1. DanDare says

    The mayor should join the protestors again, and bring the higher ranks of the police, and all join the “feds go home” chant.

  2. wzrd1 says

    @robro, I’m dubious on that one, as an officer is an employee of the federal government, in federal government concerns. Ran into some walls while I was contracting, but acting in an officer position that were legally insurmountable and had to go to my superior that was a government officer to get some regulations and policies passed.
    Contractors cannot act as officers of the federal government. At all. Ever. Per federal law, the government must hire an employee to be said officer, with specific legal powers.
    In short, arresting someone or even detaining them and transporting them is, by law, kidnapping if said individual doing the detaining or arresting isn’t an officer of the federal government. Of course, state laws vary and frankly, I’ve neither the time, nor inclination to research 50 states and various territorial laws for those, as federal operates exclusively under federal law, which some officers have, on camera wiped their asses with.

    As for joining the protestors, grand idea, alas, I’m on the other end of the continent. I could and have happily sat in a “gas chamber” for “protective mask confidence training” (don’t blame me, that’s the official term), smoking a cigarette and maskless. CS has only an annoyance factor for me, largely due to repeated exposure and operational needs.
    But, if the lawless enforcement officers offend, don’t expect me to leave their boot laces tied and more, tied to the opposing foot.
    Tying the laces is simpler than convincing them into a finger trap puzzle that they’d never comprehend… ;)

  3. stroppy says

    hmm. I think the article ( @2 ) is worth a close look and the topic explored– starting with the intergovernmental agreement mentioned there. I haven’t gone too deeply into it, but it looks like the private security hired by FPS, if not officers, are agents of the FPS and have the power to arrest. However while “trained” by the FPS in crowd control among other things, it seems they are intended for fixed post duty, and not for roaming around doing who knows what.

    This all shouldn’t be too surprising, Repubs want to privatize everything from prisons to the Presidency, and there’s a long history of pushing boundaries and using motivated reasoning in order to reinterpret the law in whatever ways will let power-trippers get away with whatever their minds can spawn.

    Just as an aside, maybe not relevant, but even shopping mall security guards can detain people… for that matter even your average Joe Schmo can make a citizens arrest under the right circumstances.

  4. says

    One wonders what might happen if the “peaceful barrier” consisted of a line of middle-aged white guys sitting on folding beach chairs, sipping iced tea and reading. Of course, it would need to be a selection of subversive literature like 1984, It Can’t Happen Here, Cien años de soledad, Maus, and Go Tell It on the Mountain (The Fire Next Time is just a bit too on point), and it would all have to be in English translations because these clowns are so ‘murikan that they can’t read anything except ‘murikan English and therefore wouldn’t be quite taunted enough.

    Just how much of a threat to a federal courthouse is a bunch of white guys reading? OK, perhaps far too much threat for this Administration, but still…

  5. says

    @4: Stroppy, private forces do not have the authority to arrest on behalf of the government. They may — if the delegations are proper and in writing — have the authority to detain until a proper arresting authority shows up. That may not seem to make a lot of difference, and be hypertechnical, but it matters (a lot) during any later proceedings… whether those proceedings are for purported “criminal trespass” or for “false arrest” (since there wasn’t an arrest, only a detention, the government and its actual officers — not “police officers,” that’s an American misnomer inconsistent with international law and the law of armed conflict — can’t be found liable).

  6. wzrd1 says

    @PZ, my apologies for the other day. Was feeling out of sorts, think my thyroid medication needs to be adjusted, both from that and my blood pressure/pulse rate. I’ll try to do better.
    That was outright wrong, the side of me that I try my best to keep locked up.
    I’ve actually made that threat to a terrorist, but had absolutely no inclination for that to leave that interpersonal interaction.
    It isn’t what you would do that counts, it’s what the other SOB thinks that you might do that counts. Being a father and grandfather, that just would never happen. But, I was just reading the latest Trump terrorism outrage and was still irritated, it was late for me and well, just out of sorts.
    Watching my activity today, as I’m still out of sorts in a different way, so hyperthyroid “irritability” will be high.
    If I foul up, kindly give me a swift kick in the ass to remind me which way is up – again!

  7. jrkrideau says

    @4 Stroppy
    Repubs want to privatize everything
    They have never read Machiavelli.

  8. robro says

    wzrd1 @ #3 — First, I said “reports” because I assume any claim in the media like this could be wrong. So, I’m dubious too, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    “Detain” vs “arrest” seem like a fine hair to split. I’m confident there are some actual Federal enforcers along with the contractors to do any actual arresting, when they get around to it. Don’t forget, though, that Barr and 45 are no great respecters of the fine points of the law. I fear they are more the “shoot first, and sort it out later” types. They got lots of lawyers and can litigate any charges for a long time.

  9. mailliw says

    It’s puzzling, as I understand it right-wing libertarians want to eliminate the state as far as possible – aren’t these people also anarchists? Why isn’t Trump sending in the goons to sort them out? It would solve a lot more problems than harassing peaceful protesters.

  10. stroppy says

    Key word “right-wing” libertarians. Libertarians are a diverse lot. The right-wing variety tend to want government’s role reduced to a national security function (over simplification, I’m sure).

  11. microraptor says

    Most libertarians I know are just Republicans who aren’t as religious and therefore have to come up with other excuses for why it should be legal to discriminate against black people and women.

  12. Rob Grigjanis says

    My take on the American sense of “libertarian” is that it applies (if not qualifying “socialism”) to privileged white guys who don’t understand why everyone can’t make good lives for themselves by just working hard enough, or something…

    Famous examples; Clint Eastwood, Trey Parker, Vince Vaughn, Penn Jillette, Bruce Willis. Not stupid or evil people, IMO. Just not very thoughtful, to the point of being (again, IMO) inexcusable.

  13. microraptor says

    Many of them are rather deliberately ignorant when it comes to the idea of white privilege: they’re certainly capable of understanding it and expend far too much effort denying its existence.

  14. says

    @#16: It depends on whether people are talking about libertarianism, the idea, or Libertarianism, the political party. The former in my experience are more often left of center than not, while the latter are almost always right-wingers who want to pretend they aren’t Republicans (or want legal pot). Most current American political writers I’m reasonably familiar with use the term “civil libertarians” for the former to make the distinction clear, and capitalize the latter.

  15. mailliw says

    To take the anarchist theme a little further, all anarchy means literally is without a leader. In a democracy there are no leaders only representatives. So if someone is against anarchy then you could plausibly make the argument that they are against democracy.

    A dictator will claim that without a leader everything will descend into chaos, but then they would say that wouldn’t they?

  16. mailliw says

    Given that the federal officers are clearly acting illegally – specifically by having no identification – which means there is no reason to believe they are police, surely the protesters are well within their rights to make citizens’ arrests?

  17. stroppy says

    Just as a practical physical matter, much easier said than done.

    It think that what they are doing is illegal, but there is a whole lot of weaselly fudging happening. The claim now seems to be that they can be identified by numbered strips of tape on standardized uniforms — which thus protect the personal identity of the officers (or whatever they are) from retaliation.

    Secret police anyone?

  18. stroppy says

    A brief summary and big picture perspective on what Trump is up to.

    Trump’s use of federal paramilitaries is a classic tactic of autocrats to test how far they can push their authority in opposition-controlled regions.

  19. wzrd1 says

    @robro #11, I’m a trifle more concerned that a judge was stupid enough to permit them to not announce that they’re law enforcement or produce credentials, opening things up for impersonators to wreak havoc and distrust of anyone in uniform.
    Dumbest decision ever! “Oh, they’re wearing a tape velcroed on that says ‘Police'”, which is available for a massive cost of $5.00 on around 10 sites I do business with for camping and military supplies (meaning, not often, as I’m retired from the military and have no use for such things now).
    The difference between detain and arrest really comes down to intent to release after investigating/questioning, vs charging someone with a crime. It’s hairsplitting only for non-attorneys or judges, who have very strict definitions. If they’re neither detaining or arresting, one is legally and literally free to walk away at any time.