Judging by numbers of bodies antifa puts on the street for their direct actions, now, several months out of the BLM hysteria of last summer when their numbers were enlarged by hangers-on, I judge their hardcore committed and organized element to number around two hundred. I could be wrong. But if it’s five hundred, if it’s a thousand, they’re still punching well above their weight in the long war with the cops and right now are likely savoring their fleeing enemy’s lamentations:
They trashed police management.
They mocked city leaders.
They bemoaned the lack of true community-based policing.
And they were all Portland officers and supervisors who chose to leave the state’s largest police force in the last year.
In 31 exit interview statements, the employees who turned in their badges or retired were brutally frank about their reasons for getting out.
“The community shows zero support. The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchists fantasy. What’s worse is ppb command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly,” one retiring detective wrote.
Since July 1, 115 officers have left the Police Bureau, including 74 who retired and 41 who resigned. Two more will resign by the end of this month and one more is retiring. They make up one of the biggest waves of departures in recent memory.
Police abolitionists are abolishing the police. Mayor Wheeler, who knows the police cuts he acquiesced to without a whimper last summer are an ongoing disaster, offered a weird mix of bland and Orwellian platitudes:
Mayor Ted Wheeler, who serves as police commissioner, said the city must foster a culture in the Police Bureau that “retains and enhances — and does not move us away from — a diverse, professional, and successful work force.”
“We ask a lot of our police,” he said in an email. “The city of Portland, like many other cities, is on an ambitious and aggressive mission to transform community safety and policing. Change management is a specialty occupation for a reason. It’s hard work for everyone involved.
Give yourself more credit, Ted. You’ve transformed community safety immensely already.
And the greater tragedy might not be the cops we’re losing but the cops we can expect to gain, their replacements. Those both perverse enough to apply and diverse enough to qualify, helped over lowered qualifications, trained in implicit bias and white fragility and soon to be sent forth. God help us.
A win’s a win but isn’t as if antifa hasn’t had help. They only get as far as they are allowed. It’s laughable to think antifa–who struggle to field dozens for their direct actions and sometimes openly express concerns about waning enthusiasm–would still be at it if authorities had come down hard–say, if the powerful treated it as a white revolution or some other genuine threat. Antifa has been encouraged by the unconscionable indulgence the system–where the evil lies–has given them. They’ve been gaslit by the Man.
Still, in Portland anarchists are not just getting away with desecrating statues, they’re making progress toward their goal of ending law and order.
Meanwhile other law enforcement agencies are recruiting in Portland.