-Reporting from San Francisco-
So, it has come to this.
Unidentified Department of Homeland Security goons openly blackbagging American citizens in the streets of Portland.
You’d think they would’ve at least shown some awareness of the usual niceties observed by secret police the world over, from the KGB to the Chicago PD, and used the time-honored tactic of the 2AM knock on the door. Maybe the pigs, assuming these are of the federal variety that’s totally unprepared for riot duty and not a bunch of mercenary scumbags or deputized right wing gun nuts who swore their private arsenal was intended for stopping this exact scenario, felt the middle of the night knock on the door just wasn’t AMERICAN enough. Nothing says Mom, Apple Pie, and Baseball like unmarked vans stuffed with Border Patrol legbreakers in their favourite SS cosplay kidnapping people off the street who, of course, answer to a miserable fucker named Chad Wolf.
I wish I was making that last part up but 2020 seems to have blown the budget on special effects, leaving the writers to make due with some half-eaten pencils, pushpins, and more bundles of red yarn than Alex Jones. Nothing better proves this than the regime’s cartoonish decision to name this totally unaccountable federal Frankenstein’s Monster PACT, short for the Protecting American Communities Task Force. Orwell’s corpse must be vomiting itself inside out by now.
None of these clear signs of the painfully slapdash nature of this repression diminishes the cruel reality of what is happening in Oregon. Federal agents, in a totally unprecedented move, have been unleashed on the people of Portland to stalk, arrest, and disappear all for the crime of protesting police brutality.
“Well, we are – we welcome – the more investigations, the better. With as much lawbreaking is going on, we’re seeking to prosecute as many people as are breaking the law as it relates to federal jurisdiction. That’s not always happening with respect to local jurisdiction and local offences. But, you know, this is a posture we intend to continue not just in Portland but in any of the facilities that we’re responsible for around the country.”
Anyone expecting these horrors to crawl back in Pandora’s box after all the ballots are counted, assuming the present government actually accepts defeat, needs to wake the fuck up and smell the apocalypse.
This move is a dangerous escalation on the part of the Trump Regime. Such open terrorism by the Black and Tans in the Border Patrol who cut their teeth smashing emergency supplies in the desert and running concentration camps for babies is a clear and present danger to every single person under the Badly Tanned Babyman’s authority. Anyone hoping this might be a brief aberration awaiting dismissal by judicial ruling is clearly ignoring how blatantly unconstitutionally fascist PACT is. A return to normalcy, a fever dream at best in this Mad Max year, is Not Gonna Happen. Even so, the fact that Barr and Wolf hurled this ramshackle force into the fray is an implicit admission of weakness.
Police in the United States have, for the last several weeks, been pushed to their limit by the endless wave of uprisings rocking the country. Every major city has seen constant, daily demonstrations punctuated by some truly justified acts of property destruction. Labor unions have launched an unprecedented series of strikes ranging from hundreds of small wildcats to union-wide actions by the autoworkers, longshore union, AFT, SEIU, and Teamsters. Even the Mad Men suburbs and Normal Rockwell small towns have been getting in on the fun, with mass direct actions rippling across normally apolitically apathetic bedroom communities and ostensibly conservative enclaves. Normally American pigs can expect support from nearby police departments and federal agencies as shown in cases like Baltimore and Ferguson. Even their usual extreme of pulling out the Blue Flu has mostly left everyone asking the cops for their doctor’s notes.
2020 has, of course, been anything but normal.
Instead of having the freedom to deploy overwhelming force the pigs are recklessly lashing out everywhere, inadvertently making the police abolitionists’ arguments for them simply by doing their thing. Reports have filtered in from places like Seattle of prison guards being called in to fill out riot lines already depleted by COVID-19 just as departments are reporting growing numbers of cops handing in their badges. These clear signs of depleted capacity are made impossible to ignore by further evidence that being a fascist pig just isn’t as enticing as it used to be, shrinking their usually swollen ranks of potential recruits. Even the COVID-imposed health necessity of wearing masks is working against these Mukhabarat in the making, throwing a massive wrench into billions of dollars in DHS facial recognition systems. They also, contrary to their brainworm-induced expectations of an easy victory, are facing a surprising amount of backlash.
It seems the choice of U-Hauls and cheap rentals was not a well-considered one. Perhaps there was a reason that most other secret police prefer the midnight knock approach. It would’ve certainly forestalled the sudden, somewhat unexpected surge of mainstream press outlets realizing secret police running amok is a Very Bad Thing for anyone that is even mildly critical of the Narcissist in Chief. It may have also prevented the sudden, incredibly blunt and surprisingly courageous demands of both the Mayor of Portland and the Governor of Oregon for the unwanted federal swine to GTFO. Instead they now have a flashpoint, a lot of angry people, and an open-ended commitment to meet with, at best, 120,000 federal officials including Smokey the Bear to pick up the slack.
Who knows what could happen next. It is still within the realm of possibility this brutish display of raw force will somehow quell the growing rage in the streets of America but I doubt that’s likely. People are angry, desperate, and, most importantly, know the pigs are not invincible. If the movement refuses to be cowed, stays in the streets, and fights on against a clearly impotent pack of MBAs then this single-city Judge Dredd road test will crash and burn before it hits the highway.
The alternative is boot stamping everyone flat from now until the heat death of the universe.