Last night the end started

I really, really, really would rather not be right. But people are shocked, shocked to find that the Republicans plan to cut Social Security and Medicare.

This has been the GOP/Koch game plan for decades. They have repeatedly raided the trust fund (Social Security and Medicare would be perfectly solvent if they didn’t). They never worry about the deficit when it comes to giving tax breaks for billionaires, but OMG the “entitlements” must be cut because the “deficit” is out of control.

The time to stop this was before #45 was elected; before the Congress was handed over to the Republicans (and even with a Democratic House, they still put DINO Pelosi in charge so nothing’s changed there either); before federal courts were filled with unqualified, right-wing, appointed-for-life judges; before the GOP took over state legislatures and disenfranchised Black, Indigenous, Latiné, Asian, Muslim, women, and LGBTQ people though gerrymandering, voter ID laws, etc.

People keep reacting to what’s going on now like it’s new, or unprecedented, or unanticipated. This all happened deliberately while those very same people weren’t paying attention because they were comfortable, because their children weren’t getting slaughtered on the streets by police, because they didn’t tremble in terror for their lives when they heard a siren behind their vehicle.

I’ve been screaming since Reagan was elected. But no one was listening then and those same people aren’t listening now. (The people who are doing something about this weren’t alive when Reagan left office. They’re out in the streets every night risking their lives to fight against police brutality, white supremacy, and the Gestapo occupation.)

Nine years ago, I warned that we were at a tipping point. But no one listened to that, either.

“Last night the end started.
The only question: end of what?”

Excerpted from “March 10, 2011”.

More Misinformation

Even people who are coming out (recently) to the Portland Protests are posting a lot of misinformation. The perspective in this report is interesting. But, the information is accurate only to the extent of the limited view of someone who didn’t show up until the feds did. So, I offer corrections and clarifications from someone who has been paying attention for 62 days (that’s right, today is day 62), not the 25 days since the Feds arrived:

1) The protests are confined to a 2 block radius around the courthouse, and if you’re 4 blocks away, you can’t tell anything has been happening. There is nothing going on outside of that region, and Portland is functioning as normally as the Pandemic will allow. It is not burning, nor is it out of control.

If you’re within a several block radius of the (in)Justice Center/Federal Courthouse you may be aware of the protests because a) the police routinely shut down hundreds of blocks the downtown core meaning if you attempt to leave your home or business you could be arrested; b) people many blocks away report hearing (and being terrified of) the exploding munitions regularly used against the protesters by police and federal agents; c) people (residents and business) outside that two-block radius report their buildings are seriously impacted by teargas and its residue (especially since the Federal government apparently has an unlimited supply and releases obscene amounts every night).

2) The protesters are absolutely peaceful at the Protests that I have been part of, and with the exception of graffiti, are completely within their constitutional rights to protest. The protests involve singing, chanting, and have used “white walls” to block whites who are trying to disrupt or corrupt the protests. Yes, cursing is rather commonplace. More than ½ of the protesters are white. All are protesting for Black Lives Matter, although the entrance of the federal paramilitary force has brought out a lot of people, including myself, who are incensed at the use of unregulated federal force against law abiding citizen and against the will of the state and local governments.

It needs to be understood by those outside Portland (and Oregon) that the reason the protesters appear to be mostly white is because Oregon has only a very small percentage of Black people. However, there are also non-black POC on the front lines every day including Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and mixed race, white-appearing folks.

3) ALL of the protesters are wearing masks to minimize transmission of CoV-2. However, as at times there are 1000 or more of us, it is hard (though not impossible) to maintain social distancing. When the federal paramilitary force is deployed, it becomes impossible.

Often the protesters will remove their masks when they’re speaking to the group. These are always the photos you see in mainstream media, even though they put them back on when they’re done. However, it’s important to understand that except for gas masks, the majority of law enforcement agents do not wear masks. They also routinely pull masks off protesters to spray chemical agents in their faces. Cops/feds are using tear gas which makes people cough, vomit, and spit — in the middle of a pandemic transmitted through those means. When they arrest protesters, they’re deprived of their masks and taken to a jail which has no sanitation or other means to avoid the virus.

4. The Police responded unprovoked and were brutal, but nothing like the paramilitary force. There is a court order that forbids the police to use teargas. I was not there when it was just the police.

Nothing the federal agents are doing is worse than what the police were doing for more than a month before the feds showed up. The primary difference is court orders required the police to declare a riot (the temporary restraining order stated cops couldn’t use tear gas unless there was a riot, so the cops now routinely claim a riot is in process whether or not anyone is doing anything remotely like “rioting”) and the Feds don’t bother. The police were also required to warn people before firing tear gas which the Feds don’t do. Otherwise, there is no difference in their behavior. People are saying there is a difference because those people didn’t show up to be brutalized by the cops. They didn’t take offense until the Feds arrived. As I stated earlier, the Police were forced by civilian authorities to “warn” before attacking. But their attacks were no less brutal, unwarranted, or capricious.

5. At the protests I have attended, I did not witness any unlawfulness on the part of the protesters. Each time, the federal paramilitary personnel launched an apparently unprovoked attack. There have been no “riots.” The federal paramilitary force has had no training in crowd control, has no oversight, was not invited to Portland by local leadership, does not have any form of identification do not wear name badges, and wears military camo. They are heavily armed with flash-bang grenades, less-lethal bullets, pepper bullets, pepper spray and tear gas. They will pull goggles off of protesters and spray pepper spray into their eyes. They used a baton to beat a US Navy vet, broke his hand and sprayed pepper spray in his eyes because he asked why they weren’t honoring their vow to protect the constitution. During the assault, he stood still and did not resist until blinded by the pepper spray, he turned around and walked away. The “line of mothers” on Sunday was gassed and shot with less-lethal bullets for chanting Black Lives Matter. At least one was pregnant. A protester holding a sign up with both hands was shot in the head with a “non-lethal” bullet and will likely have permanent brain damage. While I have not personally seen this, there are videos of people being kidnapped into unmarked vans by the federal paramilitaries as they left the protests, held for a couple of days, interrogated, then released without charges or explanation. At this time, re-read my first two points. The protests are no threat to Portland and only encompass a 2 block area. They have been peaceful, with graffiti as the only illegal activity. They are well controlled and supported by a cross section of Portlanders. There is no reason for the federal government to be involved, and the excessive force being used appears to be nothing more than a political show of force against US Citizens by the Trump administration.

There have been riots every night. The police have rioted. The federal agents have rioted. The protesters have not rioted. They have been the victims of rioting on the part of “law enforcement” bullies.

All of the weapons listed as being used by the federal agents, also have been used by the police almost every single night until the feds showed up and took over. The police covered their names and hid their badge numbers. The police beat plenty of veterans (including women). But they were Black, Indigenous, and Latiné so the mainstream media didn’t find their stories worthy of coverage. A police “officer” jammed their club into the stomach of a pregnant woman early in the protests. Again, it wasn’t covered because she wasn’t white.

The protester listed as “holding up a sign” who will have permanent brain damage was holding a boom box over his head, not even a sign. He was playing music. But numerous people were shot in the head by police (in Portland and elsewhere around the country) before the Feds showed up.

6. About 3000 protesters showed up last night (July 21); all with masks, very well behaved. Certainly no chaos, no violence on the part of the protesters. I left at 10:30, the paramilitary attacked at 12:30. I spent an hour talking to the medics. They say they are being targeted by the paramilitary personnel. They are often the first to be shot at and tear gassed. When they try to help an injured protester, the paramilitary personnel throw flash-bangs and tear gas at them (they carry gas masks). One of them was beaten, dragged away from the injured person they were treating and arrested. They are from OHSU as well as Portland Fire.

Not only are the medics (and journalists and legal observers) being specifically attacked by police and federal agents, but their supplies are being destroyed. This would be a violation of international law (as would tear gas) if these troops were in another country. Let that sink in. If this were another country the behavior reported would be war crimes. The medics Dr. Roberts spoke with are volunteers from OHSU, but OHSU is not sending them out. Also, they are by no means the only medics on the ground.

7. The Elk statue was taken down by the Police to “protect” it, but the Elk statue was a favorite of the protesters because it was uncontroversial; so they got a blow-up elk and put it where the real statue used to stand. It’s sort of a rallying point.”
This should concern, if not terrify, all of us. This is an unidentified and unaccountable federal police presence attacking American citizens who are not violating any federal laws. This is literally how the “secret police” in other authoritarian regimes began. The comparison to the early stages of Nazi Germany is NOT AN EXAGGERATION anymore.

The Elk statue was taken down by the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), not the police, for its protection. Because this is Portland, the Elk statue has its own twitter account as does the “sacred” fence that once surrounded the (in)Justice center and now surrounds the federal courthouse.

We are not in the “early stages of Nazi Germany”. We are well past the early stages and in full on fascism. It may even be too late to stop, because this didn’t start with the federal occupation of Portland. It started with police brutality and violence against Black, Indigenous, and other non-white people across the country.

Silence is complacency. Please share this post. Please spread this information. Please get involved. Do not allow or condone this conduct by our federal government. I don’t care which political party you support, this is an affront to the U.S. Constitution and the founding principals of our nation.

Silence is not complacency it is collaboration and complicity.

And, it’s only an “affront to the U.S. Constitution” now that white people are also victims. Because Black, Indigenous, and other non-white people have been enduring this violence and brutality since before the Constitution was written and the “founding principals (sic) of our nation” are white supremacy, racism, and misogyny, all written into the U.S. Constitution before amended. Make no mistake, the “great again” that the GOP wants to return to is before all those amendments were ratified.

National Media Gets the Story Wrong

If you’re learning about what’s been going on in Portland, Oregon (or elsewhere in the U.S.) from the mainstream media, you have absolutely no idea.

On Twitter, someone asked if this is how the national media always operates? “Swoops in, gets the story wrong, pats itself on the back, leaves the city upset, and the national audience polarized?”

My response was, TBH, yes.

I worked for small local papers across U.S. in the late ’70s and early ’80s and repeatedly saw the same thing happen, then.

I still remember standing next to a UPI reporter at a press conference outside a coal mine where miners had died because of company negligence.

When I returned to the newsroom and saw what that reporter written come over the wire, I wondered where the hell he’d been. I saw him standing next to me, but what he wrote bore no resemblance to what I saw or heard.

The same thing is happening today, only now we have multiple video records that repute the mainstream media narrative (and in that I include the “local” television stations and newspaper that are owned by mega corps and have no actual stake here).

If you watch the videos produced by the independent journalists and the reporters for the Portland Mercury, Willamette Week,, Street Roots, etc. you will see a completely different story than you’ll find in the mainstream media. The latter parrots police lies and lets the mayor stage a campaign stunt about how awful the federal troops invading the city are while ignoring the local media attempts to get him to answer for the fact the there is nothing those troops have done (so far) that local cops weren’t already doing (and still do occasionally).

So before you draw any conclusions about the protesters, watch a few minutes of videos showing soldiers firing tear gas canisters, flash bang grenades, and various impact weapons at a line of Moms linking arms, standing in the street, chanting “Black Lives Matter”. And, remember that the mainstream media (and the administration) are editing that video to show you what they want you to see.

The people in the street are fighting for your right to not live in a fascist state. Why aren’t you out there with them (or at least sending money and supplies to support them)?

Helping from Home

Yesterday, in commenting on a Facebook post about protests in Seattle — where the cops apparently are competing with Portland police to see who can be named the most brutal, vicious, and unlawful police department in the U.S. — I listed some of the things people who are unable to attend protests can do. I thought it might be useful information to those who wouldn’t see it there.

I very much understand wanting to be in the fight, but not being physically and/or medically capable of taking the abuse being meted out by police in cities all across the country. So, what can you do?

Write letters, make phone calls, and “chivvy” every elected official you can (frankly, I’m not convinced there will be an election in November, but if those officials believe there will be they might actually take helpful action).

Donate. In Portland, the cops here have stolen and thrown away food, sanitizers, masks, and medical equipment used to support the protesters. Money, food, supplies, sanitizers, helmets, masks (both to prevent viral spread and gas masks to protect against tear gas) are always welcome. Most of these guys who are out there feeding and helping people (not just protesters, but the homeless who are getting caught in the crossfire) have donation information on their twitter bios. And, if you can, donate to the local independent journalists who are making this information isn’t buried by mainstream media, businesses, and politicians.

Harass those who are supporting the occupying troops (hotels where they’re staying, enterprises that are renting them vehicles, fencing contractors, restaurants, etc.) and supplying military weaponry to civilian police forces. Even if you think you don’t do business with these corporations, many own other entities which you can stop patronizing.

Provide online support. I’m homebound too. But, I’m on Twitter every night (under aliases), watching the live streams, cross posting information so it gets to people who need it, answering questions, promoting events, sharing security/safety information, supporting the folks who are on the streets in every way I can.

Be aware that offering protest support via Twitter (or any other platform), actually takes a lot of time, research, and emotional energy, especially if you don’t already have connections with those who are protesting and/or the resources they need. You will have to study the players. Learn who provides reliable information and who needs it but isn’t getting it.

If you’re white, liberal, and/or someone who’s not been on the front lines in the past, you have to be especially careful who you share information with and how you share it. You have to be prepared for, learn how to distinguish between, and deal with, the trolls, bots, sea lions, and those who are educatable because all of them will come at you.

And, you have to be able to accept (and probably see photos and/or video of) the extreme violence being meted out against people attempting to exercise their Constitutional rights. (But, don’t share it without a content/trigger warning.)

BTW, if you’ve read statements along the lines of protests have stopped or calmed down except in … know that’s a lie perpetuated by self-serving media. For evidence, check out the Police Brutality Mega-Thread 2020 on Twitter compiled by T. Greg Doucette. Portland police are featured frequently, but there are more an 800 examples of police and Federal troops attacking civilians everywhere in the U.S. and additional footage is added every day. (CW warning for war zone footage from U.S. cities.)

The revolution will not be broadcast, but it will be tweeted and live streamed.

Rotten Apples

People still keep saying a “few bad apples”, forgetting it figuratively and literally only takes one bad apple to spoil an entire barrel.

There are no “good” cops. Because if there were, they would report and testify against the “few” bad cops. They don’t. They work to make sure those “few bad apples” are protected from prosecution. On the rare occasion they are punished, that information is deliberately hidden from the public, any settlements with their victims are paid by taxpayers not the offenders, and because the information is hidden those “bad apples” get a job in another jurisdiction.

Policing is historically a white supremacist institution. It evolved from slave patrols and the Pinkerton security guards hired to protect rich people’s property and beat immigrant workers into submission. Much of our criminal code was written specifically to put Black and other people of color in prison where they could be used as slave labor.

The “War On Drugs”, for just one example, was specifically invented to imprison Black people and Hippies. But, white folks with money (and/or medical insurance) can always get drugs and rarely, if ever, get arrested for using them.

In reality, the entire carceral system, the for-profit prison pipeline, the criminal code, etc. need to be abolished for Black Lives to Matter in this country. Police reform has been tried. Reform does not work. The only way to address the white supremacy on which this country was founded is to abolish the carceral state and start over.

Our local paper prints the police logs. Lately, I’ve been reading them and checking off all the ways the calls could be handled better if anyone other than armed police had answered them: mental health professionals, mediators, social workers, traffic safety patrol, etc.

Even larger crimes, are not stopped or solved by the police for the most part. They show up after the fact and file a report. The evidence is gathered by evidence technicians and forensic specialists. The cops don’t “investigate” anything. They constantly post notices that are “asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect from …” or “looking for information about …”

I’ve watched livestreams of the protests in Portland for the last six weeks. Every single time, the protesters (kids, most of them) are at worst mischievous (moving fences around, painting court and police buildings with graffiti, throwing dildos, pig food, and water bottles at cops). But most of the time, they’re listening to speeches, chanting, eating, and dancing.

Then the cops come out and attack them, shooting “less than lethal” weapons directly at them (including at their heads); pulling their masks down and spraying pepper in their eyes and mouths; beating them with batons and their fists; throwing them onto concrete curbs with enough force to break bones including spines and skulls.

The cops fill the streets with tear gas (a weapon banned for use against civilians in other countries) which makes people cough (during a pandemic), cry, vomit, etc. Tear gas can result in long-term major health problems, but the cops are filling the homes, offices, and cars of nearby residents and employees with that gas, and spraying it into cars that just happen to be driving by.

It also should be noted that most of the protesters wear their masks most of the time (and there are no indications the protests are causing community spread) while many of the cops refuse to wear masks.

The cops attack people who are obeying the orders they just gave. The cops have been photographed slashing the tires of those who are just there to feed others, throwing away food that was being donated to feed the hungry and homeless (who are also suffering from being tear gassed while they sleep), and stealing the supplies that volunteers were using to keep people safe including hand sanitizer and masks.

Every night the cops ignore court orders, police bureau policies and procedures, and the law itself including violating rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. They operate as if they were the Gestapo, specifically attacking reporters and legal observers, knocking cameras out of people’s hands or spraying paint on them to avoid being photographed and filmed. They cover their badge numbers and refuse to wear name tags so they can’t be identified. They have arrested people just for calling out their names (because they recognized them from previous encounters). They will fight (and have always fought) against reform. They must be eliminated or no one who is Black, Indigenous, Latiné, Asian, Muslim, female, or LGBTQ+ will ever be safe.

Portland Under Occupation

Thanks to the “violent anarchist” ravings of the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security appointed by the Fascist in the White House, the so-called mainstream media has discovered that Portland is under occupation.

Hostile federal government troops have joined the local police in beating, tear gassing, kidnapping, and arresting protesters, reporters, legal observers, non-profit groups working to feed the hungry and houseless, and random passers by.

Headed to Portland. Going to sort out what in the world is happening there...As someone who worked as a reporter for local newspapers (back in the days before google and cell phones), who watched national media pervert, steal, and twist local stories, I can guarantee the national media won’t “sort out” what’s happening here.

They’ll come in with the prejudices of outsiders who’ve listened to government lies and they will become part of the problem. (Associated Press has already messed up last night’s story by conflating two separate events, miles apart, into one.)

Meanwhile, the local reporters who have risked their lives every night for very little (if any) compensation to document the #PoliceViolence have had their videos and words stolen by mainstream media that twists the facts to satisfy their corporate masters.

Anyone who wants to come to Portland to cover what’s going on, needs to reach out to the local reporters who’ve been on the ground in the occupied war zone that’s now Portland, to learn truths before they attempt to write about it. Be sure to bring your gas mask.