Sunday, June 23, 2019

Threaten And Win

Police procedures vary widely depending on circumstances. Understandably

Seventy people were arrested outside of The New York Times building in Manhattan on Saturday, according to a New York Police Department spokesman, during a protest to call attention to the way news outlets cover the climate crisis.

Charges against the protesters are pending, an NYPD spokesman told CNN.

The protesters were affiliated with a group called Extinction Rebellion, which describes itself on its website as an "international movement" aimed at combating climate change through nonviolent protest and minimizing the "risk of human extinction and ecological collapse."

Those protesters were peaceful, however. The outcome is not as predictable when, as reported by Williamette (Oregon) Week

Oregon Senate Democrats hastily cancelled a planned Saturday floor session late Friday afternoon, citing reports that right-wing militia members were planning to rally at the Capitol.

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-Portland) posted on social media a text message from Senate leadership, stating that the Saturday session was cancelled.

 "The State Police Superintendent just informed the Senate President of a credible threat from militia groups coming to the Capitol tomorrow," the message says. "The Superintendent strongly recommends that no one come to the Capitol and President [Peter] Courtney heeded that advice minutes ago."

First: these extremists were not members of a "militia." They want the media and the public to label them "militia" because the Second Amendment grants to "a well-regulated Militia" the right "to keep and bear arms." Nonetheless, as this tweeter notes, "they're not the militia. They're an armed mob. The militia, as legally defined in Oregon State Law, consists of the organized militia (Military Dept) & the unorganized militia, the latter of which can only be mobilized by the governor."

If that sounds to you like the Oregon State Police were intimidated by threats of violence, you're paying attention. Willamette Week continues

"The Oregon State Police have advised us that there might be a militia threat tomorrow, so the Capitol building will be closed," said Carol Alice McCurrie, Courtney's communications director. "We don't have any details beyond that one."

The cancellation comes on the heels of right-wing militia members offering armed protection to Republican Senators who have denied Democrats a quorum by disappearing, probably across the Oregon border into Idaho.

Republicans left the Capitol on Wednesday, trying to block the passage of a cap on carbon emissions. Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) implied that he would shoot and kill any Oregon State Police officer sent by the governor to retrieve him.

That outburst seemed to embolden right-wing militia groups, which pledged Thursday to protect the Senate Republicans while they fled the Capitol. Those groups included members of the Three Percenters, an anti-government militia.

Boquist had told a local television station "Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I'm not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It's just that simple."  Emboldened right-wing radicals got the State Police to shut down the Capitol and the session to consider the climate bill was cancelled. Mission accomplished.

While in New York City dissidents who posed no immediate threat to the public order were arrested, extremists in Oregon threatening violence were pacified when the Oregon State Police turned tail and ran. The latter might be a harbinger of things to come, with a President who has informed the public of his intention:
So if and when Donald Trump loses in 2020, he'll claim the election was "rigged" or fixed, and his supporters, like the "armed militias" in Oregon, will get the message. Then if federal law enforcement authorities demonstrate the same (lack of) backbone that the administration of the Oregon State Police has, we're in trouble, where "we" is spelled "this republic."

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