Federal law enforcement agents using unmarked, rented vans are grabbing and “detaining” random protestors from the streets of Portland, Oregon, in an unprecedented and legally-questionably move. One demonstrator described his experience in great detail. Later, the Dept. of Homeland Security denied arresting or even detaining the man.
“Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14,” Oregon Public Broadcasting‘s Jonathan Levinson and Conrad Wilson report. “Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off.”
“Officers from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC, have been sent to Portland to protect federal property during the recent protests against racism and police brutality,” Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) reports.
Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC unit is a group of elite tactical agents that “acts essentially as the SWAT team of the Border Patrol,” as The New York Times reported back in February. President Donald Trump, the week after his impeachment trial in the Senate failed, sent BORTAC units to at least eight major U.S. sanctuary cities to round up and arrest undocumented immigrants.
Mark Pettibone and Conner O’Shea described to OPB their experience with federal agents on the streets of Portland.
“Feds are driving around, grabbing people off the streets,” O’Shea says in a video he shot which was provided to OPB. “I didn’t do anything fucking wrong. I’m recording this. I had to let somebody know that this is what happens.”
“I am basically tossed into the van,” Pettibone told OPB. “And I had my beanie pulled over my face so I couldn’t see and they held my hands over my head.”
Blinded by his hat, in an unmarked minivan full of armed people dressed in camouflage and body armor who hadn’t identified themselves, Pettibone said he was driven around downtown before being unloaded inside a building. He wouldn’t learn until after his release that he had been inside the federal courthouse.
Federal law enforcement denied to OPB Pettibone was arrested or detained.
“All United States Marshals Service arrestees have public records of arrest documenting their charges. Our agency did not arrest or detain Mark James Pettibone.”
The Dept. of Homeland Security refused to respond to any of OPB’s questions on Pettibone’s arrest.
“It’s like stop and frisk meets Guantanamo Bay,” attorney Juan Chavez, director of the civil rights project at the Oregon Justice Resource Center, told OPB.
“You have laws regarding probable cause that can lead to arrests,” he said. “It sounds more like abduction. It sounds like they’re kidnapping people off the streets.”
Read Oregon Public Broadcasting’s entire report here.
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Draft Memo Reveals Trump Had Plan to Order Defense Secretary to Seize Voting Machines
A draft executive order obtained by the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack reveals President Donald Trump had a plan, which he did not enact, to order the Secretary of Defense to seize voting machines in an attempt to stay in power after the January 20, 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden.
There was also a plan for Trump to deliver a speech titled “Remarks on National Healing.”
“I hereby order,” reads the draft executive order, dated December 16, 2020 and published Friday by Politico. “Effective immediately, the Secretary of Defense shall seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention,” citing a federal law.
Politico adds that “the draft order would have given the defense secretary 60 days to write an assessment of the 2020 election. That suggests it could have been a gambit to keep Trump in power until at least mid-February of 2021.”
The author of the executive order is unknown, with at least one expert suggesting it was likely written by someone outside the administration.
This is a breaking news and developing story. This article has been updated.
Trump Supporters Have New ‘Ambitious Plan’ to Have Loyalists Oversee Elections Across America: Report
Donald Trump and his supporters are enacting an “ambitious plan” to place loyalists in key positions overseeing elections after his unsuccessful efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which was won by Joe Biden.
“In Michigan, local GOP leaders have sought to reshape election canvassing boards by appointing members who expressed sympathy for former president Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 vote was rigged. In two Pennsylvania communities, candidates who embraced election fraud allegations won races this month to become local voting judges and inspectors,” The Washington Post reported Monday. “And in Colorado, 2020 doubters are urging their followers on conservative social media platforms to apply for jobs in election offices.”
The report comes as Trump continues to push his “Big Lie” of election fraud, releasing a Sunday statement falsely claiming the “2020 Election was rigged and stolen.”
“Citing the need to make elections more secure, Trump allies are also seeking to replace officials across the nation, including volunteer poll watchers, paid precinct judges, elected county clerks and state attorneys general, according to state and local officials, as well as rally speeches, social media posts and campaign appearances by those seeking the positions,” the newspaper reported. “If they succeed, Trump and his allies could pull down some of the guardrails that prevented him from overturning Biden’s win by creating openings to challenge the results next time, election officials and watchdog groups say.”
There are QAnon-linked candidates running for secretary of state to oversee elections, including Rachel Hamm in California, Jim Marchant in Nevada, Kristina Karamo in Michigan, Mark Finchem in Arizona, and Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) in Georgia.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) warned how the focus has shifted from overturning the last election to overturning future elections.
“The attacks right now are no longer about 2020,” Griswold explained. “They’re about 2022 and 2024. It’s about chipping away at confidence and chipping away at the reality of safe and secure elections. And the next time there’s a close election, it will be easier to achieve their goals. That’s what this is all about.”
Read the full report.
Watch: Right Wing Voters Pledge Allegiance to Flag From Jan. 6 at Bannon-Hosted GOP Rally
She backed a different Republican candidate for governor of Virginia earlier this year but pro-Trump “folk hero” and GOP activist Martha Boneta was on stage Wednesday night to emcee a rally for far right Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin, and other GOP candidates.
The highlight of the evening was supposed to be when Donald Trump called in to motivate supporters at the Steve Bannon-led event, but it appears the crowd was quite taken with a flag Boneta said “was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald Trump on January 6,” and they pledged allegiance to it.
It’s unclear if that “peaceful rally” was the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol that has already resulted in about 650 arrests, or the insurrection incitement rally where Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Rep. Mo Brooks, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Katrina Pierson, Amy Kremer, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Donald Trump Jr., Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, all “riled up the crowd at the now-infamous ‘Stop the Steal’ rally,” that led to the insurrection.
Wednesday night Trump told the crowd, “We won in 2016. We won in 2020 — the most corrupt election in the history of our country, probably one of the most corrupt anywhere. But we’re gonna win it again.”
Here’s how the conservative crowd responded when the flag, now a “talisman” as some are commenting, was trotted out as a revered symbol of insurrection:
At the rally last night for GOP VA Gov candidate Glenn Youngkin, they said the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ to a flag that was carried during the insurrection on Jan 6, as if it was sacred or something. pic.twitter.com/NGEaFFAvdF
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) October 14, 2021
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe did not hold back in condemning the “pledge”:
Glenn Youngkin was endorsed again tonight by Donald Trump at a rally where attendees pledged allegiance to a flag flown at the deadly January 6th insurrection. Beyond disturbing, this is sick. And Glenn is honored to have Trump’s endorsement.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) October 14, 2021
On social media some commented on the disturbing symbolism, including the parallels to Nazi Germany:
Not too go all Nazi, but that’s what Hitler did with what became known as the Bloody Flag. It had been carried during the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich and was later used in Nazi rallies and ceremonies where people would line up to be touched by it. pic.twitter.com/UiiG2AXoEh
— Hey, Dave! (@davegreenidge57) October 14, 2021
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 14, 2021
Flags are, of course, a fetish, like Crucifixes and Golden Calves, and like religion, patriotism is a tool which demagogues use to manipulate the masses.
And the more sacred such talismans are proclaimed the more venerated they will be.
— Michael D Kerrigan 🇮🇪 (@MichelDKerrigan) October 14, 2021
How quickly “How dare Colin Kaepernick disgrace Old Glory!” became “Let’s celebrate the mass assault on and multiple deaths of cops!” https://t.co/st1NB46hoy
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) October 14, 2021
What would you say if you saw it in another country? https://t.co/xgMzjVKyhP
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) October 14, 2021
Oh good, now we’ve reached the “Blutfahne” part of the program. (We’ve already covered the “Horst Wessel” part with Ashli Babbitt).
What the fuck is it going to take to make people realize this is ALL a repeat of late 20s/early 30s Germany?!
— Medium Historian At Large (@one0nine) October 14, 2021
The Blutfahne or Blood Flag, is a Nazi Party swastika flag that was carried during the attempted coup d’etat Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, Germany on 9 November 1923, during which it became soaked in the blood of one of the SA men who died.https://t.co/53Zdhq7KSI
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) October 14, 2021
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