Hours after @VICENews
announced interview with army veteran Michael Reinoehl, where he made his case that he acted in self-defense against violent far-Right protesters invading #Portland
- Reinoehl was killed by a U.S. Marshals task force outside #Olympia
On Aug 29th, hundreds of highly armed Trump/far-Right groups converged outside of #Portland
and decided to go into the Downtown. Attendees were encouraged to conceal carry firearms. Police allowed the caravan into #Portland
, focused on counter-protesters. https://twitter.com/ByMikeBaker/status/1299887424152068096?s=20
Patriot Prayer rally attendees have also gone on to carry out acts of murder, such as Jeremy Christian, who killed two people on a train and critically wounded a third after they attempted to stop him from harassing two young Black women with anti-Muslim abuse.
Patriot Prayer leader, Joey Gibson, also has a history of working directly with the former #Portland
police chief. This relationship saw police giving Gibson information about anti-racist protesters + warning him of possible arrests against his followers. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/15/joey-gibson-portland-police-relationship-cooperation-text-messages
Gibson and his followers are obsessed with attacking anything they see as representing "ANTIFA," going so far as to attempt to assault @DemSocialists
members at meetings + many suspect, vandalize an IWW union hall. https://itsgoingdown.org/were-gonna-hurt-you-inside-joey-gibsons-escalation-of-violence/
On May 1st 2019, members of Patriot Prayer attacked patrons outside of 'Cider Riot,' a bar known from holding left-wing benefits shows + events. Evidence has since been brought to light that may implicate Gibson in the attack + he faces charges. https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2019/08/22/27017873/new-evidence-shows-joey-gibsons-role-in-planning-may-day-attack-at-cider-riot
An undercover liberal ex-vet soon released a report on the group which showed them coordinating with far-Right troll Andy Ngo. "Ngo doesn’t film Patriot Prayer protesters...There’s an understanding that Patriot Prayer protects him and he protects them.” https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2019/08/26/27039560/undercover-in-patriot-prayer-insights-from-a-vancouver-democrat-whos-been-working-against-the-far-right-group-from-the-inside
In Aug of 2019, Patriot Prayer supporters teamed up with the Proud Boys, one of the groups which fought in Charlottesville, to hold a rally in #Portland
. In the build up to the rally, leaders openly talked of violence and murder; receiving FBI visits. https://itsgoingdown.org/proud-boy-leaders-tone-down-after-fbi/
While this was going on, leading members of Patriot Prayer and the local Proud Boys were also carrying out a string of random beatings and attacks against members of the public. Many of these acts of violence are connected to Tiny Toese. https://www.opb.org/article/2020/08/29/proud-boy-tusitala-tiny-toese-arrested-in-clark-county/
Portland's Liberation, headed by a close friend of Joey Gibson, Haley Adams - sort of an island of unwanted Patriot Prayer's toys - have also begun to organize, while being very open that want to engage in acts of violence and murder against their enemies. https://itsgoingdown.org/headshot-antifa-scum-joey-gibson-associates-escalate-calls-for-violence-following-murder-of-portland-anarchist/
Over the years, Joey Gibson and others have become both obsessed with coming into #Portland
to attack those that live there, as well as depend on producing content out of these clashes to feed his hungry fans. https://itsgoingdown.org/joey-gibson-calls-portland-a-disgusting-dark-city-and-a-laughing-stock-after-goons-carry-out-string-of-violent-assaults/
It's this same desire to attack people in #Portland
as a whole, that fed into the drive of hundreds of Trump supporters on August 29th to caravan into Portland where they attacked people on the street with paintball guns, mace, and other weapons. https://twitter.com/TheRealCoryElia/status/1299908378810957825
Bike Portland wrote: "As they powered through the streets, some of them sprayed bear mace and shot paintball guns indiscriminately on people in the street...Huge trucks barreling through an intersection...as people try to slow them down,,,a bicycle under the wheels of a car..."
"Portland Police Bureau failed to protect us from it. There were only a few arrests made and the PPB didn’t intervene strongly until after the caravan left. These people used their vehicles as weapons to terrorize Portlanders and they faced no repercussions for doing so."
"White Trump supporters are treated with kid gloves while anti-fascist, BLM protestors are subdued by any means necessary. If Chief Lovell + Mayor Wheeler can’t protect us from these armed, out-of-town, roving marauders in massive, lifted 4x4s they are not fit to do their jobs."
During this mass armed invasion, Reindoehl stated to @VICE
that he "went to aid a friend surrounded by trucks laden with armed Trump [supporters]." He found himself in a confrontation with a man who he says threatened him + another protester with a knife.
"He said at the time of the confrontation and the shooting, there were no police present to help. “There was definitely nobody in sight, no police officer, nobody at all that could intervene. It was a free-for-all. And the police were letting it happen,” he said."
Around 7pm this evening, right around when Trump was tweeting asking why Reinoehl had not yet been arrested, a U.S. Marshals task converged on the home where Reinoehl was staying at and soon Reinoehl was dead. https://www.theolympian.com/news/local/crime/article245485220.html
Trump, many Republicans, Tucker Carlson - + other leading figures on the Right have praised + defended Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17 year-old Trump + Blue Live Matter militia member who traveled to Kenosha and ended up killing two people - claiming that he acted in self-defense.
For Trump and his followers, both Kyle's drive to engage in armed vigilantism as well as kill two people that tried to stop him from hurting others - was totally justified.
On the other hand, they argue that the actions of Michael Forest Reinoehl, who claims he was acting in self-defense to save his friend from an attack against far-Right Trump supporters, who for hours had been attacking members of the public - was not self-defense, but murder.
Both Trump and his supporters are signalling something very basic to everyone else in the run up to the 2020 election: both that they have a license to kill - + that only they can defend themselves.
This reality is compounded by national media outlets from @VICE
to the NYT, which parachutes into moments of revolt to solidify a neoliberal narrative + then dips - not covering that there has been a continuous escalation of far-Right violent and attacks.
Just in the last several weeks, people on the far-Right and Trump supporters in #Portland
are suspected to have carried out two attempted pipe-bomb attacks, one drive by shooting, and also pulled out guns on counter-protesters during a large scale rally. https://www.opb.org/article/2020/08/19/explosive-portland-protest-navy-seal-fbi-investigation/
Meanwhile, Trump and Bill Barr play up conspiracy theories of 'ANTIFA' and Black Lives Matter; repeating verbatim the same talking points of the far-Right: that the "real fascists" are movements from below that threaten to disrupt capital + the status-quo. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/g5pmzy/attorney-general-william-barr-thinks-back-lives-matter-is-fascistic-like-the-bolsheviks
Yet 'legacy' media remains stuck ala Charlottesville, on the idea that violence is being escalated on "both sides." This obvious literally overlooks basic reality: over the past few months the real violence has come from the State + far-Right vigilantes. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/white-vigilantes-kenosha_n_5f4822bcc5b6cf66b2b5103e
At the same time, both corporate parties and the mainstream media rush to put down the ongoing Black led rebellion that has erupted since the police murder of #GeorgeFloyd
and which have only grown and continued in the face of continuous police brutality, terror, and killings.
The Republicans see this as an opportunity to distract from the fact that the US is falling apart and over 187K people have died from #Covid_19
. From the bully pulpit, Trump, like the riot police of Kenosha, hopes to deputize his base to solidify power. https://theintercept.com/2020/06/19/militia-vigilantes-police-brutality-protests/
The Democrats on the other hand, know that they have the "anybody but Trump" vote on lock and can attack the rebellion while still attempting to ride the wave of energy and anger created by it. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/02/us/politics/biden-ads-trump.html
Meanwhile mass media continues to view the ongoing protests as somehow the creation of "outside agitators" instead of the organic explosion of anger from young people who have lived through nothing but war, austerity, and police occupation.
The ruling class is terrified of the exploited and excluded coming to understand themselves on their own terms; in terms of a class apart from those that rule and own the country; to understand that we have separate interests from theirs.
Against this they have two powerful tools. First is the power of the police, the prisons, the border guards, the detention centers, and the entire network of domination, imprisonment, surveillance, and repression. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/06/police-violence-protests-us-george-floyd
Second are those on the far-Right; those who are literally obsessed with Trump declaring a "civil war" that would allow them to begin to engage in the violence and blood-lust they have been fantasizing about for years.
While the future looks grim, we reject the vision of the far-Right of a future in which the State pits one section of the population against the other.
If social movements from Standing Rock to the West Virginia Teacher's strike have shown us anything - it's that we have power when we strike and act together. We need to continue to find ways of organizing ourselves + expressing that power collectively. Our lives depend on it.
Reinoehl stated "he had not turned himself in because he believed right-wing protesters were collaborating with police, who will not protect him or his family." His fears match documented reality. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/hidden-plain-sight-racism-white-supremacy-and-far-right-militancy-law
Report from WaPo states that "4 police from 3 local agencies fired first. No mention of Reinoehl firing gun." https://twitter.com/arunindy/status/1301781369597521920?s=20
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