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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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
Trump Is Doing ‘Exactly What Hitler Did’ by Turning Ashli Babbitt Into a ‘Martyr for the Cause’ Journalist Warns
Donald Trump is taking a page out of Hitler’s playbook by sending a video message to the parents of Ashli Babbitt, praising the January 6 insurrectionist on her birthday.
That’s what journalist, attorney, and SiriusXM Progress host Dean Obeidallah is warning.
On Sunday a far right wing pundit released the video, in which Trump chillingly says: “There was no reason Ashli should have lost her life that day. We must all demand justice for Ashli and her family.”
Babbitt was shot and killed as she was trying to crawl through a broken window and break into the Speakers’ Lounge, just feet away from where members of Congress were hiding from the violent insurrectionists.
Obeidallah, along with many others, has expressed disgust at Trump’s message.
“Trump is making Ashli Babbitt into MAGA’s version of the Nazis’ Horst Wessel. He was killed in 1930 by Hitler’s political enemies,” Obeidallah says. “Hitler and Goebbels made him a martyr for the cause. It inspires the base to sacrifice their lives for the leader.”
Obeidallah adds that Trump “continues to make Ashli Babbitt a martyr for his cause because she was killed waging Trump’s coup. This is EXACTLY what Hitler did after his failed 1923 coup. He honored those killed in the coup attempt to inspire more people to wage violence on his behalf.
“Trump speaking to Ashli Babbitt’s family is a lesson Trump learned from Hitler,” he adds, showing proof:
Trump speaking to Ashli Babbitt’s family is a lesson Trump learned from Hitler. After Hitler’s 1923 failed coup he honored those killed waging his coup. Here’s Hitler speaking to widow of Nazi party member who died in coup. It’s from US Holocaust museum: https://t.co/7PPKoMADHC pic.twitter.com/US5y7eVWT4
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) October 11, 2021
Stephen Miller Blames ‘the Media’ for Trump Losing 59 Cases but Says ‘Alternate’ Electors Are Voting to ‘Certify’ Him
White House senior advisor Stephen Miller is blaming “the media” for President Donald Trump losing nearly 60 election cases in court, but says right now “alternate” electors are voting to “certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election.”
Miller, one of the most prominent white nationalists aside from the president working in the White House, appeared on Fox News Monday in his capacity as a “senior Trump campaign advisor,” something experts say at best draws questions of “the appearance of impropriety.”
“The only date in the Constitution is January 20, so we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election,” Miller said on “Fox & Friends.”
His claim that election was “fraudulent” is a lie. 86 judges across the country in 59 court cases – including at the U.S. Supreme Court – have refused to indulge the Trump team’s lies.
Miller continued to spread falsehoods, while Fox News hosts allowed him to do so unchallenged.
“As we speak,” he then said, “an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we are going to send those results to Congress.”
Stephen Miller on Fox & Friends says “an alternative” group of electors is also voting today:
“As we speak, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we are going to send those results to Congress.”pic.twitter.com/5kIkfsbOFw
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) December 14, 2020
The Trump campaign can send to Congress anything they like but without each state’s certification by the Secretary of State those documents are meaningless.
Miller also falsely claimed “the media” is to blame for the 59 court case losses.
Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, fresh off his “groveling” interview with President Trump on Sunday, continued to spread Trump’s lies about the election as he spoke with Miller.
But he finally confronted Miller with a few facts.
“Your legal team, in almost every state, 50 times, lost – some with Trump judges. So do you have the worst legal team who just don’t seem to be presenting a good case? Or [are] you just too late and this case should have been brought before the election?”
Miller crafted a remarkably dishonest attack on the whole of America’s judiciary in response.
“What you have to realize is the pressure from the corrupt corporate media to make everybody cave and bend is overwhelming,” he lied. “And so, yes, judges are caving. politicians are caving.”
He then uttered this dangerous call to action: “We need heroes to step up and do the right thing,” before spreading even more falsehoods.
Kilmeade: “Your legal team [has]… 50 times lost — some with Trump judges — so do you have the worst legal team who just don’t seem to be presenting a good case? Or you just too late in this case should have been brought before the election?”
Miller: [blames media for rulings] pic.twitter.com/BOLLlrBz7N
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) December 14, 2020
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