Siege Notes July 12: Antifa Cries Out as it Strikes You

I hadn’t even pulled alongside the small packed car–three baby hoodlums and two white hoes–when I saw the young black punk leaning out his window to glare at me. Apparently he had randomly selected a lone white motorist to intimidate.
I pulled alongside and rolled down the window–a bad idea I got away with–and stared back. We rolled alongside one another playing this juvenile game before a car in their lane slowed them down.

They passed again. This time I made a show of yawning into my fist. Again they fell back and again they pulled aside, the one in the back still giving me what the Mexicans used to call “the mad dog”–the hard stare. The driver flashed his gang sign.
They pulled in front of me–the kid used his blinkers, which I found odd–and I wondered just what would I do if they tried something.
 They turned left.
Another successful bluff for me. Can’t have a lot of those left.

 The point is the mood has gotten ugly.

That was three days ago on Thursday.

On Friday reports came that President Trump called out the city and told a military briefing he’d sent federal officers here.

Antifa has owned the three park blocks separating the cops and feds from City Hall and the county courthouse really from the start of this forty-some day-old siege. Cops haven’t appeared in or around a four or five block radius of downtown after dark except to clear the streets. A lone cruiser would simply be a provocation.

But there were noticeably more police cruisers outside of the no-go zone; I realized just how few of them I had been seeing there since this began. It’s as if they were making a point of showing the colors out here, at the same time they continue to surrender the park blocks and play defense from a fortified jail.

The police are stubbornly absorbing the abuse that is the real point of the nightly encounters–to wear down the cops with torturous abuse. And it’s no doubt working already in thinning the ranks. Absent a near-miraculous reversal to sanity becoming a cop in Portland heretofore will be a matter of passing muster with their present tormentors.

Some of the posters and graffiti–“humiliate cops” and “make cops go crazy” (captioning an evil clown wielding a syringe)–suggest explicit training in torture and propaganda coming from the murky top of this beast.

And someone in the federal courthouse indulged a little of their own, propping an okay hand sign in the window several stories up. Antifa found it and their Twitter went breathless for a while.

The US Attorney then revealed it was the back of a poster of Trailblazers star Damian Lillard, sacred black body and sportsball icon:

The okay sign revealed as three fingers on a field of 3s referring to three-point shots. That didn’t stop JoAnn Hardesty, longtime community activist and city councilmember, from invoking it in a letter addressing the federals escalation of hostilities last night.
On her side it really doesn’t matter if it was in the nature of a practical joke–just trafficking in the symbol is enough.

A local activist and vice chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon’s Black Caucus has been promulgating a race hoax on Twitter, claiming a black shot and killed by another black in front of a strip club as a result of a coke deal gone wrong was assassinated by white supremacists. A handful of black people showed up to claim it true, and their blood relationship to the victim, before the hoax was revealed.
Of course no consequences all around and Friday night was dedicated to the name of the deceased.

The name is already forgotten so I think more relevant to their rage is Trump’s calling them out that same day.

They redoubled their ten-or-so day-old siege on the US District Court building. One protester attacking the temporary wood-frame doors out front with a heavy hammer then took a few whacks and even landed, barely, on an agent as they emerged to stop him.

Which brings us finally to last night and federal law enforcement entering the fray in earnest. US Marshals and Department of Homeland Security agents in riot gear emerged from the courthouse in strength, liberally tear-gassed and pushed the protesters three blocks over to Broadway. Portland Police were nowhere to be seen. Hours later they would push them out farther and hand them off to the cops, who then took the unprecedented move of driving the rioters all the way out of downtown and into the residential areas west.

At one point an antifa protester–who’s taken to holding a speaker over his head a la John Cusack in Say Anything and standing in the front lines (antifa’s answer to the LRAD)–caught some sort of non-lethal round to the head after he lamely kicked or tossed a teargas canister back at federals lined up in front of the courthouse.

In the most bizarre incident of the night–no mean title–before things got too heated, as the ugly mob was forming across from the Marshals lined up in front of the federal court and symbol of white supremacy, a young black woman brought out a pre-toddler, and slowly walked him by the hand in between the squared-off groups, the tiny creature waddling like ET on stubby little legs he didn’t know how to bend. She tried coaxing him for a second pass back the way they came but was unsuccessful. A few lonely voices of protest from black women came from the mostly silent crowd.

As if yielding to this, the Marshals went back inside shortly after.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

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