16 votes

Portland, Oregon, is ground zero for violent culture-war clashes. And it’s spreading

29 comments

  1. [19]
    dubteedub
    Link
    I wonder you fellow Tilderinos feel about this? Ultimately, I put a massive amount of blame on the police in Portland and their complete lack of response, if not outright complicity in working...

    As U.S. representative and far-right extremist Paul Gosar put it at an Oath Keeper gathering when asked about a potential second civil war: “We’re in it. We just haven’t started shooting each other yet.”

    I wonder you fellow Tilderinos feel about this?

    Ultimately, I put a massive amount of blame on the police in Portland and their complete lack of response, if not outright complicity in working with the Proud Boys and Oathkeepers to enact violence. I think this line in the article is pretty telling in this regard:

    Police Chief Chuck Lovell announced that his department would not take any action to intervene in assaults. “People should not necessarily expect to see the police standing in the middle of the crowd trying to keep people apart,” he said. “People need to keep themselves apart and avoid physical confrontation.”

    Proud Boys are a recognized white supremacist fascist street gang that demand that their members commit acts of violence in order to rise up their ranks. It is completely absurd to just let these violent thugs run rampant through the streets unopposed by police.

    I don't think we are nearly at the point of a Civil War, but I do think we are going to see increasing amounts of domestic terrorism and violence perpetuated by these groups.

    21 votes
    1. moriarty
      Link Parent
      The Portland Police Bureau is a bunch of useless pricks and have been LONG before the events of 2020 (I had multiple run ins with them in the past and eventually the police department of a nearby...

      The Portland Police Bureau is a bunch of useless pricks and have been LONG before the events of 2020 (I had multiple run ins with them in the past and eventually the police department of a nearby town came through for because how useless PPB is).
      First off, I'd like to start out with I know they are engaging in a slow down. Police are legally not allowed to strike per https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_243.736 but what they can do and what they have undeniably been doing for months now is purposely not going on calls and not performing their duties in a timely manner. This has several effects, mainly being that by doing this they can throw what is the professional equivalent of a tantrum in order to say that they haven't been compensated fairly or that the Bureau needs to have more money. The police have not been "defunded", there have only been slight changes to their budget.
      You know that the PPB is doing everything it can to garner positive opinion. You know that there are billboards bought by the Portland Police Association, the union representing the PPB, saying things like this https://www.koin.com/news/civic-affairs/do-you-feel-safe-in-portland-ppa-puts-up-billboards/.

      After articles like this come out: https://www.koin.com/news/crime/dad-runs-toward-ne-portland-gunfire-to-save-kids/ and the police response is "...because no one was hurt, he said, police didn’t show up for at least 30 minutes."

      And then you compare it to this article: https://www.wweek.com/news/2021/09/06/nabisco-owner-sends-cease-and-desist-to-bakers-union-pledging-legal-action/ and the police response is "Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Kevin Allen says police received a call at 5:12 pm on Thursday. At 5:24 pm, cops told strikers to leave the disputed property."

      How can we truly say that our police force is acting in our best interest? How can we still rely on these people to protect you when you need them most? Well, per the Supreme Court of the United States, police officers are legally not required to help you. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/fl-ne-school-cop-laws-20181219-story.html

      How can we in good faith as a community say "The police just need more money." or "The police just need more officers." knowing all this. We can't.

      14 votes
    2. [13]
      Bear
      Link Parent
      If the police refuse to do their jobs, then they should be replaced by people who will protect the public, and that includes protestors. If people are a member of a domestic terrorist group, then...

      If the police refuse to do their jobs, then they should be replaced by people who will protect the public, and that includes protestors.

      If people are a member of a domestic terrorist group, then they should be arrested and charged, and treated as any accused person, with the responsibility to keep them safe and healthy if kept in custody while awaiting their court dates.

      11 votes
      1. [12]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        It seems like it might be hard to take a hard line on this if they’re struggling to fill vacancies? I don’t know how bad it is, though. I can’t find a recent story with unbiased statistics. Here...

        It seems like it might be hard to take a hard line on this if they’re struggling to fill vacancies? I don’t know how bad it is, though. I can’t find a recent story with unbiased statistics.

        Here is a story where the police union warns that people will leave if they mandate vaccinations. It seems likely that it’s at least partially a bluff, but how much?

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          burkaman
          Link Parent
          Police unions have been lying about officers quitting en masse since last year. It's not true, and it's not going to suddenly happen with a vaccine mandate....

          Police unions have been lying about officers quitting en masse since last year. It's not true, and it's not going to suddenly happen with a vaccine mandate.

          https://www.themarshallproject.org/2021/09/01/police-say-demoralized-officers-are-quitting-in-droves-labor-data-says-no

          16 votes
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            That’s a good link, thanks.

            That’s a good link, thanks.

        2. [9]
          Bear
          Link Parent
          I would flat out refuse to be held hostage to their threats, hire and train a replacement force, with competitive wages and benefits and community focused training with all new teachers and...

          It seems like it might be hard to take a hard line on this if they’re struggling to fill vacancies? I don’t know how bad it is, though. I can’t find a recent story with unbiased statistics.

          Here is a story where the police union warns that people will leave if they mandate vaccinations. It seems likely that it’s at least partially a bluff, but how much?

          I would flat out refuse to be held hostage to their threats, hire and train a replacement force, with competitive wages and benefits and community focused training with all new teachers and individual liability insurance, and when they were ready, I would fire all of the old force, with re-hires only after a complete re-training and acquisition of liability insurance.

          6 votes
          1. [8]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            You make it sound like hiring and training people is just a matter of snapping your fingers. Even with unlimited budget, it wouldn’t be that easy, and local governments are more limited.

            You make it sound like hiring and training people is just a matter of snapping your fingers. Even with unlimited budget, it wouldn’t be that easy, and local governments are more limited.

            5 votes
            1. [5]
              JCPhoenix
              Link Parent
              That may be so, but to me, might as well fire them anyway. This is like dereliction of duty. If these cops aren't going to do their jobs, then why are the taxpayers paying them? Maybe if they'd...

              That may be so, but to me, might as well fire them anyway. This is like dereliction of duty. If these cops aren't going to do their jobs, then why are the taxpayers paying them? Maybe if they'd get rid of those that don't want to do their jobs, then that'd free up resources to better train or even better pay new officers.

              6 votes
              1. [4]
                skybrian
                Link Parent
                Does anyone in this forum know what it’s like to recruit and train enough people to replace a police department?

                Does anyone in this forum know what it’s like to recruit and train enough people to replace a police department?

                5 votes
                1. [2]
                  MimicSquid
                  Link Parent
                  Yes, hiring and training is hard. You know what else is hard? Having a department culture that leads to the work not being done in perpetuity. Sometimes you make the hard choices because there's...

                  Yes, hiring and training is hard. You know what else is hard? Having a department culture that leads to the work not being done in perpetuity. Sometimes you make the hard choices because there's no good one, just hard paths and distant potential benefits. You're framing this as "It's hard, thus..." and just fading off without saying the rest. That it's hard isn't in question. What else do you have to say?

                  7 votes
                  1. skybrian
                    Link Parent
                    I’m saying that, as outsiders with few or no ties to law enforcement or the justice system (I assume), we should avoid confident hot takes and instant-expert syndrome. People here are being way...

                    I’m saying that, as outsiders with few or no ties to law enforcement or the justice system (I assume), we should avoid confident hot takes and instant-expert syndrome. People here are being way too confident that they know simple answers that will work, without sharing any reasons why we should trust their judgement.

                    It would be nice if there were any lawyers here, or people who regularly work in a courtroom, or people who worked in government, or journalists who talked regularly with the people involved. But if there is anyone with that sort of experience, they’re keeping quiet.

                    So, given that we don’t know that much, what can we do? It would be interesting to read articles by people who know what they’re talking about. What can we find that’s interesting to share?

                    8 votes
                2. JCPhoenix
                  Link Parent
                  That's not the point I'm making. I'm saying that having no police and having police that are refusing to do their job is essentially the same thing. Except that you still have to pay officers that...

                  That's not the point I'm making. I'm saying that having no police and having police that are refusing to do their job is essentially the same thing. Except that you still have to pay officers that are not performing.

                  5 votes
            2. [2]
              Bear
              Link Parent
              I'm absolutely certain that if the city put out that they were ready to completely scrap and rebuild their academy and hiring practices, and they asked for community help and input, that the...

              You make it sound like hiring and training people is just a matter of snapping your fingers. Even with unlimited budget, it wouldn’t be that easy, and local governments are more limited.

              I'm absolutely certain that if the city put out that they were ready to completely scrap and rebuild their academy and hiring practices, and they asked for community help and input, that the threats of a group of officers would mean very little.

              If they refuse to defend the city and its people, then the community will find good people itself.

              5 votes
              1. skybrian
                Link Parent
                Who is “the community” and how do you know what they would do?

                Who is “the community” and how do you know what they would do?

                1 vote
    3. [4]
      knocklessmonster
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm honestly surprised at the amount of response from Antifa. I thought it was all protests being met with violent responses from the far right, but unless I've got something wrong, some Antifa...

      I'm honestly surprised at the amount of response from Antifa. I thought it was all protests being met with violent responses from the far right, but unless I've got something wrong, some Antifa folks seem to be contributing to the escalation. I don't buy the notion that not responding to the proud boys will stop them, but all that means is that whatever anybody does, this is going to escalate. EDIT: To clarify, I'm not blaming Antifa for what seems to be an inevitable escalation.

      I'm definitely concerned about this spreading to other cities, even if it's just for personal reasons so far, as my dad, who has been confused for a white supremacist by people of color and white supremacists anywhere he's lived, lives in Salem. However, according to my dad, who lets us know what's going on up there, it's not too bad in Salem itself, generally just peaceful protests and a lot of tension when the right wingers show up. He was pretty nervous when riot police were staging on his street, ready to roll on the capital where there was a huge protest/counter protest going on.

      2 votes
      1. vegai
        Link Parent
        I'm honestly surprised that you're surprised about this. Antifa (whatever it even means) has never been exactly coy, have they?

        I'm honestly surprised at the amount of response from Antifa. I thought it was all protests being met with violent responses from the far right, but unless I've got something wrong, some Antifa folks seem to be contributing to the escalation.

        I'm honestly surprised that you're surprised about this. Antifa (whatever it even means) has never been exactly coy, have they?

      2. [2]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        How is it that your dad is experiencing that problem?

        How is it that your dad is experiencing that problem?

        4 votes
        1. knocklessmonster
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Near as I can tell, it's a mix of appearance and location. Some of this may just be the perception of a man who simply doesn't want to be accused of it, but I was there for one of the incidents....

          Near as I can tell, it's a mix of appearance and location. Some of this may just be the perception of a man who simply doesn't want to be accused of it, but I was there for one of the incidents.

          He sort of looks like the stereotype. For most of my childhood he looked wiry and hard-lived, covered in black ink tattoos (snake and family thing on his left arm, tiger on his right, a couple of circles on his hands I'll go into), and had a shaved head or buzz cut, except for a few periods when he grew it out.

          For the tattoos, they're faded thick outlines and and can be confused for prison ink (they decayed with sun exposure, he's never done time). He specifically can refer to two tattoos he suspects were problematic: Circles on his hands. He became aware of the potential implications a few years after he put them there just messing around, and tried changing them to make them obviously not what they looked like, marking them L and R, and making them look like bombs (not sure his process there). One night, probably a decade after that, he noticed people giving him weird looks and way too much space in the town he lived in. After burning them off, the looks and distance seemed to stop.

          In both counties, he would get neo nazi salutes*, and too many to be just random people messing around. He had a job in south San Diego county where it was a regular occurrence. We also almost got run off the road once in Santee (also south San Diego county) because somebody thought my brothers, dad, and I were a bunch of neo nazis in a truck (all buzz cut white dudes, except grandma), started chasing and yelling at us. I also remember somebody trying to start a fight with him when we were in the car, and while he didn't talk about it, and I can't be too sure about the cause, I think it may be another of those incidents.

          * I want to mention here that my twin brother has also had these up here in Orange County, but the incidents have stopped. This seems to be different than the "white guy pissed off at the 'minority' thinking the white boy behind him has got his back" sort of incident in that it's an anonymous, overt greeting in passing as if you're aligned with them or perceived to be a part of that group.

          7 votes
  2. [4]
    Gyrfalcon
    Link
    If you, like me, want more content like this in order to feel simultaneously distressed about and more prepared for the future, the podcast It Could Happen Here is quite good. The first season is...

    If you, like me, want more content like this in order to feel simultaneously distressed about and more prepared for the future, the podcast It Could Happen Here is quite good. The first season is more or less directly in the vein of this article, but the second, currently releasing daily, is more news and conversation about what we all might be able to do when facing the dual crises of the climate and right wing extremism.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      That is really funny that you suggested that podcast because Robert Evans does that podcast and also wrote this article. I also really like Robert's Behind the Bastards podcast as well!

      That is really funny that you suggested that podcast because Robert Evans does that podcast and also wrote this article. I also really like Robert's Behind the Bastards podcast as well!

      4 votes
      1. Qis
        Link Parent
        I had to stop listening to behind the bastards because I struggled to interpret his paraphrasal presentation of the biographies he's reading.. I can't tell how he chooses what to emphasize, at...

        I had to stop listening to behind the bastards because I struggled to interpret his paraphrasal presentation of the biographies he's reading.. I can't tell how he chooses what to emphasize, at all. Sometimes it's so everyone can make jokes, but I was confused too often

        3 votes
      2. Gyrfalcon
        Link Parent
        I suspected that he wrote the article, should have checked. They covered the August clashes in Portland on the pod and some passages seemed quite familiar.

        I suspected that he wrote the article, should have checked. They covered the August clashes in Portland on the pod and some passages seemed quite familiar.

        2 votes
  3. [6]
    streblo
    Link
    Re: the police unions refusing to properly enforce the law over new protocols/vaccine mandates etc. If the police are selectively enforcing laws or refusing to submit to democratic oversight,...

    Re: the police unions refusing to properly enforce the law over new protocols/vaccine mandates etc.

    If the police are selectively enforcing laws or refusing to submit to democratic oversight, that's bad. But I don't see how firing them all is a realistic solution. Cross out the word police from 'police union' of the arguments in this thread and you have textbook anti-union positions.

    The reason that unions exist is because it's very hard to fire and replace an entire organized workforce wholesale. Like it or not, the police do have some negotiating power here. Ignoring that doesn't make it go away.

    3 votes
    1. [5]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      It is extremely misleading to compare police unions as an institution to the broader labor movement. Police almost always side against labor and the working class. Police unions only are focused...

      It is extremely misleading to compare police unions as an institution to the broader labor movement. Police almost always side against labor and the working class. Police unions only are focused on their narrow sphere of influence and do not support the broader labor movement. Police unions purpose are to prevent transparency and accountability to the public and defend police violence, obviously this is against the public's interest.

      8 votes
      1. [4]
        streblo
        Link Parent
        I'm not? Just pointing out that whatever one thinks of them, the power dynamics are very similar to normal unions.

        It is extremely misleading to compare police unions as an institution to the broader labor movement.

        I'm not?

        Just pointing out that whatever one thinks of them, the power dynamics are very similar to normal unions.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          dubteedub
          Link Parent
          I just don't think that there is the same political implications of police unions vs actual labor unions. I know some folks have said that eliminating police unions could be some kind of slippery...

          I just don't think that there is the same political implications of police unions vs actual labor unions. I know some folks have said that eliminating police unions could be some kind of slippery slope and I don't see that playing out. They are a very specific and unique form of union that is antithetical to the public interest.

          I think that the public also just does not trust the police and want increased oversight of them. This is aligned with the interests of limiting police union power or even returning to a time when they were abolished.

          The survey, conducted by Gallup from early June to mid-July, found that confidence in the police had fallen five points, to 48 percent, from the year before. Gallup, which started tracking the public’s confidence in a range of public institutions in 1973 during the Watergate scandal, adding the police in 1993, said this was the “first time in the 27-year trend that this reading is below the majority.”

          But despite the overall decline, the survey found that Republicans’ confidence in the police had risen seven points, to 82 percent. Democrats’ faith in law enforcement dropped six points, to 28 percent.

          Especially as Democratic constituents have such low trust in the police, I could certainly see more Democratic cities / states taking action against police unions to rally their base.

          Two-thirds of Americans (66%) say that civilians need to have the power to sue police officers to hold them accountable for misconduct and excessive use of force, even if that makes the officers’ jobs more difficult. Just 32% say that, in order for police officers to do their jobs effectively, they need to be shielded from such lawsuits.

          While qualified immunity is a big piece that holds back police accountability, I think that police unions could be a more politically feasible action.

          3 votes
          1. streblo
            Link Parent
            I think you're misunderstanding my point. Ignore the police bit for a second. I'm talking about the simple power dynamics at play when you're dealing with a union. I also think this is true. But...

            I just don't think that there is the same political implications of police unions vs actual labor unions.

            I think you're misunderstanding my point. Ignore the police bit for a second. I'm talking about the simple power dynamics at play when you're dealing with a union.

            I think that the public also just does not trust the police and want increased oversight of them.

            I also think this is true.

            But as long as the police are a mostly unified force, and from my stance as an observer it would appear that they are (union leadership and membership is aligned) then what are your options?

            Playing hardball with an essential service is not a good look politically, I don't think firing them all is even on the table. I think pretending it would be low impact is fantasy and even if that were somehow true all its going to take is a handful of high profile crimes and no one would believe it were true anyways.

            I think the best path forward is to slowly change the culture of your police force through upping hiring requirements, diversity quotas, etc etc. This is going to require negotiation with the police union.

            3 votes
          2. moocow1452
            Link Parent
            I don't see the Dems union busting, because then the Republicans would go after every government based union, and one less union, especially one with bipartisan appeal, is bad for unions.

            I don't see the Dems union busting, because then the Republicans would go after every government based union, and one less union, especially one with bipartisan appeal, is bad for unions.

            2 votes