fucked up" the other guy said.

The irony of it would no doubt be lost on antifa if they were paying attention to it. The old guy refused to leave the street, just as they do, and their response was to brutalize him and humiliate him--but not too much perhaps, certainly nothing he isn't used to--and then to hand him over to the detested authorities. Eventually an ambulance and police unit extracted him after about two hours.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Siege Notes, Portland July 17: Antifa Cries Out in Pain as it Strikes You

What we're experiencing now resembles a revolutionary coup where the actual coup and transfer of power (and maybe bloodletting) comes at the end of a long period of chaotic change instead of its onset. Institutions, like individuals, that never would have assented to Current Year norms in saner times have nowhere to go after their long gradual acculturation in this theoretical lunacy. Those "saner times" themselves are the problem, after all, according to the rolling dispensation of our times.

Different components of the coup are as different components of an army. Like engineers follow infantry, the media wing follows behind BLM/antifa riots and builds to hold the ground. Antifa's hopeless zombie assaults--grunts are always screwed over--aren't meant to succeed but draw out the feds and make them vulnerable to charges of brutality.

State and local leaders here are all in with the coup, demanding the withdrawal of all federal troops, as an "occupying" army suppressing peaceful protests and establishing right-wing tyranny.

Oregon's Attorney General is suing the federal government over recent arrests quelling riots in Portland. Bloomberg:
Oregon sued the U.S. over the detention of residents during anti-racism protests in Portland, shortly after a judge ruled that journalists alleging local police had assaulted them could add federal agents to their own lawsuit.

In her suit against the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum alleges they have overstepped their powers in threatening, injuring or arresting protesters. The journalists made similar claims, saying police had assaulted them at Black Lives Matter demonstrations, coordinating their response with federal authorities.

Oregon cited two incidents it says took place in the past week. On July 12 a peaceful protester was struck in the head with an “impact weapon” and sustained severe injuries, according to the AG’s office.

On Thursday, it says, “an unmarked minivan with undercover federal agents wearing generic green military fatigues” forcibly detained a second protester, who was later released. The Oregon Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into the July 12 incident, according to the AG.
As a symbol of American power and thus white oppression the US District Courthouse has been covered in obscene graffiti for these last two months. Last night rioters took the temporary chain-link fencing from around the closed and now reclaimed park blocks and piled it up as a barricade in front of the courthouse door, launching fireworks at it.

But it's a kind of kabuki; they have more allies in the building than enemies. The attacks are entirely about drawing out and provoking federal police, who are essentially defending an institution that won't defend them any more than the city defends the cops under siege next door.

 From the  New York Times
Billy J. Williams, the U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, said in a statement on Friday that he was asking the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to investigate reports of officers detaining protesters.

Governor Brown said in an interview that she asked the acting homeland security secretary, Chad F. Wolf, to remove federal officials from the streets and that he refused. She said the Trump administration appeared to instead be using the situation for photo-ops to rally his supporters. “They are provoking confrontation for political purposes,” Ms. Brown said.
The governor's sychological projection aside, the introduction of federal law enforcement has escalated the violence--only because it's enlivened antifa, increasing their number and aggression.

Leave it to the progressive Nation magazine to debunk, somewhat, the "kidnapping" theme, though don't expect it to go away any time soon:
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 raises even more questions.
Dated July 1, the memo is titled “Public Affairs Guidance: CBP Support to Protect Federal Facilities and Property” and marked “For Official Use Only.” It describes a special task force created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence. That task force, the Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT), has been tasked not only to assess civil unrest but also to “surge” resources to protect against it.

The Portland arrest of Mark Pettibone, first reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, followed several similar arrests involving officers from a Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC)—CBP’s equivalent of a SWAT team—as well as the US Marshals Special Operations Group. A CBP spokesman confirmed to The Nation that CBP agents were responsible for the arrest, pointing to authorities under the Protecting American Communities Task Force...
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. And that’s exactly what makes them so troubling, explains Jenn Budd, a former senior Border Patrol agent.
The arrests did in fact play out as abductions, with feds pulling up in unmarked cars, singling out and arresting someone not engaged in criminal activity. Presumably they're identifying people on video they think are leaders or provocateurs and rousting them. Arrestees report being asked to waive their Miranda rights to answer questions and being quickly released after refusing.

Simplest explanation is mild harassment by the feds of suspected ringleaders to dissuade. But it might also serve the feds by sowing further mistrust in antifa ranks--after last week's revelation of undercover cops at riots--while fishing for snitches or voluble crazies who won't be able to contain themselves.

The Coup remains invested in the "kidnappings" theme.

The increasingly childish Washington Post:
In Pettibone’s account, when several men in fatigues approached him, 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. 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 said. “It seemed like it was out of a horror/sci-fi, like a Philip K. Dick novel. It was like being preyed upon.”
Because antifa sympathizers are being relieved by complicit media and leaders of the normal risk associated with violent insurrection, America is being overthrown by LARPers.

It is like dystopian fiction. Not even its perpetrators can believe the depths to which political leaders have allowed this to go. But I suspect he doth protest too much. This is all very thrilling to participants, and local friendly media are excited to be published in the New York Times and Post. It's fun because it's so much like something we've been experiencing second-hand all our dull modern lives.
He was detained and searched. One man asked him if he had any weapons; he did not. They drove him to the federal courthouse and placed him in a holding cell, he said. Two officers eventually returned to read his Miranda rights and ask if he would waive those rights to answer a few questions; he did not.
And almost as suddenly as they had grabbed him off the street, the men let him go. The federal officers who snatched him off the street as he was walking home from a peaceful protest did not tell him why he had been detained or provide him any record of an arrest, he told The Post. As far as he knows, he has not been charged with any crimes.
Democrats nationwide pounced on the story, of course.
Anti-cop city councilmember Jo Ann Hardesty called for a vigil in front of what she's long called the "(in)Justice Center" at 7 PM yesterday. Later that night of course we'd have riots, with protesters trying to barricade the building and drawing out federal cops.

The vigil was awkward and ugly at times as one group came with its own speaker and tried to talk over her. Earnest dull white "faith leaders" shared the stage with angry black women.
Hardesty got off the street before nightfall as the mood went dark along with the day--as it has been every day for going on two months.

Here she is actually tripping over herself hustling away as the crowd gets uglier:

Footage from livestreamer Anna Noelle Green, via "AustinZone" YouTube channel

And as contrived and phony it all is, there's no way this coup's plotters have real control over their troops.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Siege Notes, Portland July 16: Wolf Whistle

The humorously named Chad Wolf, acting head of Homeland Security, is in Portland and not meeting with state or local leaders after having declared Portland under siege and local government derelict in its duty:
“The city of Portland has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city. Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it.

 “A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice - to attack it is to attack America. Instead of addressing violent criminals in their communities, local and state leaders are instead focusing on placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community. This failed response has only emboldened the violent mob as it escalates violence day after day.

“This siege can end if state and local officials decide to take appropriate action instead of refusing to enforce the law. DHS will not abdicate its solemn duty to protect federal facilities and those within them. Again, I reiterate the Department’s offer to assist local and state leaders to bring an end to the violence perpetuated by anarchists,” said Acting Secretary Chad Wolf
It's not clear who exactly he's meeting with. Presumably the cops and federal law enforcement. Oregon Democratic leaders are determined to gut out the strategy of acquiescence and play this against Trump.

Mayor Ted Wheeler says he's neither received nor would accept an invite.
Governor Kate Brown:
I told Acting Secretary Wolf that the federal government should remove all federal officers from our 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. — Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) July 16, 2020 
 One local lawman refused to meet with Wolf and toed the "politicization" line (apparently for Wolf's "under siege" comments):

Senators Wyden
A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump’s secret police. Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden)
and Merkley:

Congressman Blumenauer:

Democratic leadership is united.

Around 7 AM a motley collection of antifa sympathizers and homeless jeered police who'd set up a line around the park blocks adjacent to the target buildings, and now there's fencing encompassing all the real estate antifa had owned after dark since the siege began.

Reports are they swept through at 5 AM and made nine arrests. I saw them make one later. Later in the day handfuls of cops rested on benches within the fence. The crowd lined up along the street bordering the zone was small and very rough. Antifa Twitter activity suggests they're rallying at a park elsewhere tonight, but that could be a head fake. I can't imagine they won't challenge the cops in their new pen tonight.

Meanwhile Portland is experiencing the same release of criminal violence outside of its siege as other affected cities, and here too it's a total mystery [boldface added]:
Beyond the protests, it was a violent few days in Portland. 
Statistics show there has been a 380% increase in shootings over the past year and this weekend saw a number of homicides. 
“Each of these numbers represents a human being, we must not lose sight of that,” Chief Lovell said. “5 victims of homicide within 24 hours is staggering.” 
Lovell said the bureau does not know what is causing the uptick in violence.
And nobody in the local media is interested in asking the obvious question.
Nadezhda Volobuev, 61, died Friday in Southeast Portland. Her daughter, 29-year-old Angelina Volobuev, is charged with second-degree murder. Police responded to the 13600 block of SE Powell Boulevard shortly after 9 p.m. Friday after witnesses reported hearing 7 to 10 shots fired. Julian Heredia, 19, died.  
An 18-year-old girl was killed in a shooting in the area of SE 84th Avenue around 1 p.m. Friday. Shai-India Harris died at the scene.  
Despite rumors, Portland police don’t believe racism was a motive in a shooting that left a man dead in the 8300 block of SW Barbur around 8:15 p.m.Thursday. Detectives interviewed multiple witnesses to this crime and “there is no information at this time to support race was a factor that played a role in this case.”
A local black activist tried to gin up a hoax on Twitter that white supremacists executed a black man outside a strip club. Distraught relatives of the deceased came out of the woodwork. There was never any question the shooter was another black guy, and the motive is allegedly a coke deal gone wrong. The suspect is fair, probably bi-racial, and I genuinely think the would-be hoaxer thought he might elicit what they used to call a "light skin pass" into whiteness. No local press interest in a state Democratic Black Caucus aide trying to pull a fast one, of course.
A man was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing and killing a person in Southeast Portland’s Buckman neighborhood around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. 
And though no one died in these incidents, bullets were fired: 
A fusillade of bullets hit 2 vehicles in Southeast Portland around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, injuring a 10-year-old girl who was in one car with her mother and 3 other children. More than 25 bullet casings were found on the street in the 13400 block of SE Harold Street. 
Gunshots rang out around 1:15 a.m.Thursday after demonstrators in downtown Portland and the driver of a car going the wrong way confronted each other, police said.As the driver and the demonstrators faced off, “several shots were fired from the vehicle as it drove away,” police said.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Siege Notes, Portland July 14: Tin Soldiers and Trump is Comin'...

Tents have started popping up in Lownsdale Square park across from Portland's US District Court as antifa looks to be settling in. Yesterday their Twitter sent out the call for the necessary gear. Earlier in the day park rangers visited their "Riot Ribs" tent which operates a grill and hands out food and water.

Antifa says federal agents in unmarked cars are "kidnapping" people off the streets:

Also under their "#fashcar hashtag they are posting license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles--one for a pro second amendment bumper sticker.

Monday night, after a bruising weekend battling Federal Marshals and Border Patrol tactical agents (BORTAC) who emerged from the embattled courthouse in force, making arrests and driving the rioters several blocks away, antifa returned to the softer target that is the police union headquarters on the east side.

Seven were arrested for last Saturday's assault on the federal courthouse and all promptly released by an Obama-appointed judge in a move unusual for federal charges.

Naturally the state's Democratic senators have roused themselves from considering their white privilege and are protesting the federal government's response and asking about undercover agents embedded in antifa demonstrations.
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden said Monday in Portland that the president has a dangerous fixation with strongarming peaceful protesters.
“What America does not need is Donald Trump parachuting federal law enforcement into U.S. cities as if they’re enemy strongholds requiring an occupying army to suppress,” Wyden said.
Wyden referenced Trump using federal police to clear protesters in Washington D.C. for a photo opp outside a church as an example.
“And America saw some of those past dangers in Portland when a peaceful protester was shot in the head,” Wyden said
Department of Homeland Security officers were sent to Portland after the president issued an executive order in late June protecting statues from protesters.
Since arriving just before July 4, the officers from Customs and Border Patrol’s elite BORTAC unit and the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group have played an aggressive role protecting the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse from vandalism and assisting the Portland Police Bureau in clearing protesters from city streets.
Court documents filed Monday also revealed federal agents have used undercover officers embedded with protesters to make at least one arrest involving a protester who allegedly pointed a laser pointer at federal agents.
Asked about their use, Wyden was displeased.
“I have already asked the federal government why law enforcement planes are engaging in surveillance of our city. And I’m going to insist on answers to that matter as well,” Wyden said. 
Apparently the "planes" are probable surveillance drones spotted by protesters.

Here's the Department of Homeland Security's description of BORTAC:
 The unit was created in 1984 to serve a civil disturbance function in response to rioting at legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service detention facilities. It quickly evolved and acquired additional skill sets in high-risk warrant service; intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance; foreign law enforcement/Border Patrol capacity building; airmobile operations; maritime operations; and precision marks- man/observer.
 Wikipedia on the history of BORTAC:
During the 1980’s “War on Drugs,” BORTAC, in conjunction with the DEA, conducted counter narcotics operations in South America during Operation “Snow Cap.” In 1992, BORTAC was deployed to Los Angeles to help restore order after rioting broke out in the wake of the Rodney King trial. In April of 2000, the BORTAC conducted Operation “Reunion,” in which it executed a raid on a home in Miami, Florida and safely returned Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez to his family in Cuba.
Following the World Trade Center Attack in September of 2001, BORTAC personnel were sent to high-risk areas around the country to help secure against future attacks. In 2002, BORTAC worked jointly with the United States Secret Service to secure sports venues at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. Recent natural disasters have vaulted BORTAC personnel into tactical relief operations (TRO) by providing hurricane relief aid to Gulf Coast residents and law enforcement support to law enforcement agencies affected by Hurricane Katrina.
On Sunday a small contingent of counter-protesters appealing for an end to rioting were met by an antifa contingent looking to intimidate them. "Oregonians for Peace" were determinedly non-partisan in their demonstration, gave non-political speeches accepting the BLM line but pleading for an end to the violence. Naturally they were identified as fascist by antifa.
Crime is spiking in the usual places as a result of everything and for the usual idiotic reasons
A Portland man died after he was hit in the head with a pistol by a family friend who claimed he was disrespected after being called “cheap,” according to authorities.
Damian Lucas, 36, is accused of second-degree murder in the death of 67-year-old Jeffrey Sloan. Lucas told court employees at the Multnomah County Detention Center that he lived in the same neighborhood as Sloan and had known him for six years, court documents said.

Witnesses told police that Lucas was one of several people in Sloan’s home July 2. He was there to repay $10 to Sloan’s wife, a probable cause affidavit said. One witness said Sloan apparently joked that Lucas shouldn’t be “cheap” when Lucas said he had a $20 bill and asked for change.
I've been pointing out ever since the "black lives matter" notion took off the reality isn't that society values black lives too little, but that blacks value life, generally, too little. 
That's the relevance of "black on black" crime as it applies here--the hypocrisy of it is beside the point.
As the case above shows, blacks also value personal honor--at least their definition of it--too highly. More than half of murders in black urban neighborhoods arise ultimately from some perceived insult.

Now if only whites could develop a sense of personal honor.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Siege Notes July 12: Antifa Cries Out as it Strikes You

I hadn't even pulled alongside the small packed car--three baby hoodlums and two white hoes--when I saw the young black punk leaning out his window to glare at me. Apparently he had randomly selected a lone white motorist to intimidate.
I pulled alongside and rolled down the window--a bad idea I got away with--and stared back. We rolled alongside one another playing this juvenile game before a car in their lane slowed them down.

They passed again. This time I made a show of yawning into my fist. Again they fell back and again they pulled aside, the one in the back still giving me what the Mexicans used to call "the mad dog"--the hard stare. The driver flashed his gang sign.
They pulled in front of me--the kid used his blinkers, which I found odd--and I wondered just what would I do if they tried something.
 They turned left.
Another successful bluff for me. Can't have a lot of those left.

 The point is the mood has gotten ugly.

That was three days ago on Thursday.

On Friday reports came that President Trump called out the city and told a military briefing he'd sent federal officers here.

Antifa has owned the three park blocks separating the cops and feds from City Hall and the county courthouse really from the start of this forty-some day-old siege. Cops haven't appeared in or around a four or five block radius of downtown after dark except to clear the streets. A lone cruiser would simply be a provocation.

But there were noticeably more police cruisers outside of the no-go zone; I realized just how few of them I had been seeing there since this began. It's as if they were making a point of showing the colors out here, at the same time they continue to surrender the park blocks and play defense from a fortified jail.

The police are stubbornly absorbing the abuse that is the real point of the nightly encounters--to wear down the cops with torturous abuse. And it's no doubt working already in thinning the ranks. Absent a near-miraculous reversal to sanity becoming a cop in Portland heretofore will be a matter of passing muster with their present tormentors.

Some of the posters and graffiti--"humiliate cops" and "make cops go crazy" (captioning an evil clown wielding a syringe)--suggest explicit training in torture and propaganda coming from the murky top of this beast.

And someone in the federal courthouse indulged a little of their own, propping an okay hand sign in the window several stories up. Antifa found it and their Twitter went breathless for a while.

The US Attorney then revealed it was the back of a poster of Trailblazers star Damian Lillard, sacred black body and sportsball icon:

The okay sign revealed as three fingers on a field of 3s referring to three-point shots. That didn't stop JoAnn Hardesty, longtime community activist and city councilmember, from invoking it in a letter addressing the federals escalation of hostilities last night.
On her side it really doesn't matter if it was in the nature of a practical joke--just trafficking in the symbol is enough.

A local activist and vice chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon's Black Caucus has been promulgating a race hoax on Twitter, claiming a black shot and killed by another black in front of a strip club as a result of a coke deal gone wrong was assassinated by white supremacists. A handful of black people showed up to claim it true, and their blood relationship to the victim, before the hoax was revealed.

Of course no consequences all around and Friday night was dedicated to the name of the deceased.

The name is already forgotten so I think more relevant to their rage is Trump's calling them out that same day.

They redoubled their ten-or-so day-old siege on the US District Court building. One protester attacking the temporary wood-frame doors out front with a heavy hammer then took a few whacks and even landed, barely, on an agent as they emerged to stop him.

Which brings us finally to last night and federal law enforcement entering the fray in earnest. US Marshals and Department of Homeland Security agents in riot gear emerged from the courthouse in strength, liberally tear-gassed and pushed the protesters three blocks over to Broadway. Portland Police were nowhere to be seen. Hours later they would push them out farther and hand them off to the cops, who then took the unprecedented move of driving the rioters all the way out of downtown and into the residential areas west.

At one point an antifa protester--who's taken to holding a speaker over his head a la John Cusack in Say Anything and standing in the front lines (antifa's answer to the LRAD)--caught some sort of non-lethal round to the head after he lamely kicked or tossed a teargas canister back at federals lined up in front of the courthouse.

In the most bizarre incident of the night--no mean title--before things got too heated, as the ugly mob was forming across from the Marshals lined up in front of the federal court and symbol of white supremacy, a young black woman brought out a pre-toddler, and slowly walked him by the hand in between the squared-off groups, the tiny creature waddling like ET on stubby little legs he didn't know how to bend. She tried coaxing him for a second pass back the way they came but was unsuccessful. A few lonely voices of protest from black women came from the mostly silent crowd.

As if yielding to this, the Marshals went back inside shortly after.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Friday, July 10, 2020

Siege Notes, Portland July 10: Federales

The Oregonian:
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.
Things have gotten a little quieter since antifa started attacking the federal courthouse. The prospect of lengthy federal prison terms may have something to do with that.

In the same besieged US District Courthouse antifa-friendly federal judges have responded to ACLU lawsuits to limit the Portland Police Bureau's use of tear gas and other riot control measures.

The police meanwhile are probably welcoming both the feds' help and their absorption of a good deal of antifa energy.
They stand otherwise alone as city government seems determined to wait out the long siege--to the last demoralized cop.
Portland Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis said his department did not request the assistance and did not coordinate efforts with the federal government amid often chaotic clashes that have ranged across several downtown blocks after midnight for weeks.

“I don’t have authority to order federal officers to do things,” Davis said. “It does complicate things for us.” 
Federal authorities are not subject the limitations placed on police
Civil liberties advocates and activists have accused federal authorities of overstepping their jurisdiction and excessive use of crowd-control measures, including using tear gas and patrolling beyond the boundaries of federal property. Portland police are prohibited from using tear gas under a recent temporary court order unless they declare a riot.
Police have promised not to declare a riot again and as protests ease up somewhat they are spendng most of their time sheltering in place. The Oregonian cites Trump's executive order protecting monuments, but federal law enforcement's role in protecting such as the federal courthouse is their normal function--the order is not necessary.
Trump issued an executive order on June 26 to protect monuments after protesters tried to remove or destroy statues of people considered racist, including a failed attempt to pull down one of Andrew Jackson near the White House.
To cap off this misdirection the paper cites the ubiquitous "unnamed former official" (maybe there's only one out there):
A former DHS official said BORTAC agents were viewed as “highly trained, valuable, scarce resources” and would typically be used for domestic law enforcement in extraordinary circumstances. “These units don’t normally sit around idle,” said the official, who spoke on condition anonymity because he no longer works at the agency, after serving under Trump and President Barack Obama, and is not authorized to discuss operations.

“What did they get pulled off of in order to watch over statues?”
Nothing extraordinary going on in Portland apparently. And, sadly, no one is protecting our statues (or streets, or businesses, or public buildings).

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Siege Notes, Portland July 9: Witch Hunters Go to Salem

Well into the second month of BLM's siege of Portland, the ACLU, antifa and their allies in the state legislature are taking the fight to the state capitol.

A special legislative session to address Covid has been taken over, like everything else, by the mania. The ACLU faction has established the Joint Committee On Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform and are working up a bill to codify into law the BLM narrative:
[HB 2401A] Proclaims that Black Lives Matter and details current and historic experiences of Black and other Persons of Color interactions with law enforcement officers...
Their purpose long-term is to replace Oregon's current law regarding police homicides, where one police force investigates cases against another, turning it over to politicians--them.
Requires law enforcement agency to notify Attorney General when police officer uses physical force resulting in death or qualifying physical injury. Requires Attorney General to appoint special investigator to lead investigation upon receipt of notification. Directs Attorney General to prosecute violations of law related to use of physical force. Directs Attorney General to release reports from investigation if criminal proceedings are not initiated.

Declares emergency, effective on passage. 
Routing whatever trust citizens have retained in their police in the face of the coup's agitprop is one means to this goal. Another is obscuring the nature of antifa.

Michael German of the Brennan Institute is a former FBI "whistle-blower" who's made a career campaigning against white nationalist infiltration of law enforcement. He became a darling of some after writing about the "Islamophobia" of the FBI in shifting its focus to Islamic terrorism after 9/11--and stranding his career going after white nationalist groups. One suspects the professional anguish of having one's work, including going undercover, plays some role in his anti-white zeal (“The idea of using the law to protect the most vulnerable in society is what drew me to the FBI” he would tell the credulous Intercept).

German's role was to raise the specter of white nationalist infiltration of police.
Obviously, only a tiny percentage of law enforcement officials are likely to be active members of white supremacist groups. But one doesn’t need access to secretive intelligence gathered in FBI terrorism investigations to find evidence of overt and explicit racism within law enforcement...
He goes on to list instances of police racism, including cops posting wrongthink on social media. He also regurgitates BLM boilerplate:
It is important to acknowledge that our nation was founded on white supremacy. It was the driving ideology that motivated European colonization of North America, the subjugation of Native Americans, and the enslavement of kidnapped Africans and their descendants. Slave patrols were among the first public police organizations formed in the American colonies.
Put simply, white supremacy was the law these earliest public officials were sworn to enforce. Slave patrols were among the first public police organizations formed in the American colonies. Put simply, white supremacy was the law these earliest public officials were sworn to enforce.
If a few cases of police brutality (in a country of over 300 million) and all those mean tweets don't convince you, just refer back to "policing is white supremacy". It's a catch-all.

We can see one explicit goal is to purge suspect white men (and they are all suspect) from police departments:
While progress in removing bias from law enforcement has clearly been made since the civil rights era, as Georgetown University law professor Vida B. Johnson argues, “the system can never achieve its purported goal of fairness while white supremacists continue to hide within police departments.” The indifferent law enforcement response to racist violence and hate crimes, and the laissez-faire approach to white supremacist riots in cities across the U.S. over the last several years,leave many Americans concerned that racist bias among law enforcement is persistent, if not pervasive.
I've never seen a white supremacist riot. No doubt he would cite Charlottesville as such. He might also cite Portland's series of Patriot Prayer/antifa standoffs, which I've witnessed myself. The same pattern played out in both cases--right wing demonstrators peacefully march and are attacked by antifa.

Those actions and the true nature of BLM and antifa must then be downplayed, obviously. That job fell to University of Wisconsin sociology professor Stanislav Vyostsky:
Vyostsky said he has researched extensively as a sociologist on “antifa activism,” though interviews, field work and observations. One main point he made about antifa, which is an abbreviation for “anti fascists,” is that there is no centralized, coordinated antifa organization, but rather some formal groups and networks as well as informal groups.
Antifa is decentralized on the ground--it has become as much a culture as anything else--but that fact doesn't mean it can't be, or isn't, a tool of the powerful who've set it loose upon the land. The levers of machination are visible, in the media's bias and in the cadres of apologists like Vyostsky.
Though some individuals associated with antifa may engage in “militant activities” that are intentionally confrontational, and even violent, the vast majority of the tactics that antifascists engage in, including those who consider themselves militant, are non-militant activities, Vyostsky said. Their main focus is on “information gathering and dissemination through education or public shaming campaigns.”
As a countermovement, the strategic goal of antifascist activism is the demobilization of the fascist movement in the form a cessation of its activities. In order to achieve this, activists utilize a variety of tactics that I classify as non-militant and militant. Non-militant tactics consist of those types of activities that are considered to be conventional and acceptable forms of social movement behavior. By contrast, militant activities are intentionally confrontational and frequently fall outside the bounds of what is deemed acceptable. These provocative, and at times violent, tactics are frequently associated with the antifa label.
However, the vast majority of the tactics that antifascists engage in, including those who consider themselves militants, are in fact non-militant activities ...
Mostly peaceful!
As you can see, antifa activism is a complex social movement phenomenon.
It's complicated!
It takes on many forms and a variety of approaches. However, there is one consistency – the opposition to fascist activity. Antifascist activism increases in conjunction with increased mobilization and activism by fascists, and similarly decreases when that movement demobilizes. If one is interested in decreasing antifascist activism, then the surest means to achieve that is to ensure that the fascist movement is unable to mobilize. The one consistency among antifa members is their opposition to “fascist activity,” Vyostsky said.
Meanwhile, we are experiencing the same spike in crime as places like New York, who also disbanded their gun/gang unit.

Last night's gathering around the wrecked Elk statue was relatively subdued. The highlight of the evening came when a group in a car pulled up to the demonstration, exchanged words with antifa and then drove off, firing a gun into the air. Who they were is not clear, but judging from antifa's Twitter communications they almost certainly weren't white anti-antifa, but black thugs.

They're fine with compromising their anti-law enforcement posture by calling police on whites committing real or imagined crimes, but when confronted with black thuggery they agonize over the decision to snitch.

No police were on scene.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Siege Notes, Portland July 7: Empire Strikes Back

Ruptly is reporting National Guard troops are now on the streets in Portland, per Kate Brown's authorization, but it appears to be Border Patrol and other federal agents making arrests--in response to antifa's broadening its attack to include the federal courthouse. The governor issued the order June 1 declaring the fifty troops would be "unarmed" and "behind the scenes", wrapped in a lot of Summer-of-Orange-Man-Bad supplication.

But antifa may have miscalculated in taking on the feds, who don't need the city government's approval to defend the courthouse and the federal building, which sit on either side of the besieged Justice Center.

Farther down this path is the possibility of a conflict between federal and local authorities over the monopoly on violence in Portland--we're in our second month of declining law and order.

Federal charges were filed today:
The U.S. Attorney in Oregon announced federal charges Tuesday against seven protesters who are accused in court papers of defacing a federal courthouse and assaulting federal officers during protests in Portland, Oregon against racial injustice and police brutality...

The protester facing the most charges...used his body to hold the doors to the courthouse shut to prevent federal officers from coming out to confront demonstrators and caused the glass to shatter. Other protesters then threw fireworks inside the courthouse and at federal officers, starting a small fire in the entryway, according to court papers.

U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said in a statement that U.S. Marshals Service deputies and officers from the Federal Protective Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have all been on duty protecting the courthouse.
Before this unmarked federal agents in tactical gear had emerged from the building to arrest at least two demonstrators trying to breach the boarded-up glass front. US Marshals are tasked with providing security during normal times.

Portland police are also being reinforced now with sheriffs and cops from other jurisdictions.

Nightly antifa continue to rally around the stump of the Elk statue they bagged, so to speak, when the city was forced to remove it. Antifa should have a bronze elk head mounted on their clubhouse wall to commemorate the feat.

(I imagine antifa/hunters driving their station wagon back into antifa town with the elk statue strapped to the hood)

Last night was relatively subdued but typically malicious. A citizen got too close to their road block and had his tires slashed.

Every night is a kind of open mic night, as people give speeches and even sing through bullhorns, everyone auditioning for attention.

It was in the early morning hours of May 30 I witnessed them setting up the first roadblock outside the Justice Center. Who knew this was going to blow up like it has?

Prophetic coincidence? "Proud Partner, BLM" soon to be a thing?

Monday, July 06, 2020

Siege Notes, Portland July 6: Firing on Fort Hatfield

Last night the antifa occupation encampment was relatively quiet after a riotous Independence Day. Around midnight they seemed to be staging for something; small groups were stationed at intersections around the siege, the focal point of which is now the ruins of the 120 year-old Elk statue, where bonfires burn nightly.
I thought I saw them using radios. They also have their own ambulance now.

The rioters have turned their attention to the Mark O Hatfield Federal Courthouse in recent days after ignoring it, for the most part just covering it in graffiti, to concentrate on the Justice Center. Turns out last Thursday antifa breached the courthouse doors and set off fireworks inside and the feds made an arrest:
A 19-year-old man accused of attempting to barricade the front door of the downtown courthouse in Portland late Thursday night faces allegations of creating a hazard and disorderly conduct on federal property and failing to obey a lawful order. 
A federal affidavit filed in court Monday described a “wrestling match'' between federal officers inside the courthouse and a handful of demonstrators who were tugging on the front glass door of the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse before it shattered, followed by fireworks detonated inside.   
Once the door was broken about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, objects were thrown at officers just inside the doorway, including a “mortar firework” which detonated, Miller wrote in the affidavit.
Laying off the federal courthouse and federal building on each side of the Justice Center may have been a wise strategy for avoiding lengthy federal prison sentences from federal judges not necessarily in league with antifa and local government and prosecutors.
I think this arrestee sounds sufficiently sobered by the charges feds are threatening him with:
During his afternoon court appearance, Olsen spoke out, saying he had reaccessed his thinking while in custody, and said he’d like to play a role in asking protesters “not to create more violence'' but find a way to talk with officers going forward “about what needs to change rather than creating more destruction in our city.”
Was the decision to lay off the feds something that came from above? I think so. Does recent activity suggest those above don't have a lot of control?

The reasons antifa are giving for declaring the feds fair game, using their peculiar logic, is that US Marshals arrested people for attacking the building the first time.

This logic holds for the individual rioter, many of whom bring a hatred of the cops based entirely on social conditioning. Clashing with them gives their hate an experiential base. This seems to be the point for many--an absolution of the shame they feel not being oppressed by the police.

They welcome this process and experience it with religious fervor.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Siege Notes, Portland July 5

July 4, 2020

I was rolling slow down Broadway when I caught the attention of a homeless headcase. He smiled and stepped off the curb, tossing a slice of cheese onto the windshield.
"What the hell?"
"Black lives matter" he replied with a sheepish grin and shuffled off.

A young asian woman, her light dress flowing nicely in the breeze, holding a sign, posed for a photo in front of the George Floyd memorial where Apple's open display floor once stood behind clear glass, a deliberate aesthetic of transparency and light, now boarded over with black-painted plywood covered in graffitti and street art, as opaque and foreboding as a hip hop kaaba.
Fittingly the building sits raised on broad steps like a temple.

The mood was ominous around seven in the afternoon, where the crowd was just beginning to form in front of the Justice Center and, now fair game to rioters apparently, US District Court building. An effective sound system was playing hip hop. Stands were set up here and there in the park blocks giving out food and water. Stacks of pizza were available at a main tent where someone was setting up for a video shoot. Somewhere someone was barbecuing. Off somewhere I could hear a furious black man asserting himself in urban-pidgen. Something about not giving a fuck. Whether it had to do with racial injustice or the usual petty personal honor I couldn't tell. I'm sure they can't.

Later an overwhelmingly white crowd would riot, putting a good thousand or more on the streets to shoot fireworks at the edifices of the law for the usual purpose, to draw the police out, forcing them to violently clear the streets and provide any plausible examples of brutality that can be fed back into the narrate-o-matic as proof the police are irredeemable.

They were very vocal about protecting their tiny contingent of non-whites from the police--who, presumably were just itching to have at them, still. For a while they were all led by an effeminate black man with orange hair.

From the Portland Police Bureau's account:
At 10:48 p.m., demonstrators continued launching fireworks and projectiles at the Federal Courthouse. Because of this, several windows were broken and fireworks and projectiles entered the Federal Courthouse building.
To protect the life and safety of personnel both inside and outside of the Federal Court House, just after 11 p.m., a riot was declared. Officers began dispersing the crowd moving demonstrators from the closed area of Southwest Broadway to Southwest 1st Avenue, Southwest Columbia to Southwest Yamhill Street.

As officers dispersed the crowd, demonstrators threw bricks, mortars, M-80s, and other flammables towards them. To defend themselves from serious injury, officers used crowd control munitions and tear gas at this time. Lasers were directed at Officer's eyes, which is unlawful. Despite having moved from the closed area, demonstrators began to trickle back to Southwest 3rd Avenue, starting a large bonfire in the middle of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street 1 a.m.
Antifa has taken to impersonating the police sound truck that plays over a loudspeaker the standard admonitions to clear the street, etc.
A vehicle associated with the demonstration had a speaker system and false announcements were broadcast that appeared to impersonate the Portland Police Bureau's sound truck. 
There's probably a law somewhere against false emergency broadcasts.

Police used tear gas liberally when clearing the Justice Center siege, and I'm sure I heard rubber bullets raining down later while watching the livefeed (see below).

Fireworks were deployed by antifa.
As officers dispersed the crowd, demonstrators threw bricks, mortars, M-80s, and other flammables towards them. To defend themselves from serious injury, officers used crowd control munitions and tear gas at this time. Lasers were directed at Officer's eyes, which is unlawful. Despite having moved from the closed area, demonstrators began to trickle back to Southwest 3rd Avenue, starting a large bonfire in the middle of Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Main Street 1 a.m.
One thing we haven't had in Portland are people carrying weapons openly, such as in Seattle and elsewhere. Last night a mystery gunman freaked some people out.
...a man carrying a rifle was seen in the area of Southwest 4th Avenue and Salmon Street. Several demonstrators surrounded him, but left him alone and eventually he left.
Cops listed thirteen arrests this morning.  At least one handgun was found on an arrestee.

It appears most are still being released right away, and the few with more serious charges are immediately bailed out.

I watched the Fourth of July demonstrations from the safety and comfort of my home--the phrase has taken on a whole new meaning this year:

Friday, July 03, 2020

Siege Notes July 3 2020

"It can't be that everyone's gone crazy."
The middle-aged woman was speaking to an elderly woman I took to be her mother. They were walking the graffiti gauntlet along the Justice Center's north side. Her tone was disbelieving and explanatory a the same time. They had the guileless simplicity of midwestern tourists out of old America.

Last night demonstrators were ferocious, assaulting the building with industrial-grade fireworks, pulling down the plywood boarding and trying to set them on fire. At some point US Marshalls emerged from the US District Court building next door to make an arrest.

On the lawfare front an ACLU lawsuit filed last Sunday yielded another limit on police tactics when a judge yesterday issued a temporary restraining order that
bars police from arresting or using physical force against anyone they “know or reasonably should know” is a journalist or legal observer - unless officers have probable cause that the person has committed a crime. The order also states that police can’t remove cameras, recording equipment, or press passes of journalists and legal observers nor can they ask them to disperse. 
Many antifa allies record and livestream their actions, and I've seen one or two wearing something that said "press" on it but who were clearly there as enthusiastic participants. Their intention is to capture some example of police brutality and they make no pretense of objectivity because they don't know what the word means. They've produced some enviable livestreams (often with cringe-inducing live narration) but I've watched as one (in Seattle) claimed press status when police pressed, disdained objectivity later as he booted people off his live chat, and then drew attention someone else filming--a stranger he didn't recognize that could have been a right-winger or, even, an objective journalist--for interrogation. When the police pressed forward again, he claimed press status.
Attorneys allege officers have been targeting and injuring journalists and legal observers covering the protests. This week, the attorneys asked the city to issue a temporary restraining order against the city to prevent police from interfering with journalists and legal observers as they document protests against police violence.

Attorneys with the ACLU had been hoping the judge would intervene before the start of the long weekend. On Thursday afternoon, Judge Simon issued protections that will last for the next 14 days. 
Good fast, reliable service!
The suit claims that police in Portland have tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, beaten and arrested journalists, observers and other neutral bystanders who are documenting the police’s response to protests. 
“The police should not be shutting down the public’s access to the messages and realities of protest in Portland’s streets where people are calling for an end to police killing of Black people,” said Kelly Simon, interim legal director of the ACLU of Oregon in a statement. 
“Police in Portland are making a mockery of the First Amendment by targeting journalists, using excessive force, and by using indiscriminate crowd-control weapons. Police actions have had a chilling effect on the media and protesters.” The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Portland and lays out multiple reports of violence against journalists at the hands of police.
Filed in the same US District Court boarded up, enveloped in the obscene and violent graffiti of BLM and assaulted nightly for over a month.

It would be perfect if instead of a gavel the judge used a clown horn.

A young man has taken up a vigil on the base were the David P Thompson Elk statue once stood; he sits there eyes closed like an eastern holy man.

A crowd of not quite a hundred gathered at the waterfront to hear black-clad black people recite the social justice mass under a beautiful sky. Boats, inner-tubers and a jet-ski fillied about in the water indifferent.
Back in front of the Justice Center I heard a commotion that appeared to be coming from one of the upper floors. About four or five up one of the stories is open-air, and looks like a wide open bay hemmed in by chain-link fencing.

Tortured screams could be heard.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Siege Notes, Portland July 1

Antifa took the fight to the City Hall building a couple of days ago. This shreds my theory that Mayor Ted Wheeler has some assurances from them they'd only harass the Justice Center. Three days after the city removed barriers from around the building, protesters assailed it and disabled its security cameras.

A couple of days ago in a "miscalculation" (Mayor Ted Wheeler's description) antifa attacked Portland Police Bureau's NE precinct--drawing the ire of the black community there. In yet another outrage among all the outrage, black leaders lined up to denounce the violence in their neighborhood and parrot the BLM line at the same time.

But antifa are proving adaptable and still taking the fight to new fronts, last night assaulting the cops' union hall in North Portland

From their Police Report:
Around 9 p.m., demonstrators began blocking the road on North Lombard Street at North Campbell Avenue. While in the street, demonstrators began throwing projectiles at officers who were standing outside of the Portland Police Association office. These projectiles included rocks and water bottles. The demonstrators also shined green lasers in the officer's eyes.

At approximately 9:08 p.m., the sound truck made an admonishment stating an unlawful assembly had been declared and that the demonstrators needed to disperse to the east. The demonstrators were told if they did not obey the lawful order and begin to disperse, they could be subject to arrest or use of force to include crowd control munitions. Despite the admonishment, demonstrators continued to block traffic on North Lombard Street and throw projectiles at officers who were in front of the Portland Police Association office.

At approximately 9:19 p.m., officers began dispersing the crowd in an effort to move them from the immediate area. While performing this lawful action, demonstrators continued to throw water bottles, baseball sized rocks, and full cans. While officers cleared the area, some crowd control munitions were used. Once demonstrators were to North Fenwick Avenue and North Lombard Street, they began to move dumpsters and plastic trash bins to the street. The demonstrators attempted to set fire to the dumpsters and trash bins. During this time, demonstrators deployed orange smoke towards officers.

At 10 p.m., the sound truck continued to warn demonstrators to disperse to the east, however, they continued to throw full cans, baseball sized rocks, and water bottles at officers. The large baseball sized rocks hit several officers which required medical attention. At 10:12 p.m., demonstrators began lighting commercial grade fireworks and throwing them towards officers. At this time, a riot was declared and the demonstrators were admonished by the sound truck to leave the area immediately. Because demonstrators were throwing commercial grade fireworks towards officers, to protect the life and safety of police personnel, CS gas was used to disperse the crowd.
Several arrests were made and, as always, the legal arm of the insurrection tries to gain advantage by framing anything they can as police brutality. Activist group Don't Shoot Portland seized on the cops' use of tear gas to deter the precinct assailants and their flaming-dumpster siege engines:
Merrithew on behalf of the nonprofit Don’t Shoot Portland urged the court to sanction the city for violating the terms of an initial temporary restraining order restricting tear gas except when lives are at risk, and an amended one signed Friday that limits use of less-lethal weapons. U.S District Judge Marco A. Hernandez signed the tear gas order on June 9, and the amended order on other less-lethal munitions on Friday.

The court orders came amid nightly demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism following the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was face down on the ground, handcuffed and not resisting.

The plaintiffs contend the city violated the court orders by using tear gas late Thursday night outside North Precinct, arguing there was “no risk to the lives and safety of the police or community,‘' and then on Saturday night and Sunday, by using FN303 and 40MM less-lethal launchers, rubber ball distraction devices and OC spray against people “both attempting to follow orders or engaged in only passive resistance.‘'

Outside North Precinct late Thursday, police supervisors said they used tear gas to clear a crowd away and allow firefighters to extinguish a fire inside a dumpster that was pushed up against a Black-owned beauty supply store that shares a building with the Police Bureau’s North Precinct at the corner of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Killingsworth Street.
The city had been thriving before 2020's serial depredations, and the City Hall building was recently touched up, along with the just-completed massive renovation of the postmodern (but pleasant) Portland Building next door, home to the "Portlandia" statue, for a cool 150 million plus. The building was saved from demolition and the real estate developer/progressive axis in 2014. No doubt if BLM was running things in 2014 neither the money nor the priority (buildings over lives!) would be there.

Portland's Fourth of July fireworks display at the riverfront is cancelled this year, but I suspect we might see some downtown anyway.


This blog will not be updated. Any new material will be posted here.