Stand Down for Black Lives

Antifa, too, must adapt to the new post-election reality. Demonstrations and energy have waned with the election’s passing and it remains to be seen if passions will revive. Antifa continues small-scale “direct actions” such as besieging the home of a new city councilman to pressure a vote for defunding police and breaking the windows of a Democratic Party office, but with smaller groups numbering in the dozens.

Antifa “paid a late night visit” to the besieged councilman says the euphemistic headline over this report by antifa-allied reporter Sergio Olmos, who reveals here in a veiled plea and buried lede antifa is going completely dark and driving out even allied press:

Ryan told the protesters he was in contact with police and asked them not to intervene in the impromptu discussion. He also cooperated with protesters in trying to limit press coverage of the event. The commissioner said he did not want photos or video taken.

“Dude, no pictures,” one demonstrator said at one point to a photographer from the Oregonian/OregonLive.

“This is not your entertainment,” another person said.

“We don’t want your images here,” the first demonstrator said. “Delete that.”

While there is no legal or reasonable expectation of privacy at an event taking place on a public street, at times journalists have been approached by protesters and harassed for attempting to cover news events. Similar warnings were issued to members of the press earlier this month when some demonstrators tore down statues in downtown Portland.

Tuesday night marked the first time a sitting government official has condoned First Amendment suppression with the help of protesters. Ryan’s office did not immediately respond to questions on the issue.

All summer long Sergio has helped the cause with selective reporting and bias–and he’s gained quite a bit professionally, appearing on national television and being published in the New York Times. He’s worked hard. I’ve seen him out there, strapping on his gear. He can probably distinguish between various types of tear gas.

It must rile to be told to, as Donald Trump might say, stand down. But antifa enters a new, uncertain period having risen in numbers, refined their tactics, hardened themselves in battle, having demonstrated the impotence of government and society to stop them, literally getting away with murder as a movement, having reached a manic pitch that doesn’t seem likely to be sated by Joe Biden’s grinning carcass calling for unity; they aren’t willing to go back but are probably casting about for targets with their new strength and the veneer of legitimacy provided by such as Sergio there.

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