It was inevitable that the deployment of Federal forces in Portland, as an avenue by which to generate propaganda for the Trump campaign, was unsustainable. Unsustainable in both the requirement for Federal forces to address constitutional and Oregon statute constraints, and the inertia created by unavoidable lawsuits and restraining orders generated from them.
Furthermore, what has already transpired is not gone. ACLU’s won restraining order against the Federal Government in regard to treatment of press and legal observers, does not disappear from having been issued in the time it did cover, even when that temporary order ceases. ACLU may still revisit that order and bring new suit for the Fed braking that order within the temporary time limit.
The facts are not undone.
Also, the new ACLU case I mentioned at the bottom of this blog post, regarding Portland’s unconstitutional use of surveillance, was as easily to decide as I surmised, resulting in another restraining order. Which dovetails nicely into the predicament the Federal government is likely to find itself in for similar activity. That is a very large story.
Let us not forgot Acting Deputy Secretary (and clearly- full-time campaign aide), Ken Cuccinelli’s interest in the Portland surveillance issue, as he had a vested interest in using that feed to gather information himself.
His (lack of) understanding of how First Amendment rights are applied in the case is frightening.
The current situation at the Federal Courthouse in Portland is this: The federal forces have not come out since it was declared to be up to the State to police the area. It is argued as to whether the PACT forces are still inside the building or at another location in Portland. Of course, components of PACT are still within the courthouse in regards to FPS still having their primary duties to serve.
Neither have the State Police shown themselves. Or Portland police, except during the day. There has been no policing of the protest area except by the protestors themselves. This has manifested occasionally in putting out a fire someone else attempts to start or a more aggressive, over-the-bullhorn, “Knock that shit the fuck off!”
I can not overstate how important this organic, unplanned commandeering of the fence as a prop is in the battle for local and national narrative. I’m afraid the protestors are unaware of the effect of this.
The use of the fence as their own personal backdrop is not only a declaration of victory, it is bold statement of finality and indifference to a presence they were assured to defeat. It softens the ugliness of what is left behind and draws distinction to the graffiti and mess on the other side of the fence that the Stromtroopers never had any intention of protecting or returning to its original form.
Tonight and tomorrow night will be the big challenge. The pivotal nights. This is it. I pray to God the protestors understand what it is they have already done and continue this pattern, times infinity.
Adorn that fence with your declarations, tokens, trinkets, squeaky pigs, and flowers. It is nothing more than a backdrop and a vehicle for your message. Co-opt their propaganda symbol, as the right so often does to you in co-opting your messaging. Make it your own and turn your backs to the building behind you.
This will not only strengthen your newly formed ownership of the symbol, it will serve to remind your fellow demonstrators that your focus is on the demonstration, not the building.
If Trump, DHS, and DOJ do indeed attempt to deploy their Stormtroopers somewhere else, the nation will now have a game-plan for how to defeat it and turn its ugliness on itself.