The feds in Portland just indiscriminately launched tear gas at the Moms and started firing pepper rounds and everyone. Horrifying.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) July 20, 2020
Courtesy of NYT:
The federal agents facing a growing backlash for their militarized approach to weeks of unrest in Portland were not specifically trained in riot control or mass demonstrations, an internal Department of Homeland Security memo warned this week.
The message, dated Thursday, was prepared by the agency for Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, as he arrived in Portland to view the scene in person, according to a copy of the memo obtained by The New York Times. It listed federal buildings in the city and issues officers faced in protecting them.
The memo, seemingly anticipating future encounters with protesters in other cities as the department follows President Trump’s guidance to crack down on unrest, warns: “Moving forward, if this type of response is going to be the norm, specialized training and standardized equipment should be deployed to responding agencies.”
The tactical agents deployed by homeland security include officials from a group known as BORTAC, the Border Patrol’s equivalent of a SWAT team, a highly trained group that normally is tasked with investigating drug smuggling organizations, as opposed to protesters in cities.
Alexei Woltornist, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said on Sunday that the missions of the federal agents in Portland “aligned with their appropriate training” and that officers received “additional training for their deployment in the city” to assist the Federal Protective Service.
Look if my choice is to believe what is in an internal memo that the public is not supposed to know about or to trust what one of Trump’s sycophants say, I am going internal memo all the way.
The bottom line is that these federal agents have no business invading Portland and escalating the violence just to give Trump campaign talking points.
And by the way, Portland is doing fine.
Courtesy of Oregon Live:
One America News Network describes “violence gripping the city.” A Fox News headline blares “Portland protesters flood police precinct, chant about burning it down.” The New York Post reported Saturday that Portland “descended into violence.”
Many people who live in Portland, including Alexander, heard over the past few days from worried relatives in other states who feared that their loved ones in Portland might have been affected by fires or caught in police crossfire as they went about their day.
The images that populate national media feeds, however, come almost exclusively from a tiny point of the city: a 12-block area surrounding the Justice Center and federal courthouse.
And they occur exclusively during late-night hours in which only a couple hundred or fewer protesters and scores of police officers are out in the city’s coronavirus-hollowed downtown.
Those events are hardly representative of daily life, including peaceful anti-racism demonstrations that have drawn tens of thousands of protesters, in a city of 650,000 people that encompasses 145 square miles.
The vast majority of Portland residents spend quiet home-bound lives on hushed tree-lined streets with coronavirus and its resulting economic catastrophe as the greatest threat to their well-being.
Portland has experienced weeks of daily protests since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police.
The largest of them, involving thousands of people chanting and marching for racial justice and police non-violence, have been peaceful.
But almost like clockwork, tensions flare late at night between law enforcement officers stationed at the Justice Center and courthouse and a crowd of 20- and 30-something demonstrators, a small number of whom toss projectiles at police, shine lasers in their eyes or otherwise poke and prod officers to engage.
All of this is staged to create a narrative by the Right to suggest that the country is on fire and that the only person who can put out the flames is the very person currently with a gas can in his hands.
This is political theater and only the dumbest people on the planet would allow themselves to be fooled by it.
You know, people like the Trump supporters.