Siege Notes, August 17: Lost Boys and Larpers

Antifa’s presence downtown has shrunk to dozens hanging about the jail and federal courthouse at night. Last time I checked on the after-midnight crowd the night before last I saw not even a dozen hanging about the old Elk Fountain. In the two blocks north of antifa territory–those park blocks are ghostly and threatening in their emptiness–rabble take advantage of the newfound liberation from police attention spitting distance from the city jail.

Last week twice I saw crowds of very young black kids swarming something in the street. Someone posted video to YouTube of feral-looking black and brown middle schoolers clashing with adults at Salmon and Fourth, where the boarded-up and battered 7/11 operates all night, an inverted frontier outpost, civilization not coming along behind but having receded past. But there are crowds. Business is good because everything has gone to shit, say the weary eyes of the Arabs–blessed immigrants!–behind the counter.

Tonight just passing through I happened upon a nursery beatdown, involving girls.

More serious beatdowns went down elsewhere; an arguable attempted murder that likely won’t be considered by new woke DA Mike Schmidt. It remains to be seen how much shit non-crazy Oregon is willing to eat.

The earnest and opportunistic elements swelling protest crowds early on and through the campaign on the federal courthouse are gone. A dedicated remnant of committed antifa musters in the hundreds to assail police targets in the north and east, such as the police union headquarters (denying police union representation is a main goal of the abolition movement) and last night they were zombie-furious attacking the cops and beating suspect citizens in their midst.

The goal remains provoking police into media-plausible excesses with low-level violence, property destruction and the verbal mob-psych warfare of chanted death threats.

Haley Adams is an Oregon activist associated with Patriot Prayer, the group of supposed white supremacist provocateurs that glommed on to antifa’s increase and campaign of street intimidation (in which the present rioting is culminating) following the 2016 election of Trump. She organized events such as a “Him Too” rally opposing Me Too, one that seemed to strike a nerve.

It was all heavy larping, especially at first; at an early event “Based Stick Man” stumbled through a speech that was like being hit over the head with a stick. A series of “rightwing” and “white supremacist” rallies were met with antifa-led counter protests, really the whole point for the unsophisticated and enthusiastic Adams and Patriot Prayer (led by a six-foot-six Samoan street fighter named Tiny, recently busted for violating probation by poking around the autonomous zone in Seattle Formerly Known as CHAZ).

The series of nationally mocked street battles happened because in the quaint days before George Floyd even here in Portland didn’t feel confident denying even “white nationalists” a public demonstration permit. So several times the city issued permits knowing it meant throwing platoons of cops on overtime in between the self-described patriots and hostile antifa. No one was seriously injured because of the efforts of the police–but antifa’s irrational hatred of the cops, culminating right now, was cooked over the series of confrontations, which early on became as much about berating and protesting the cops as trying to get at Patriot Prayer.

Perversely antifa gradually acquired respectability in the media by comically overreacting to the laughable “white supremacist” threat that was Patriot Prayer–because the media, under the influence of Trump, had to cast their’s as a genuine fight against genuine white fascism.

Serious injury the whole time was checked only by the thankless efforts of the police–those efforts only over time hardened the individual and collective psychology of the rioters and drove them further into irrational hatred of the police in the dumbest negative feedback loop ever.

The group madness of antifa and elite forbearance of it, now open manipulation, co-evolved through, among other things, the series of Trump tantrum and then Patriot Prayer riots. The Trump years demonstrated to those behind the current hoax the possibilities of American endurance–the extent to which local authorities for instance would accept violence. They truly think they’re capable of getting away with anything, and presently are.

Adams returned yesterday (Saturday) to lead a pro-police rally that turned out maybe two dozen, about half of whom were outfitted with defensive gear and weapons–including paintball guns firing small plastic rounds (about half the size of police and feds’ “rubber bullets”).

Larper grade
Federal grade

They were set upon by a larger, motley crowd of antifa and familiar fringe players, harassing them just like old times. The Adams Fam decamped after a short stand in front of the Justice Center getting heckled. Antifa trailed with the usual threatening behavior as they left. Adams’ group took two or three laps around a two-block radius trying to shake off their antifa stalkers who pressed on them the whole time.

A tiny man in a wheelchair with some sort of degenerative disorder and volcanic rage, a regular, railed against the tall and imposing leader of the Adams group–another regular from early on–decked out in riot gear, carrying a staff (with a tiny American flag on it that he forget about as he brandished it before antifa bearing down–taunting him for dragging the flag), bear mace, which he deployed I think alone, and a paint gun.

Antifa is never sated or appealed to, but when the big fellow, who seemed to be the leader of Adams’ group, let off some bear mace they were like disturbed bees. I caught a good dose just being downwind, and at one point was staggering regrettably toward the 7/11 to buy–buy!–water to pour on my burning eyes when a histrionic Mexican teenager, raging about getting bear sprayed, threw a full, and capped bottle of water into the street. It hit the ground and didn’t burst, rolling toward me almost miraculously. I scooped it up and doused my eyes and even took a drink. I offer the kid his water back but he says go ahead and takes off raving about getting back at them.

A big guy with burns over his entire body–today he’s masked up and you can’t see his entire head is scarred, but he’s another regular and I sworn before I know him from all the way back in Seattle, but then I realize every poor bastard burnt all over looks the same. But I can’t help but wonder if this furious and scary antifa troop (he’s filming and carrying a good camera and lens, and I think he was marked “press” somewhere, despite his effective intimidating posture) isn’t the same guy that I used to see at Boeing and the veteranarian.

The Adams Fam was forced to enter the parking garage in the middle of downtown where they–right wing terror masterminds they are–parked all their cars together with antifa swarming.

Not able to shake their tormentors Adams and crew finally just ducked into the parking garage, firing off some plastic to delay pursuit; antifa followed eventually up the stairs winding up either side of the building.

Antifa scrambled back and forth from an exit on one street to an exit on the next, waiting for their enemies, under the direction of a tiny, raging black woman with a bullhorn (at the end of the video below) who demanded random motorists escaping the parking garage repeat “black lives matter” to pass. She was shadowed by a tall white female conspicuously playing the role of defender of a threatened black body–standard antifa playacting.

As I staked out one side of the building with antifa a convoy of six cars purportedly escaped out the other. At one point loud shots could be heard coming from within the garage; some antifa who’d been making their way up the stairs to seek out the Adams Family rushed out, warning everyone to take cover because it was gunfire. On Twitter later antifa circulated photos of a car and its license plate number, purporting to show someone pointing a gun out the window.

Police were nowhere to be seen during my two hours or so there.

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