If this were an epic fantasy novel, this is the part where all hope is lost, the cause of goodness is doomed, despair overwhelms our brave heroes…and then, a shining silver army crests the hill, eagles swoop in, the evil fortress collapses, and the bad guys fall into lava-filled crevasses. Huzzah! Except this isn’t a fantasy novel, dammit.
Portland is the test case. This is where fascism is practicing its tactics.
A block west of Chapman Square, Pettibone and O’Shea bumped into a group of people who warned them that people in camouflage were driving around the area in unmarked minivans grabbing people off the street.
“So that was terrifying to hear,” Pettibone said.
They had barely made it half a block when an unmarked minivan pulled up in front of them.
“I see guys in camo,” O’Shea said. “Four or five of them pop out, open the door and it was just like, ‘Oh shit. I don’t know who you are or what you want with us.’”
Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. 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.
The tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force deployed on Portland city streets, as federal officials and President Donald Trump have said they plan to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that have lasted for more than six weeks.
Strange men in camo swooping in with unmarked civilian vehicles and hauling people away…where’s the transparency, due process, the goddamned justice? What’s to stop some Proud Boys or other paramilitary jagoffs doing the same thing? You know that they’re planning to spread this tactic to other cities next, and eventually, people getting picked up will be ‘disappeared’.
Perhaps you pin your hopes on the November elections. Just keep in mind that getting rid of Trump won’t instantly erase these people in power within the police and our terribly numerous federal offices that support monstrous thugs like those “police”. This is a new institution metastasizing and growing, and it won’t disappear even if you lop off the head.
No eagles. No shining elves. Get used to it.