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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.

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Snowberry
Snowberry
7 months ago

Yeah. I’ve been reading the news today, and I noticed there’s a lot more articles about it, but very little new information. The big question is why it took most of the major national news sources three days to notice.

Another question: why Portland? I mean, I have a pretty good idea why it was on the list of possible targets, but shortly before he started moving the FedCops in on the 11th, Trump was making noise about sending them to Seattle, due to the existence of CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest).

Snowberry
Snowberry
7 months ago

…Also, I’m reading some occasional jokes in the news article comments along the lines of “I misread that as ‘Federal Police invade Poland’.”

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

@Snowberry:

The big question is why it took most of the major national news sources three days to notice.

Because this is a trial balloon for their billionaire corporate owners as much as it is for Trump, I expect. They wanted to see if Trump could get away with it and if it could be done quietly by not giving it any MSM airtime. Now they know that the answer, at least to the latter, is “no”, so they’ve let the media organizations they own off the choker to cover it so they can later claim to have been against it all along.

Naglfar
Naglfar
7 months ago

@Snowberry

why Portland?

Probably because it’s a decent size blue city. He probably didn’t go after Seattle because the CHOP already is getting a fair bit of press so this would have been reported on faster in Seattle and there would have consequently been a greater negative reaction. In Portland it took longer for the media to report on it.

I misread that as ‘Federal Police invade Poland’.

Yeah, I’d hope the Federal Police don’t do that.

LindsayIrene
LindsayIrene
7 months ago

Combined with Trump packing the Pentagon with people that are loyal to him, it sure does seem like he’s thinking about throwing a military coup.

personalpest
personalpest
7 months ago

Chris Hayes started his show with Portland coverage tonight.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
7 months ago

Forced disappearances are the first step of late-stage fascism. As incredible as this sounds, paramilitary groups are actually kidnapping citizens and taking them to who knows where. Combine this with ICE teaching reactionaries and “militias” how to detain “illegal immigrants” and you essentially get the building blocks for genocide.

These people need to be persecuted for human rights violations and it must happen ASAP, before he escalates some more.

Definitely not Steve
Definitely not Steve
7 months ago

Thing #3,147,652 That Terrifies Me: Targeted arrests by federal officers or sympathetic police agencies on or shortly prior to election day to prevent voters in swing states from voting.

The majority of incarcerated people are eligible to vote in the US. In practice, very few actually vote, often because they are not given access to ballots. It would be simple to arrest protesters and hold them in jail until election day, stick them with false felony charges if necessary, with the intent of dropping the charges as soon as the polls close.

By the time anyone realizes what was happening and gets mad about it, Orange Fuhrer is in for another four years.

Trump has verbally threatened to use US military force against civilians in US cities (in DC, he literally did). Election interference is not something he is above.

Crip Dyke
7 months ago

Well, I mentioned earlier that the cases and controversies clause prevents someone from bringing a lawsuit unless they’ve suffered a “legal injury”.

I believed that neither Oregon nor the city of Portland could claim such an injury, but someone who knows more US law than I ever will has announced their intention to file a lawsuit against the federal government, naming specific agencies as defendants.

That person is Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

I honestly have no idea what injury the State of Oregon will claim, but they’re clearly claiming more than simply incidental injury to Oregon or Portland property (such as damage to a tree or bench from a fired tear gas canister). The suit is intended to stop the use of not only tear gas, but also federal arrest powers.

I really don’t know how they’re going to argue that, but I will be reading Rosenblum’s complaint eagerly and thoroughly as soon as it is filed with the courts – likely Monday.

Stay tuned for more ways in which I might be wrong!

Prith kDar
Prith kDar
7 months ago

I sounded off to my Senators and Rep on this. My Congresswoman was born in a WWII internment camp, so I’d really like to see her for once get up and bring some fire to the House floor about what it’s like when the government decides arbitrarily that you’re an enemy of the state and whisks you away. If Gym Jordan can do it while lying through his teeth, she could do it while telling the truth.

Also, RIP Rep. John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian. Your voices will be missed. 🙁

Allandrel
Allandrel
7 months ago

@Definitely not Steve

By the time anyone realizes what was happening and gets mad about it, Orange Fuhrer is in for another four years.

Not four years. If Trump is re-elected, legitimately or not, there will not be another election. We’ll basically get the Empire Day speech from Revenge of the Sith, complete with “So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.”

North Sea Sparkly Dragon (Formerly Nanny Oggs Busom)
North Sea Sparkly Dragon (Formerly Nanny Oggs Busom)
7 months ago

What a mess. Best of luck to USian Mammotheers. ‘Scuse me while I have a nervous breakdown about the state of the world.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
7 months ago

Vanity Fair:The Trump Administration Is Deploying “Secret Police” Against Protesters in Portland

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/07/trump-administration-deploying-secret-police-against-protesters-in-portland

Forbes: Trump-Ordered Federal Agents Are Reportedly Pulling Protesters Into Unmarked Vehicles, Drawing Outrage

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2020/07/17/trump-ordered-federal-agents-are-reportedly-pulling-protesters-into-unmarked-vehicles-drawing-outrage/

Not exactly ‘national’ but detailed legal info:
Lawfare Blog: What the Heck Are Federal Law Enforcement Officers Doing in Portland?

https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-heck-are-federal-law-enforcement-officers-doing-portland?

Moggie
Moggie
7 months ago

Coming soon to a city near you: DHS Under Boss: We’re Taking This National

Lukas Xavier
Lukas Xavier
7 months ago

@Allandrel
I suspect they’ll keep elections and just rig the shit out of them. Fascist leaders love getting re-elected. It’s an excuse to throw a party, celebrating how great you are. What’s not to love?

Moggie
Moggie
7 months ago

The FAA issued a no-fly zone over Portland for a month. It might be worth keeping an eye on their temporary flight restrictions list for others marked as DHS-related.

Naglfar
Naglfar
7 months ago

@Crip Dyke
Hopefully the Attorney General’s suit gets through and has an effect before it’s too late.

@Definitely Not Steve
That definitely sounds like something Trump would do. A possible course of action then is for voters in swing states to try to stay under the radar as much as possible in order to avoid the possibility of arrest. It won’t eliminate it entirely, but it would possible make it less likely one will be arrested.

@Lukas Xavier
Yes, dictators do love a rigged election. I’d guess Trump would take a page from Putin, and that’s what he does.

Amtep
Amtep
7 months ago

Putin’s other trick is to evade term limits by putting proxies in power. The third Trump term might be Ivanka.

Naglfar
Naglfar
7 months ago

@Amtep
More likely he’d try to put Don Jr. in. Misogynists wouldn’t a woman president.

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

The evidence from DC is that Barr created a Frankenstein-like federal interagency entity under his control that operates outside legal authority and is so confusingly conceived in mission, scope, and hierarchy that its soldiers couldn’t even identify themselves if they wanted to.

So now we have unidentified, armed, authority-less federal vigilantes under Barr’s control acting without hindrance in a U.S. city, seemingly tied to DHS—meaning they intend to defend themselves in court if they must on the grounds that they are engaged in *counterterrorism* ops. … a “spy army” that would operate in the U.S. as a paramilitary force …

There’s a name for what he’s describing: the Schutzstaffel.

Worse: for anyone in the United States who is at especial risk (of color, Jewish, openly left, labor organizer, LGBTQIA+, etc.) it’s already too late to get the hell out, due to COVID-19.

Your only chance, as far as I can tell, is to go on the offensive and nip this in the bud before it can go any further. I increasingly doubt that waiting until November and voting for Biden will not be too little, too late. Which means two options: turn the Floyd protests into something 100x bigger still (how about a nationwide general strike?), or else go for a decapitating blow — seize Washington, completely and thoroughly.

EvW
EvW
7 months ago

The ODOJ filing is linked in this article:
https://www.opb.org/news/article/federal-police-portland-doj-lawsuit/
They’re going with 1st, 4th and 5th Amendment violations. The feds have also been added to the ACLU’s lawsuit against PPB, and I’m hoping will be added to the tear gas RO.

Also – hi. I live in Oregon. I am not happy. I’m not in Portland, but back in non-pandemic days I spent a lot of time there. I have friends and family in Portland who are pissed and/or frightened. I have lots of thoughts but it’s a bit hard to write them out. It is scary and anxiety makes me ramble.

Also also – OPB has had good coverage of this BS.

Shayne O'Neill
Shayne O'Neill
7 months ago

Between this and the disturbing news of Ruth Bader Ginsbergs cancer coming back, I’m a little bit anxious about the direction the united states is heading right now.

I’d advise anyone involved in antifascism to have an escape plan. Mexico, Canada, whatever. Just figure out how to get out, if things get really really bad. Because history holds horror stories about the long term outcomes of kind of scenes we’re seeing, and with the potential for another ultraconservative on the bench if Justice Bader-Ginsberg loses her fight, the checks and balances are in danger too;.

Crip Dyke
7 months ago

Your only chance, as far as I can tell, is to go on the offensive and nip this in the bud before it can go any further.

Curiously enough, I have reached the same conclusion.

I’ve made it to Portland and expect to be at the downtown protests tonight. Anyone else in Portland planning on showing up and going all John Lewis on fascism’s ass?

Naglfar
Naglfar
7 months ago

@Crip Dyke
Good luck. I’m on the opposite coast so I can’t be there in person, but wishing the best for you and any other protestors.

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

There’s a guy on Facebook who keeps claiming Portland is “being held hostage” and that business as usual is impossible there due to protests (rather than due to COVID-19). Says he can’t go to his doctor because of this. I’m guessing this is false, and if his doctor’s clinic is closed it’s due to the virus and not the protests, but how to prove this to him?

I’ve posted links to non-far-right news coverage but so far nothing gets through.

epitome of incomprehensibility

Not only are the unmarked vans & arrests scary, but also the firing of “less lethal” projectiles (yeah, less lethal than a bullet, but they could still kill people).

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I don’t think the U.S. is about to turn into an overt dictatorship. But I said “overt.” The idea of Trump targeting political opponents to swing the election his way seems all too likely.

On the opposite side, I’ve heard some things about cities taking steps to de-militarize the police (not sure if that’s the right term; I mean reducing their power to use lethal force). It’d be interesting to read some articles on that if anyone’s come across things like that recently (I wouldn’t necessarily know where to search).

Amtep
Amtep
7 months ago

Those “less lethal” bullets are supposed to be fired at the ground, not in people’s faces.

Naglfar
Naglfar
7 months ago

O/T: Graham Linehan is now trying to make money by having a subscription blog service costing £200 per year to comment. At this point I doubt even the most dedicated TERFs will pay up.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)

@Crip Dyke

Good on you, and good luck.

Remember – pick a safe fallback position/meet up point first, and always keep half a mind on where you are in relation to it, so you don’t need to stop and think if you need to leg it.

epitome of incomprehensibility

…Also, I’m reading some occasional jokes in the news article comments along the lines of “I misread that as ‘Federal Police invade Poland’.”

Speaking of Poland, earlier this week it re-elected its right-wing, homophobic president for another term (story in NYT). Disappointing also because it was a pretty close race.

@Crip Dyke – Yes, good luck! I’m not in the same place at all but I hope it goes well.

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

I earlier wrote:

There’s a guy on Facebook who keeps claiming Portland is “being held hostage” and that business as usual is impossible there due to protests (rather than due to COVID-19). Says he can’t go to his doctor because of this. I’m guessing this is false, and if his doctor’s clinic is closed it’s due to the virus and not the protests, but how to prove this to him?

I’ve posted links to non-far-right news coverage but so far nothing gets through.

It’s getting worse. He’s now spreading COVID-19 misinformation and linking to climate change denial kookshites. Seems unfazed when I post mediabiasfactcheck links proving his “sources” untrustworthy. How do I get through to this guy?

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

Hey, where the fuck’s the comment I just made?

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

OK, why am I suddenly being treated like I’m some rank n00b who hasn’t long since proven that he’s a human and not a spambot or a troll? 🙁

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
7 months ago

OK, why am I suddenly being treated like I’m some rank n00b who hasn’t long since proven that he’s a human and not a spambot or a troll? 🙁

Because you didn’t give the proper sacrifices to the Computer Gods yet. They are very fickle gods who never accept the same sacrifice twice in a row, and never tell you what sacrifices will work, and when.

Either that, or the computers are asserting dominance over humans and/or getting their jollies again. Take your choice.

/joke

Amtep
Amtep
7 months ago

@Surplus

You cannot get through to people who are in willful denial. It’s not a matter of presenting the truth in just the right way. They don’t want the truth.

Definitely not Steve
Definitely not Steve
7 months ago

@Surplus to Requirements,

Try asking him how to get through to him.

Not being flippant. Ask him what sources he would trust, what evidence he would consider reliable, and what would make him consider changing his mind.

Chances are very good that you won’t get through to him and he will never change his mind. But by asking him questions like this, it moves the ball to his court; no longer can he parrot things he’s been told, now he has to look inward and consider his thoughts and opinions in a critical light (assuming, of course, he plays along).

This tactic is difficult in online arguments because with a time delay in responses, people tend to want to make each post a complete argument, intended to immediately change someone’s mind, rather than following a back-and-forth question-answer format.

But you’re not going to convince someone in a single post. You’re just looking to plant the seeds of a thought that, over time, leads to more critical investigation.

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

This guy was normal like a week ago. Then suddenly started posting links to right wing propaganda. One of them was a Candace Owens video. Other “black people against the riots” type stuff, and then general anti-Portland-protest stuff, and now COVID “the death rate isn’t that high waaah why do I have to wear a mask” type stuff.

I figured he was just recently falling for this stuff, perhaps after a chance encounter without the appropriate mental inoculations first, and thus a dupe, but it’s amazing how fast the situation has deteriorated.

Is it really possible for someone to just stumble down a right-wing rabbit hole one day and be permanently lost beyond hope of reason in only a week?

And if it is, how the hell does our species even survive?

Eloo
Eloo
7 months ago

@epitome of incomprehensibility

Because of the protests, Portland defunded part of the police, and is redirecting the money to other types of community building. There’s an overview at OPB.

https://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-police-budget-15-million-defund-cannabis-council-vote/

Naglfar
Naglfar
7 months ago

@Surplus
He probably was down the rabbit hole before, he just wasn’t open about it. Now that all this shit is happening, he decided to be open about it. That seems more likely than him being radicalized in a week.

Anyway, he’s probably a lost cause. Probably there are better uses of time than arguing with him, so I’d recommend going and doing something else for a bit.

Catalpa
Catalpa
7 months ago

Is it really possible for someone to just stumble down a right-wing rabbit hole one day and be permanently lost beyond hope of reason in only a week?

No, the chances are much better that the dude held these sorts of beliefs for quite a while and only decided to be vocal about it recently.

Which, I suppose, is a different kind of concerning, that it’s so easy for the conspiracy theorists to seem normal until it’s too late.

Crip Dyke
7 months ago

Okay, there’s a tiny post up at my place, but when I finally get some sleep I’ll write more. Was too wound up and too much in pain to sleep when I got back to my friend’s house at 2:20 in the morning, but I think I can finally maybe close my eyes.

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

@Naglfar:

Anyway, he’s probably a lost cause. Probably there are better uses of time than arguing with him, so I’d recommend going and doing something else for a bit.

He’s started spreading coronavirus misinformation. That could get somebody killed.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
7 months ago

@Surplus : if there’s nothing you can do about it anyhow, it’s not your problem.

One of the hard and important thing to learn is that at some point, when you cannot prevent a trainwreck, the only thing to do is to go far away.

Naglfar
Naglfar
7 months ago

@Surplus
In that case, try to spread accurate information rather than trying to argue with him, you’ll save more lives that way.

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Eloo – Thanks for the link. Yeah, it’s heartening to know that some of the police defunding is going away from the weaponized sector and into community programs, even if it’s not that much on a large scale.

@Crip Dyke – Also thanks for the link – I like how the logistics/support people draw a parallel to the Ewoks. Hope you get some good rest, too!

Crip Dyke
7 months ago

There’s another short post up at Pervert Justice with a few more pictures.

Unfortunately for you, we showed up just a bit after the feds decided to retreat inside the federal courthouse. They had been out much later on other nights, but I’m told by multiple people that on other nights as well there had been times when they retreated after they thought the crowd had thinned.

Although they also return each night very, very late once the crowd is reduced to below 25 protestors (these are the tactics of bullies, of course, to return when they have overwhelming physical force and not before), I just couldn’t stay that late. My BFF and I left the protest at about 1:45 in the morning.

It’s also possible that the retreat inside the courthouse happened because there was a youth-led march in another part of the city. Portland police were over there fucking with the teenagers, so it may be that without their regular backup the feds were less willing to maintain a presence opposite the downtown protestors. We are, of course, not party to their decision making, so we can’t know exactly. All I know is that I was expecting to confront cops and be able to speak directly to them, but from when I arrived to when I left (not quite 4 hours later) there simply weren’t any cops around.

I’ll be returning, of course, and we’ll see what downtown is like on other nights.

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

I was expecting to confront cops and be able to speak directly to them, but from when I arrived to when I left (not quite 4 hours later) there simply weren’t any cops around.

Might have been for the best. Someone else tried the same thing. It didn’t end well:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/portland-protests-trump-veteran-christopher-david-federal-officers-oregon-a9627466.html

Pagan Reader - Misandrist Spinster
Pagan Reader - Misandrist Spinster
7 months ago

R**d Paul of all people has condemned the Fed’s actions in Portland
“No place for feds rounding up people at will”

Crip Dyke
7 months ago

@Surplus:

I am aware.

I am not deterred.