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Finally, some national news coverage of the Portland fed invasion (links)

By David Futrelle

After many days of silence on the subject, national publications are finally covering the chilling events in Portland, where federal agents have descended on the city and started plucking protesters off the street seemingly at random.

Some links:

‘It was like being preyed upon’: Federal officers in unmarked vans detain Portland protesters (WaPo)

Feds Vowed to Quell Unrest in Portland. Local Leaders Are Telling Them to Leave. (NYT)

Trump Sent Cops to Portland and They’re ‘Kidnapping People Off The Streets’ (Vice)

Trump Unleashes His Secret Police in Portland (The Nation)

Federal agents arrest Portland protesters in unmarked cars (NPR)

Opinion | What’s happening in Portland shows Trump is ignoring the Constitution — and attacking America (WaPo)

Federal agents invade Portland, citing Trump’s executive order protecting statues (Mother Jones)

For more on what’s going on in Portland, with videos, see my post from yesterday.

Please feel free to add any more stories you come across in the comments.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 months ago

So, the more I hear about it, the more horrified I get.

Apparently it’s the police union who called directly the fed to get over the objections of the mayor and the restriction put down by judge. So in essence, they are comploting with Trump to do a (local) coup against the legitimate authorities in Portland.

Crip Dyke
4 months ago

99% of Portland Moms “Not angry, just disappointed”

Although Portland’s wall of mothers has gotten a large amount of attention and their motivation to protect their own and others’ children has generated high praise. Most Portland mothers have not attended any of the demonstrations that have occurred nightly in the city since the death of George Floyd. The reasons for this seeming lack of enthusiasm appear to have a common thread.

Full text on Pervert Justice.

Crip Dyke
4 months ago

Video of me and my BFF being tear gassed in Portland last night.

I’ll have a longer post about this experience up later today on my blog, but I’m going to have to sleep first.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 months ago

@ crip dyke

Jesus fuck! Are you ok?

I know Trump is a big fan of commemorating the Civil War; but now it seems he’s starting another one. Maybe he thinks it’s the only way he’ll get a statue? I’m serious in that. I think he’s obsessed with being a ‘war time’ president; and he sees this as his last opportunity.

Naglfar
Naglfar
4 months ago

@Alan Robertshaw
At this point, I’m pretty sure the only statues he gets will be ones set up by rich conservatives privately. He might order one, or he’ll wait for his rich friends to do it. Though even they might be reluctant after what he did to the economy.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
4 months ago

@Crip Dyke

Echoing Alan’s sentiment: are you okay?

Crip Dyke
4 months ago

@Alan & @Victorious:

Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, I had to get some sleep and with all the “excitement” I didn’t actually fall asleep until pretty late.

Physically, I’m fine. My experience of the tear gas is that it is AMAZINGLY awful while you’re in it, but it only took me 10-15 minutes out of the gas before I could walk normally and maybe an hour total before I was fully recovered (though my BFF skipped the eyewash and use a ton of water instead and while she was fine in all the other ways an hour later, her eyes hadn’t recovered when we went to sleep – so, pro tip, people! Get the eyewash!)

The only long-term consequence for me is that my glasses were lost and then crushed. The feds were using flash-bangs as well as gas, and not long after the video ends, while I’m stumbling painfully slowly across the street, a noise so loud you can scarcely believe you’re not knocked over by it goes off a few feet away from us. I started, my glasses fell off, we’re trying to get across the street and can’t find them. We can’t even stop to search because we just can’t breathe and have to get somewhere there’s clear air.

When we went back later we found one of the lenses shattered into one large and many small pieces. We never found the other lens or the frames, but knowing the lens was shattered at least meant we could stop looking.

My eyesight isn’t as bad as many, so with my ability to embiggen text on the computer, I can still read anything electronic just fine, which is the vast, vast majority of my reading. And my vision is good enough to get on the right bus. So although I do function better with them, it’s not the terrible thing it might be for someone else.

We stayed at the protests for another 90min – 2 hours after that first gas assault, and sure enough they used gas again. The second assault was MUCH worse. The first time they kept the gas canisters on the sidewalk outside the courthouse + on the street in front + maybe one or two that were just barely on the other side of the street. And there were only 10-12 gas canisters set off. I was in one of the worst places for it, but they left a lot of area to retreat to.

The second assault I wasn’t anywhere near the front line, and that was a good thing. The second assault they were using tear gas a LONG way from the court house. Even the initial volley they sent gas over our heads so that there was one tear gas canister blocking our retreat, about 20 feat away from me. That one was just over a block from the courthouse. We went south through the park, then south another block before going west a block. By the time we’d gotten that far we could see tear gas had already been set off in the intersection one block north of us. So the cops had been pursuing people due west at least 2 blocks by that time. We kept heading west, which was uphill and difficult on my crutches, but the buildings between us and the tear gas helped a lot. My breathing was very irritated, but I wasn’t gasping and panicked like I was the first time when I was completely lost in the cloud.

The cops continued to pursue people due west a total of 4 blocks, and they were moving faster than I was, so we would get to a new intersection, look north, and there was the gas (and also at every intersection the air became harder to breathe again before we could duck behind the next building). 4 blocks doesn’t sound like a long way, but when you’re a fat middle-aged lady on crutches trying to go uphill, trust me: it wasn’t fun.

Even though it has effects on your breathing for maybe an hour if you actually take it into your lungs, there was a good breeze blowing from west to east, so it was sending the gas back at the feds and the air cleared after maybe only 15 minutes.

When we headed back to the park for the final time, however, we were still a block and a half away when new flash bangs went off and the smoke ahead of us started to increase. Realizing that a 3rd offensive was underway, we had to call it a night.

It took a while to get to the car, which was in a gassed area, but we made it safely home about 1:30 in the morning.

Anyway, that’s the story (assuming you already read the initial story about the first time I was gassed while in the front ranks – that one’s up at Pervert Justice). That gas can fuck you up a treat short term, but if you aren’t asthmatic or having other breathing difficulties, you do recover.

Both my BFF/Portland host and I are fine other than a bit of lingering eye itchiness that we weren’t even noticing last night when we got back to her house. We’ll be back at the protests again tonight, of course. There simply isn’t any way we can let the cops do this and think they’re winning. They must never be allowed to believe that violently attacking citizens is the way to win. Never.

Crip Dyke
4 months ago

@Alan

I know Trump is a big fan of commemorating the Civil War; but now it seems he’s starting another one.

Yeah, he’s actually said a couple things that make it seem he’s actually adopted the right-wing, white supremacist idea that another civil war would be a good thing. Combined with his actions against protestors, it’s an eminently reasonable interpretation.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 months ago

@ crip dyke

Well I’m glad you’re ‘safe’ now; or at least out of harm’s way.

I have to say, I’m pretty in awe that you did what you did. I know you weren’t out for that to happen; but you must have known that was a distinct possibility. And you still went down there to make a stand. That’s true bravery, both colloquially and technically. Hats off to you ma’am!

Crip Dyke
4 months ago

:blush:

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 months ago

If/when the same thing happen in France, I hope I will have the same courage.

Crip Dyke
4 months ago

@Ohlmann:

It’s not all about courage. Different people have different responsibilities. If you have a young child, for example, you can’t take the same risks of arrest, etc., because some of the consequences fall on someone other than you.

I believe you’re plenty brave. And I believe that many people in Portland who haven’t come to a protest yet are “brave enough” to do so, and are instead not coming for perfectly valid reasons that have nothing to do with bravery.

And, of course, if the protests come to Lyon while you’re in Montpellier, there’s not always a lot you can do about that.

Everything I’ve seen here says you’re awesome, Ohlmann. I’ve got no reason to doubt your courage.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 months ago
Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 months ago

@Alan : I do believe the thesis of that article, even if I think there’s also an attempt to see if he can just install himself as dictators.

@Crip Dyke : I believe I should not put *too* much confidence on my ability to do the right thing until I actually do it. That’s partly because of what I learned about resistants and collaborators in France, where it wasn’t the most principled who became resistant and it wasn’t only the most rotten who collaborted.

Also, it was more to illustrate how what you did was remarkable :p

Smith Mitchell
4 months ago

These people need to be prosecuted for human rights violations, and this must happen as soon as possible before it escalates further.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
4 months ago

Who did become resistant and who did collaborate then?

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
3 months ago

https://nitter.net/OregonGovBrown/status/1288887417894612993#m

I really hope that mean a victory and Trump being dissuaded from trying to wrestle control via mercenaries and loyal agencies.