what we can do about cops pretending to be protesters to cause terror and divisiveness
Let's not repeat or get fooled by the double standard, and instead hold cops and other public servants accountable for cops' inexcusable and criminal behavior and intention to terrorize civilians, scapegoat anarchists, divide protesters, and chill democracy. Demand Truth and reconciliation and cops pay restitution to those who lost money and investments to attract folk to Portland, as a result of their behavior. Require anyone wearing riot gear to be clearly identified at all angles on each piece of clothing and weaponry. Video and document examples of the cops' double standard not attacking or arresting the same behavior by others. Do a better job of preventing and holding accountable cops infiltrating and pretending to be protesters, causing problems as excuses for cop violence. End march/parade/rally permits and protect everyone's right to free speech without hate-talk or fear-mongering. Thank black block for much good done while preventing cops from impunity and anonymity with gang mentality.
For me something is principled if it is right no matter who does it to whom and it is unprincipled and a double standard if the same behavior is considered "good" only if some do it to some people, but "bad" if done by other subjects to other objects of the actions. Let's not allow the police story distract us from the fact that police of various jurisdictions and agencies and possibly including mercenaries, form blocks of threatening mobs dressed all in black, with their faces covered and their identities hidden or secret, knowing they are paid more to be scary and violent. Cops who like to scare protesters choose this higher-paying psych op duty. This is after being hyped up in an enemy war mentality against protesters instead of recommitting to their oath to defend the Constitution and uphold every individual's inalienable rights and to hold government accountable to not abridge or threaten those rights, such as freedom of speech and peaceable assembly for regress of grievances. Cops show off readiness to use visible and hidden weapons, including weapons that are illegal under international law in war zones. Just because some protesters and probably some cops or paid infiltrators/saboteurs/provocateurs also cover their faces and hide their identities while dressed in black, does not make the unarmed civilians as scary or dangerous or free from negative consequences, as the cops who have impunity and often higher pay after committing perjury and fraud, violent crimes, assault and battery, murder, extortion, rape, torture.
May Day commemorates the ongoing history of cops, from the Pinkertons and cops at the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago on and around May Day as an excuse to falsely accuse and publicly unfairly try and convict and torture to death labor leaders and vilify anarchists. To present-day fascist militarized police, attacking and falsely accusing labor organizers and human rights activists, immigrants and the most oppressed workers and minorities. It happened in controlling First Nations people's who land, resources, and labor was stolen at gunpoint and through the slave patrols with the creation of the myth of race pitting "poor white trash" against "n - - - -r" against Cherokee or "breeds", with whatever hate-fear-mongering bad names used to dehumanize and divide us. It continues through today with more slaves than in plantation times now with the New Jim Crow of forced slavery through mass incarceration.
The point is that we have the same enemy and we have more in common and can only achieve our goals and meet our needs if, and to the degree, we unite and stay focused on our values and goals.
Regardless of how the black block of protesters or visible anarchists acted, the cops were still spoiling to falsely accuse and scapegoat, target, terrorize, attack, assault, arrest, and injure them. Cops still use the same tactic, as does the Portland mayor and corporate media, of divisive "good protester" vs "bad protester" or the meme that "all protesters are stupid, wrong, dangerous, bad, costing us taxpayers/customers, etc." Even if an actual protester or cop pretending to be a protester threw something, vandalized something, or slowed the cops from attacking or running over children and elderly or people with disabilities, it never excuses the use of riot gear and transport trucks, never excuses the use or threat of chemical weapons, impact weapons, noise weapons, or brain-damaging or mind-control weapons. It still never excuses the brutality of police when arresting someone. It still does not excuse trumped up charges. It still does not excuse the cops or mayor's or media's guilt.
The cops were inexcusably wrong to take the accessibility vehicle from the march, preventing children, senior citizens, and people with disabilities or short-term mobility challenges from getting back to Shemanski Park safely. The cops were wrong to show up in riot gear, wrong to ride the troop transport, wrong to threaten and use chemical weapons, impact weapons, sound weapons, and mind control weapons. The cops were wrong to hide their last names, title, employer. The cops were wrong to falsely label anything but their behavior as a riot. The cops and city were wrong to revoke the march permit. The cops were wrong to be violent. The cops were wrong to blame vandalism for the cops' violent and terrorist behavior. The cops were wrong to prevent folks from using the public transit. The cops were wrong to lie about malatov cocktails that were not present in the march or rally. The cops were wrong to rush at and threaten people when any grade school child or adult could have easily used a fire extinguisher to put out fires.
Perhaps the black block were correct to protect the people in the back of the march from violent attack and being run over by cops, by the protesters distracting and slowing cops with small impediments and fires, and redirecting weaponry and violence away from the children and others. The anarchists in black with covered faces (since there are others of us anarchists who were there not wearing black and having our faces clearly visible) were correct in recognizing that the cops were already planning to be violent and make an example scapegoating anarchists and putting protesters against protesters.
Older grade-school children know how to de-escalate tension, resolve conflicts, stop others from vandalizing, and nonviolently bring out the best in others. If people old enough to act like adults are not applying for cop jobs and/or unable to maintain common sense and self-regulation and moral conscience while in that cop culture, then maybe we should simply not hire them, and instead fire them and replace them and that culture with nonviolent citizens we can trust to make all people of our city safer.
Until then, I call on each of you readers to demand that the Portland City Council and mayor hold the cops and those making the orders and policies allowing that to be publicly known and to provide truth and reconciliation with reperations to all of us harmed by the police rioting. Immediately, we need to have each person wearing or using riot gear to have their name and ID prominently visible in white reflective tape : 3" high last name on their chest and upper back, 2" high on the upper arms/shoulders, 2" for their ID # on the top of their helmet and top front of their mask and shield, 2" high # on the outside of their boot ankles, and 1" high 4" down from the end of their night sticks/batons and on the top of their gun barrels. Meantime, we need to have the full names, title, jurisdiction/employer of each riot geared/dressed cop or mercenary posted online prior, during, and after the marches and rallies or riot cop employment.
We can also have citizens video incidents where the same behavior by civilians does not result in the heavy violent cop behavior, such as after Timbers and Blazers and UO/OSU games, Red Bull events, rock concerts, homecoming, Republican conventions, St. Patricks Day, etc. and when there are other crowds of people in the streets without permits and not harassed by cops, such as during the shopping cart Iditarod, zombie apocalypse, naughty Santas, Halloween, Rose Festival, naked bike ride, scavenger and clue hunts, etc.
We can also discuss appropriate and sanctioned behavior for protecting vulnerable people from armed violent threatening terrifying gangs behind them and surrounding them.
And the fact that the cops have just proven that there is no valid reason for paying for a march or parade permit, since the city unilaterally violates its contract and the police do not protect the people, and the Constitution bans governments within the US from abridging free speech.
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion