NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

Trump’s neofascist regime is targeting Pacific Northwest cities for Donald’s electoral gain

It has become abun­dant­ly clear that Don­ald Trump’s neo­fas­cist regime rec­og­nizes that it is in grave dan­ger of being swept out of pow­er this autumn by a blue tsuna­mi. In a des­per­ate attempt to avoid that fate, Trump and his min­ions have delib­er­ate­ly tar­get­ed the Pacif­ic North­west­’s major cities (Port­land and Seat­tle) as places where they can use fed­er­al law enforce­ment per­son­nel to insti­gate con­flicts that will be help­ful in ril­ing up their base and spread­ing fear.

Lead­ers in the Pacif­ic North­west are right­ly furi­ous about this, and speak­ing out.

On July 20th, Sen­a­tors Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Ore­gon spoke on the Sen­ate floor against deploy­ing “unwant­ed para­mil­i­tary forces” into Amer­i­can cities.

“What we have seen in the last ten days in Port­land has been hor­rif­ic and uncon­scionable,” said Merkley. “Fed­er­al forces have shot an unarmed pro­test­er in the head with impact muni­tions, and para­mil­i­tary forces in cam­ou­flage have been grab­bing peo­ple off the streets and putting them into unmarked vans.”

“These are the actions of an author­i­tar­i­an regime, not a demo­c­ra­t­ic repub­lic. This gross vio­la­tion of Amer­i­cans’ civ­il rights must end imme­di­ate­ly.”

“What Don­ald Trump is doing is incom­pat­i­ble with the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of democ­ra­cy laid out by our founders and expand­ed through the gen­er­a­tions., said Wyden. “What Don­ald Trump is doing is total­ly out of con­trol.”

The offi­cial response has been the cre­ation of the Pre­vent­ing Author­i­tar­i­an Polic­ing Tac­tics on America’s Streets Act, which would lim­it the use of fed­er­al offi­cers for crowd con­trol, man­date indi­vid­ual and agency iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for each fed­er­al offi­cer respond­ing to crowds and demon­stra­tions, require deploy­ments to be dis­closed and spec­i­fied via a relat­ed fed­er­al agency’s web­site with­in twen­­ty-four hours of such a deploy­ment, and make arrests in vio­la­tion of these rules unlaw­ful.

Lat­er that same evening, between one and two thou­sand pro­test­ers marched to the Mult­nom­ah Coun­ty Jus­tice Cen­ter and Mark Hat­field Fed­er­al Cour­t­house with a “Wall of Moms” in yel­low and an assem­bly of self-iden­ti­­fied dads in orange shirts and haz­ard vests. They were met by fed­er­al offi­cers who threat­ened to shoot demon­stra­tors via their green laser tar­get lights and dis­persed them via tear gas and flash-bang grenades.

On July 22nd, the city of Port­land sent a cease and desist let­ter to the fed­er­al author­i­ties to remove a met­al fence which has been used to keep out pro­test­ers.

(Fences in rela­tion to the Port­land demon­stra­tions have a his­to­ry.)

Lat­er that evening, Port­land May­or Ted Wheel­er joined the demon­stra­tors, and was heck­led by some of them. The hos­tile recep­tion was pre­dictable giv­en that Wheel­er has, in the past, allowed the Port­land Police to use tear gas against these same demon­stra­tors and, while tech­ni­cal­ly in charge of the Port­land Police Bureau, has allowed Port­land police to hide their iden­ti­fi­ca­tion when coor­di­nat­ing their activ­i­ty with fed­er­al law enforce­ment offi­cers.

Port­land City Com­mis­sion­er Jo Ann Hard­esty has accused both of exac­er­bat­ing the vio­lence in Port­land, while May­or Wheel­er has ques­tioned Com­mis­sion­er Hardesty’s recent claims that Port­land Police have embed­ded them­selves into crowds and set fire to prop­er­ties in order to frame demon­stra­tors for arson.

On Thurs­day, July 23rd, Judge Michael H. Simon — who serves on the Unit­ed States Dis­trict Court bench in the Court’s Ore­gon juris­dic­tion — issued an order to ban for four­teen days all fed­er­al offi­cers from using dis­per­sal orders, threats or force against any jour­nal­ist or legal observ­er doc­u­ment­ing the demon­stra­tions in down­town Port­land. In his deci­sion, he stat­ed: “None of the government’s prof­fered inter­ests out­weigh the public’s inter­est in accu­rate and time­ly infor­ma­tion about how law enforce­ment is treat­ing pro­test­ers.”

This evening, a small­er demon­stra­tion took place at the Jus­tice Cen­ter, where E.D. Mondainé, a Port­land pas­tor and pres­i­dent of the local NAACP, asked that focus of future demon­stra­tions be re-focused on the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment and the unwar­rant­ed deaths of Black Amer­i­cans at the hands of police.

While the Trump regime’s tar­get­ing of Port­land has attract­ed nation­al and inter­na­tion­al atten­tion, it’s not the only North­west city Trump and his min­ions have plans for. Seat­tle is also on the tar­get list, and as it turns out, has had spe­cial fed­er­al per­son­nel in the city since ear­ly July.

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One Comment

  1. Is this the same bureau that deter­mined the noose in NASCAR dri­ver’s Bub­ba Wal­lace’s garage, was a garage door ”pull rope”?

    # by Mike Barer :: July 26th, 2020 at 10:03 PM

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