Police, prison and abolition

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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:14 pm

News > U.S.
US: Trump Sends Undercover Police to Quell Portland's Protests

Camouflaged federal officials swinging gas contraption, Portland, Oregon, July 17, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @killendave

Published 18 July 2020

U.S. Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) Thursday denounced that President Donald Trump has deployed federal agents in Portland, Oregon, dressed in camouflage but without any visible insignia, to round up and detain U.S. citizens.

"Multiple videos released on digital platforms show federal officials approaching people, arresting them and leaving without any explanation to justify the arrest," OPB said in a statement.

Since at least July 14, officials have driven through downtown Portland in unidentified vehicles to detain participants in the protests that have raged for over six weeks.

"They threw me into the van, covered my face, and ordered me to put my hands on my head," protestor Mark Pettibone described to local media.
Here are commandeered federal troops in Portland rushing protesters and then beating them to get them to disperse. These images, along with the bullhorn announcement, are chilling. (video via @MrOlmos.) pic.twitter.com/cERSMLQBD3

— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) July 18, 2020
Afterward the arrest, Pettibone was taken to federal court. When he asked for a lawyer, he was released. He was never charged, nor was the reason for his arrest explained to him.

Videos of similar arrests, without probable cause, are circulating in the social media.

"It seems that they were kidnapping people from the streets," attorney Juan Chavez explained.

The attitude of federal officials is illegal and unconstitutional. They could be acting under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011, which authorizes the detention of U.S. citizens suspected of being terrorists.

"In that case, the real War on Terrorism is happening at home," Chavez added.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/us- ... -0001.html

Perceived existential threats, or even mutterings, must be met head on, the prez will not tolerate a communist uprising....Would not be surprised if this was entirely a military operation, the tactics got 'School of the Americas' written all over them, just like Columbia.

More vicious madness from this shit stain or is he just anticipating a little?
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:45 pm


Portland Mayor Condemns Masked Federal Agents Abducting Protesters
July 19, 2020 orinocotribune activists, BORTAC, Federal agents, George Floyd, Human Rights, Minneapolis, Portland, protests, Trump, US
Human Rights Groups, Activists, And Local Politicians Are Decrying What Appears To Be The Trump Administration’s Latest Tactic To Crush Nationwide Protests That Erupted In Late May Over The Murder Of George Floyd By Minneapolis Police.

By Alan Macleod – Jul 18, 2020

Anonymous masked federal agents in military uniforms jump out of unmarked minivans, abducting seemingly random people on the street in Portland, frightening new viral videos show. Officers from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC have been sent to the city to tamp down of 49 days of continuous demonstrations against racist police brutality. The move appears to be the Trump administration’s latest tactic to crush the nationwide protests that erupted in late May over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.

One video shows individuals in battle fatigues pull up beside a small group of people on a deserted Portland street, arresting one man without identifying themselves or saying anything and putting him into the back of a minivan. “It sounds more like abduction. It sounds like they’re kidnapping people off the streets,” said Juan Chavez, director of the civil rights project at the Oregon Justice Resource Center, who has been working on issues of police brutality on protestors for weeks. “It’s like stop and frisk meets Guantanamo Bay,” he said, adding that he found the new events “terrifying.”

Repressive tactics have increased since Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf began involving himself and his department in the protests, with federal agents firing tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators. Homeland Security has justified its invasion, claiming that 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.” The DHS claims that “violent anarchists” have wrecked the city, although the examples of destruction they give, such as graffiti and throwing rocks, appear trifling in comparison to abduction. Wolf himself arrived in Portland recently, declaring that, “Our men and women in uniform are patriots. We will never surrender to violent extremists on my watch.”

Wolf’s actions have received strong condemnation from demonstrators, human rights groups, and even local politicians who have unequivocally told federal agents to leave. Mayor of Portland Ted Wheeler claimed that, “This is clearly a coordinated strategy from the White House. It is irresponsible and it is escalating an already tense situation. Remove your heightened troop presence now,” adding that the city neither needed nor wanted their help. Local congressman Earl Blumenauer was similarly forthright, placing the blame for the violence on government forces. “Chad Wolf just arrived in Portland. Here’s my message: go home Chad and take your unlawful DHS agents with you. The Trump admin has no place occupying and inciting violence in our community,” he tweeted late last night.

The demonstrators can also count on the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, who issued a statement reading, “Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland are being assaulted — shot in the head, swept away in unmarked cars, repeatedly tear gassed — by uninvited and unwelcome federal officers. We won’t rest until these federal officers are gone.”

The “shot in the head” comment refers to the case of Donavan LaBella, a 26-year-old protester shot outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland on Saturday. LaBella was holding a speaker over his head when police shot him in the face at close range with a rubber bullet. Video shows him instantly collapse on the street. Even as others retrieve his body, a large pool of blood is already noticeable where he fell. LaBella’s mother confirmed he survived the incident, but that he needed facial reconstruction surgery, with doctors inserting a titanium plate into his head.

Portland has been a hotspot of protest since the police killing of George Floyd on May 25 and has seen seven weeks of nightly demonstrations. The Trump administration decided to confront the protests with force rather than negotiate or co-opt them, the president infamously suggesting the National Guard should shoot any “looters.” A recent poll found that two-thirds of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement. Thus, it is unlikely that the new escalation of violence will win the president many new supporters, something he may need come November’s election.

Feature Image: Police stand as protesters gather during a demonstration, July 16, 2020 in Portland, Ore. Beth Nakamura | The Oregonian via AP.

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, Common Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

(Popular Resistance)

https://orinocotribune.com/portland-may ... rotesters/



To End “Unconstitutional Nightmare,” ACLU Sues Trump Administration Over use of Secret Police in Portland
July 19, 2020 Jake Johnson aclu, Black Lives Matter, Portland, secret police, Trump, US
“This is a fight to save our democracy.”

By Jake Johnson – Jul 18, 2020

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon sued the Trump administration late Friday over its deployment of federal agents to Portland, where unidentified officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service have been detaining Black Lives Matter protesters without explanation and using indiscriminate force to crush demonstrations.

“This is a fight to save our democracy,” Kelly Simon, interim legal director with the ACLU of Oregon, said in a statement. “Under the direction of the Trump administration, federal agents are terrorizing the community, risking lives, and brutally attacking protesters demonstrating against police brutality. This is police escalation on top of police escalation.”

“This is police escalation on top of police escalation. These federal agents must be stopped and removed from our city.”

—Kelly Simon, ACLU of Oregon

“These federal agents must be stopped and removed from our city,” Simon added. “We will continue to bring the full fire power of the ACLU to bear until this lawless policing ends.”

The lawsuit (pdf) against DHS and the U.S. Marshals Service—filed on behalf of legal observers and journalists who were recently assaulted by federal agents in Portland—aims to “block federal law enforcement from dispersing, arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force against journalists or legal observers.” One of the plaintiffs, freelance photographer Matthew Lewis-Rolland, was shot in the back ten times with impact munitions during a recent demonstration.

The ACLU said the suit is “one of many” it plans to file against the Trump administration over its deployment of federal agents to Portland against the wishes of state and local political leaders, who have demanded the withdrawal of all federal law enforcement.

Federal officials have reportedly been patrolling Portland in unmarked vehicles and arresting demonstrators since at least July 14.

Vera Eidelman, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, said “what is happening in Portland is an unconstitutional nightmare.”

“This is not law and order. This is lawlessness,” said Eidelman. “The ACLU will not let the government respond to protests against police brutality with still more brutality. We will continue to hold law enforcement at all levels of government accountable, just as we have nationwide.”

Featured image: Police confront demonstrators in Portland, Oregon on July 4, 2020. (Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

(Common Dreams)

https://orinocotribune.com/to-end-uncon ... -portland/

Can the ACLU stare down the Id of Capitalism? Hmm, doubt it and if so another sign Trump's goose is cooked. The cops, in whatever form, must be able to act with impunity, like a conquering army. Otherwise they will be unable to perform their duty, the defence of Capital. Set ups like civilian review boards, hemmed in by the 'stakeholders in repression', are mostly cosmetic and a distraction from proper action.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Police, prison and abolition

Post by blindpig » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:17 pm

Meet the Youth Liberation Front behind a militant marathon of Portland protests
July 12, 2020 at 6:00 am Updated July 13, 2020 at 9:51 am

In this July 1 photo, protesters feed plywood and pallets into fires around Portland’s historic Elk Fountain, donated to the city in 1900. The damage that evening to the foundation resulted in the statue’s removal until repairs can be done. (Hal Bernton / The Seattle Times)

This June 15 sidewalk fire near businesses was one of more than 140 set during the protests that began in Portland in late May. It was put out by firefighters soon after this photo was taken. Later that evening, a second fire was set on a narrow street between two apartment buildings, causing concern from residents before it, too, was put out by firefighters. (Hal Bernton / The Seattle Times)

A Facebook post by PNW Youth Liberation Front calls for a vigil and protest in Portland in memory of “our fallen comrade” Summer Taylor of Seattle.

PORTLAND — Shortly before 1 a.m. on July 5, as protesters braced for more long hours on the streets in Oregon’s largest city, the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front took to Twitter with a stern declaration.

Be like water, keep moving.

If you see someone smashing windows, shut the (expletive) up.

Walk, don’t run. Hold the front and back lines.

Well after protests against police have faded in many American cities, the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front has emerged in Portland as a persistent militant voice, using social media to promote rallies, and offering tactical advice and commentary on gatherings that often have ended in confrontations with the police and arrests.

The conduct they champion has ignited a bitter debate about the direction these protests have taken in an ongoing drama that plays out nightly in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center and later in largely empty streets defined by block after block of boarded-up buildings. The core of downtown — in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and the demonstrations — appears drained of much of the vitality that has long helped to define this Northwest city.

For the Youth Liberation Front’s anonymous leaders, these protests are part of the revolution. They are resolutely anti-capitalist and anti-fascist, and express disdain for those who work for reform within what they view as a failing political system.

In a podcast interview last October, three of their leaders, one of whom identified himself as still in high school, said they were spurred to activism over a range of issues that included climate change, law enforcement misconduct and the rise of right-wing hate groups.

They have affiliates in Seattle and other U.S. cities, and have gained thousands of new social media followers as they launched into promoting protests over the May 25 police killing of George Floyd. Recently on social media, they have displayed a battle-hardened bravado, scornful not just of baby boomers but white millennials who they view as too often unwilling to put their bodies on the line in protests.

A June 18 tweet from the group: “We are a bunch of teenagers armed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and yerba mate — we can take a 5 a.m. raid and be back on our feet a few hours later … we’ll be back again and again until every prison is reduced to ashes and every wall to rubble.”

They are by no means the only group that has organized protests in Portland: Big gatherings that attracted tens of thousands of people, and ended peacefully, were largely put together by others.

But they have been among the most outspoken, combining organizing skills and street savvy in what has evolved into a grueling more-than-40-day marathon for protesters and law enforcement officials who often stay on duty until deep into the early morning hours.

In court filings in U.S. District Court, county officials estimate that damage costs to the Justice Center building, as well as a nearby courthouse that on July 3 had 15 more windows shattered, will exceed $284,000. There have been 140 arson fires, most in trash bins, on the streets or sidewalks. But they also included a May 29 fire inside a first-floor office of the Justice Center, a high-rise that includes a county jail.

In July, protesters have focused more attention on the federal courthouse next to the Justice Center. The U.S. Attorney, in a July 6 filing, charged seven protesters with defacing the building and assaulting federal officers.

In Portland’s downtown area on May 29, some protesters joined in looting stores. In the days that followed, they have broken windows in banks, restaurants and other businesses and the glass in four doors of the side entrance to the historic Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Overall, this damage exceeds $4.5 million, according to documents filed by county and city officials in U.S. court.

Statues also have been defaced with graffiti and damaged.

On July 1 protesters lit fires fueled by plywood and pallets around a downtown Portland landmark — the Elk Fountain — located within sight of the Justice Center where police are based. The damage forced the statue’s removal.

In social media posts, Youth Liberation Front leaders portray acts of vandalism as part of the broader struggle to make big changes in America. They reject any effort — by police or other groups — to divide the protest movement into those who are peaceful and those who turn to violence.

“The Pigs are in a PR battle so they say there’s a difference from ‘peaceful’ and nonviolent protesters. When in fact what we are fighting is the ultimate form of violence, making any and all resistance self and community defense,” the Youth Liberation Front tweeted.

In interviews during protests, some youthful participants embraced those views.

“With real change comes a lot of collateral damage,” said one young man who attended a late-night protest and declined to give his name.

Both police and protesters face scrutiny
As the protests wear on, both police and protesters have, on occasion, come under harsh criticism.

On June 26, protesters set a Dumpster on fire and pushed it up to the side of a northeast Portland building that housed minority-owned businesses and a police precinct station, where people were inside and had to contend with an exit door barricaded shut from the outside. Two suspects, an 18-year-old white man and a 22-year-old Black man, have since been arrested.

Video filed by police in court show that this was a controversial action even among protesters on the scene.

“Put that goddamn fire out, that is a Black building, Black business,” said one voice in a video filed by Portland city officials in U.S. District Court and posted online by The Oregonian.

The next day, Black community leaders lined up outside the building to denounce the arson.

“I know whoever was behind this thinks they were doing it — or perhaps are trying to have us think they were doing it — in the names of Black Lives Matter,” said Tony Hopson, president of Self Enhancement Inc., an organization that assists youth in poverty. “We know that it was just the opposite. Not only was it not about Black Lives Matter. It was against Black Lives Matter.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler joined them, calling the arson “blatant criminal violence — violence that is totally unacceptable.”

Less than a week later, police were taking heat from a prominent state politician.

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, a Democrat who represents North Portland, lashed out at them for “the utter inability to exercise restraint” in a response to a July 1 protest in her district. In front of a police union building, officers used tear gas that spread to motorists despite a U.S. District Court restraining order restricting its use to times when life and safety are at risk. The police also arrested three journalists, and Kotek said the police conduct represented an unnecessary escalation against people exercising their freedom of assembly.

In response, Daryl Turner, union president of the Portland Police Association and who is Black, accused “a small number of individuals” of having “hijacked the racial equity platform of peaceful protests.” In a follow-up statement, Turner declared their “destructive and chaotic behavior defines the meaning of white privilege.”

Chris Davis, a deputy chief of the Portland Police Bureau, at a July 8 briefing with reporters, said that officers have been pushed longer and harder than he has ever seen during what he termed an “unprecedented” stretch of protests that have injured more than 100 people, including police.

Davis said police have been hit with frozen water bottles, rocks and other objects, had paintballs spatter their face shields, and been harassed with laser lights that can damage eyesight. He said there are still no excuses for police failing to live up to the organization’s standards, and some conduct concerns have been referred to an independent review and the bureau’s professional standards commission.

Legacy and new prominence
The Youth Liberation Front, from early on, has favored secrecy. The group’s leadership appears to embrace the radical Northwest legacy of the “black bloc” whose acts of vandalism roiled the 1999 Seattle protests during a meeting of the World Trade Organization.

The group launched a Twitter account in May 2018, and gained more prominence in September of 2019 as its members helped organize a walk out of Portland high school students to draw attention to climate change.

The next month, three of the leaders — two young men and a young woman — spoke anonymously in a podcast produced by It’s Going Down, a “digital community center for anarchist, anti-fascist … anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements.”

In the podcast they talked about how they brought 250 masks to a September climate march, where they helped persuade peers — skittish about identifying with anarchists, black bloc and the anti-fascist movement — to shield their identities and join their fight.

“There are a lot of youth … who have the idea of … anti-capitalism, anti-racism already in their mind,” said an organizer. “But the idea of like Antifa, the idea of masking up is what scares them away … What we did with the climate strike is let them know that we don’t do this to be intimidating or threatening. We do it to protect ourselves and show solidarity.”

By the time Portland joined in the nationwide protests against George Floyd, the Youth Liberation Front was adept at mobilizing its supporters. But as its social media following grew, as did its reputation, it drew new scrutiny from within the activist community.

“Lots of folks have been reaching out concerned that we’re putting our majority white voices over POC (people of color) organizers that have been doing this work longer than us all,” said a June 7 post on the group’s Facebook page. “I apologize for the lack of communication and transparency on our part, and there is really not an excuse … all we can do is learn from mistakes and the criticisms from the community, and grow as people.”

The group did not respond to an email request from The Seattle Times for an interview.

A ‘Night of Rage’
In Portland, the evening of July 7 was billed in a Pacific Northwest Liberation Front Facebook post and tweet as a “Night of Rage for Summer Taylor,” a solidarity vigil in front of the Justice Center .

Taylor, 24, who was drawn to work at a veterinary clinic by a love of animals, was killed during a protest in Seattle earlier this month by a man who maneuvered his car onto a closed stretch of Interstate 5, drove around barriers and barreled into demonstrators. Another person was seriously injured.

The driver, Dawit Kelete, is charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving. He told jail officials he was withdrawing from Percocet and struggled with “untreated addictions.”

The protest of July 7 unfolded in an uneasy mix of suspicion and reflection.

Several of the early speakers got a cool reception from some of those gathered near the Justice Center. They hadn’t been to some of the earlier downtown protests, and were thought to be trying to tamp down the militancy of the movement, several protesters told a reporter.

In a nearby park, people gathered around a circle of candles lit in memory of the lost life. There was a moment of silence as a banner was held up that declared “Rest in Power in Summer Taylor.”

Then, some of the protesters picked up a familiar refrain “ACAB” — or All Cops are Bastards — and another that linked Mayor Wheeler’s name to an obscenity.

A woman opted out of the chants. “It’s not about Ted Wheeler. It’s not about the police. That’s not the reality of what happened to Summer Taylor.”

About 15 minutes before midnight, federal law enforcement officials made a brief appearance, firing two flash bangs, then retreating into a building. The crowd reacted like someone had poked a stick into a beehive, hurling insults that would continue deep into the night.

Hal Bernton: 206-464-2581 or hbernton@seattletimes.com; on Twitter: @hbernton.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-ne ... -protests/

Many more photos at link. Most seem to be about arson & vandalism, funny, that. But no police violence.(Let the pictures tell the story you really want conveyed).

"The kids are all right." Ya gotta start somewhere, this is a spark.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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