Federal police in Portland are marked and acting lawfully; meanwhile, Pelosi, ACLU, and state of Oregon side with Antifa

Federal police in Portland are marked and acting lawfully; meanwhile, Pelosi, ACLU, and state of Oregon side with Antifa
Marked and on alert. CBP police unit deployed to Portland to assist in protecting federal property. U.S. CBP via Twitter

The Portland Police Department tweeted a devastating video on 8 July, showing clearly the methods by which rioters were attacking police, property, and the occasional innocent bystander in the city’s besieged downtown.

These are not political “demonstrations.”  They’re massed attacks on soft targets.

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One of the targets has been the federal courthouse in Portland (chief among the federal properties that have come under attack).  At the beginning of July, additional federal police were sent there to beef up the courthouse’s minimal defenses.  That occurred just in time.

“In one wild night ,” as recounted by Victoria Taft at PJ Media, “federal police officers from the Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and other agencies battled antifa terrorists lobbing IEDs, rocks, and bottles and shining lasers in the eyes of officers. Police battled for six hours to keep the terrorists from getting inside the glass door they’d earlier shattered.”

The wild night was the night of 2-3 July.  But wildness has continued intermittently in the two weeks since.

The role of the federal law enforcement forces has been to defend federal property and pursue riot agitators who have violated federal law.  One of the chief violations, aside from vandalism, attempted arson, etc. against federal property, and attacks on federal law enforcement personnel, has been crossing state lines to engage in rioting and inciting to riot.

This past week, federal officers have reportedly begun arresting Antifa (“black bloc”) operatives and questioning them.  Most of the individuals appear to be detained for a few hours for questioning and then released.  That’s the experience recounted by those who post on social media about it.  There’s zero evidence of anyone being “disappeared.”  The federal officers – dealing with crime patterns of assault, vandalism, and organized, state-line-crossing rioting – are using the lawful means at their disposal to root out the perpetrators and get them charged and off the streets.

Experienced journalists like Andy Ngo indicate the agitators are well aware of who the federal officers are, and are creating videos to present a false narrative.

Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan, whose personnel are participating in the security surge, points out that the federal officers are, in fact, marked by organization, and are wearing “POLICE” bibs on duty.

They aren’t going to display their names on their uniforms, given that Antifa is known to be actively engaged in doxxing law enforcement officers and menacing their families and homes.

It does appear to be legitimate to point out that the federal officers are using unmarked vans.  However, the videos in which the vans are visible show that it’s hilarious to suggest this makes them somehow covert or unidentifiable. Six identical vans disgorging uniformed officers with organizational shoulder patches and “POLICE” labels, all at the same time (apparently to relieve security watches), are the very opposite of stealthy or mysterious.

There are a great many other details to ponder, and Victoria Taft’s article at PJM, where they’ve been providing superb coverage, is a good place to start.  (You can’t go wrong following Andy Ngo on social media either.)

For now, it’s important to make just a couple of points.  One is that, as Antifa and BLM literally make war on urban America via rioting, attacks on police and businesses and bystanding citizens, and nightly marauding expeditions through the streets of Chicago, New York, Portland, and other major cities, the institutional leadership of the Left is aligning itself with Antifa and BLM.

Nancy Pelosi came out on Friday to repeat the false narrative that the feds in Portland are “unidentified stormtroopers” who are “kidnapping protesters.”  Not one word of that is true.  (Every word, on the other hand, is incendiary and irresponsible.)

Moreover, Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, has spoken publicly multiple times about what federal officers are doing in Portland, and visited Portland this past week, with attendant publicity, to ensure that it’s clear what the feds are there for.  (State and local officials refused to meet with him during the visit.)

CBP’s Mark Morgan has likewise made news appearances to explain what’s going on, and the U.S. Attorney for Oregon as well as the Justice Department have also made public announcements about the federal crimes they are pursuing.

Two of the seven charged in this group were from out of state (i.e., had to cross state lines to riot).

Pelosi speaks in company with Oregon’s U.S. senators, who know perfectly well what federal police forces they’ve been voting to fund for years, but who are now indignant that those forces have been deployed to protect federal property and enforce federal law.

The state of Oregon is also joining the ACLU in a lawsuit against DHS and the U.S. Marshals (a DOJ entity).

It can’t possibly be read into U.S. law that the federal government must allow the American taxpayers’ facilities to be destroyed because the state of Oregon doesn’t want them defended against rioters.

But if the ACLU, Oregon, and perhaps a friendly federal judge want to try, well, consider it another effective campaign ad for President Trump.

It isn’t clear what’s wrong with these public leaders who can’t latch onto basic common sense, and who keep aligning themselves with nihilist street marauders.

It is clear that they are not on the side of law and order or public safety.  Their words to that effect are transparently false gibberish.  They have no credibility at all, pointing at smashed windows, lost businesses, burned buildings, downtowns no one feels safe in, fires and firebombs in the streets, and lawless “autonomous zones,” and proclaiming those circles of hell to be “the exercise of First Amendment rights,” while labeling the forces of order “stormtroopers.”

(Click for thread to see Portland after 50 days of nightly riots.)

(Friday night with the “First Amendment” in Portland.)

Americans can tell the difference.  Waking up to what Antifa is may not be nearly as important as waking up to what Pelosi, other senior Democrats, and the ACLU really are.

The other point is that it can no longer be hidden what the street-thug groups are doing.  They are not engaging in mass demonstrations.  They’re going out armed with homemade (but very effective) weapons to attack the communities they are plaguing with destruction and violence.

None of this has been about George Floyd since a few hours in Memorial Day week, when Floyd was killed.  Burning down businesses and looting Target stores in Minneapolis wasn’t about George Floyd at all, and setting up a barricaded base from which to attack the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon most certainly isn’t.

Rather – and pay attention here – what’s going on in Portland looks very much like an attempt to draw an armed attack on the black bloc mob by the federal government.

That’s what the “autonomous zone” set up in Seattle looked like too.

This is a war being waged with a strategy: to replay the political dynamics of early 1930s Germany, with some elements of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 factored in.  Antifa and BLM purport to be trying to save the country from “fascists” – and they have cast the American people in the fascist role.  Someone has to fill it, to justify what Antifa does, and there’s obviously no actual street army of “fascists” or Nazis out attacking America.

Antifa and BLM are trying to create the appearance of one.  The police have been bore-sighted for this role, but that attempt is making little headway.  Police are doing the opposite of mowing down helpless “protesters”; in many situations they aren’t even able to protect genuine, politically motivated but law-abiding protesters from the agitators and thugs who usurp their events.

With the targeted attacks and autonomous zones, the black bloc radicals are trying to draw an armed attack, presumably by the U.S. military (in the form of either the National Guard or federal troops), that would so horrify and derange Americans that many would be ready to breach the red line the radical Generation of 1968 couldn’t drag the country across.

Americans would be prepared to repudiate our own Constitution and insistence on due process of law – probably, in the radical groups’ strategy, to agree to run the president out of office by utterly unlawful means.

This radical agitator made it clear in a recent speechlet that completely “abolishing” the United States is the goal.

President Trump didn’t respond with federal troops in Seattle.  And he hasn’t responded with them in Portland.  Instead, he’s refusing the bait: not ratcheting up the stakes and the level of civil conflict, but instead handling this as a police action. He’s making arrests, bringing criminal charges based on statutory law, and providing security for federal property.  His cabinet and agency chiefs are narrating the whole thing as it happens.  There’s no big mystery about it.  If CNN wanted to cover it, they could.  They just don’t want to.

For now, if Americans want the pain of the riots and pillaging to stop, they’re going to have to appeal urgently to the Democrats who run the cities it’s happening in, for whatever good that may do, and vote those Democrats out when they get the chance.  Continuing to vote for today’s Democrats will never produce a different result.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.