WASHINGTON COUNTY, OR – The Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front, a group closely tied to the Portland area Antifa organization, has applauded the arson of a police officer’s or sheriff’s deputy’s home in Washington County, the area south and west of Portland.
Washington County contains Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Tualatin, Aloha, Hillsboro, and other large suburban towns.
Local authorities have involved federal law enforcement agencies in an investigation of a home fire that occurred west of Portland. The home belongs to a local law enforcement officer. The details and background of this story are chilling.
“This is so cool,” indicates the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front via Twitter:
This is so coolhttps://t.co/lOzu4dP5Tw
— PNW Youth Liberation Front (@PNWYLF) November 16, 2020
For reference, the name of the officer, the location of the home, and the officer’s department are not being released by publics news sources.
On Wednesday, the home and a vehicle parked next to the home were set ablaze, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO).
Speaking on behalf of a joint-department effort, WCSO indicated that they are still investigating, but believe the incident may be linked to recent protests in Portland and could be a form of intimidation:
“There’s concern in this case that the officer was surveilled and followed home.”
Since at least June, with protests occurring almost nightly in the Portland area, and Antifa being the primary motivator and participant group, stories have circulated through the greater Portland police community about online harassment and home vandalizing.
Lieutenant Greg Pashley of the Portland Police Bureau has explained that the department has allowed officers to cover up the nametags on their uniforms in an effort to stop personalized attacks, both digitally and in-person.
Lt Pashley states:
“There were officers who had concerns that their personal information would be shared, and that somehow their personal lives would be impacted negatively either by threats or intimidation or criminal activity.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE), the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue are investigating the fire.
Twitter did not censor the above Tweet from the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front for hate speech, nor did it suspend the group’s account. In a surprise move, though, Facebook deleted the group’s Facebook page.
Breaking: @Facebook has taken down the page of @pnwylf. The Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front is the #antifa group responsible for organizing the ongoing riots in Portland. They've called for solidarity riots in other cities as well, which did happen in July. pic.twitter.com/VjcVkAOuDc
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 19, 2020
For more background, many groups related to Antifa don’t bear the Antifa name. The primary group, Rose city Antifa, proudly proclaims their anti-fascist status.
Rose City Antifa (RCA) was founded in Portland in 2007, and is the oldest Antifa group in the nation. While this movement of anti-fascism started in the 1980s, Rose City Antifa is the first to use the “Antifa” name.
The irony of anti-fascism is that the groups are primarily comprised of privileged white people, likely reaching out for identity attention.
One sociologist, Stanislav Vustotsky, tries to convince everyone that these are marginalized people:
“Many militant anti-fascists become involved in this form of activism because aspects of their identity are directly targeted by fascist violence; they are queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, people of color, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and certainly identified in ways that intersected across these categories.
For them, anti-fascism was a means of ensuring their safety from a movement that threatens their very existence and venerates violence as the highest form of action. Even the Antifa activists who identify as cis heterosexual white males are the targets of fascist violence as ‘race’ and ‘gender’ traitors.”
David Marcus with The Federalist directly counters that claim:
“Antifa’s goals are not those of most non-white Americans. Most non-white Americans don’t want to destroy the systems of government, abolish the police, end capitalism, or cripple corporations. The group is absolutely trying to impose a style of anarchy that is steeped in (and almost unique to) whiteness.”
On Thursday after the election, a group of Antifa extremists vandalized a bio-cleaning business in Portland as part of a string of targeted attacks on property since Election Day.
After announcing a gathering in southeast Portland, antifa marched to Rapid Response Bio Clean & smashed up the place. The business has a contract w/the city to clean biohazards at homeless encampments. #Antifa want the cleaning to stop, saying it displaces the homeless. pic.twitter.com/6h4N3H6wrS
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) November 13, 2020
“Last Thursday night, a couple dozen Antifa dressed in black bloc gathered at Colonel Summers Park in southeast Portland.
The planned “direct action” was announced via a digital flyer on social media. From there, they marched to the office of Rapid Response Bio Clean, a business that contracts with the city of Portland to clean biohazardous material from public spaces.
Part of its contract includes removing and cleaning homeless encampments.
Shielding themselves with black umbrellas, Antifa proceeded to disable the building’s security cameras with spray paint and smash its windows. They wrote, ‘Sweeps kill’ and ‘ACAB’ (all cops are bastards) on the property.”
We at Law Enforcement Today must give proper credit to Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo on Twitter).
Andy is a Vietnamese-American who has taken extreme mental and physical abuse to report almost daily on the movements of Antifa nationwide.
With the group’s activity most prevalent in Portland, many of his stories generate from the Pacific Northwest.
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Antifa: Is it an “idea” – or is it something much more dangerous? Here’s why Americans need to wake up.
November 5, 2020
There are many who have dismissed Antifa as a bunch of soy-boy, cellar-dwelling, video game-playing momma’s boys. For those who are doing so, and admittedly we were among them, it is time to take these people very seriously. An investigation by Mark Hemingway of RealClearInvestigations is instructive as to why these people are very dangerous to our country.
While Joe Biden dismissed Antifa as “an idea” rather than an actual organization, he should an unbelievable level of ignorance, which was not surprising given his mental acuity. Biden is also trying to downplay the group, while keeping quiet about the summer of violence subsequent to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Biden of course was parroting the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, who also referred to Antifa being “an idea, not an organization, not a militia,” contrasting them to white supremacists.
However, while downplaying Antifa before a House panel in September, Wray did acknowledge that the group was a real threat, while noting that the FBI had conducted “any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists.”
In August, a U.S. attorney affiliated with the Justice Department told Congress that the FBI had opened over 300 domestic terrorism investigations related to the nationwide riots.
Antifa is something of a mystery to many. As Hemingway notes, Antifa is a disorganized organization. He noted that the group has no specific leaders, no address, nor an actual Twitter account. While many groups involved in street violence involved in the violence have embraced the Antifa label, they are secretive and loosely organized.
A former member of the group, Stanislav Vysotsky who wrote:
“American Antifa: The Tactics, Culture, and Practice of a Militant Antifacism” (2020), concedes that “for most people antifa is a mystery wrapped in an enigma wearing a black mask.”
This, Hemingway says, isn’t an accident, but rather is by design. By disguising who they are, it is virtually impossible to define or identify members of the group.
With that being said, scholarly research and daily journalism have illuminated Antifa’s ideology, as well as its long history in the United States, which can actually be traced back over 100 years.
The modern incarnation of Antifa is centered in the Pacific Northwest, which is why they appear to be such a huge presence in cities such as Portland and Seattle. There are a number of the usual suspects involved, including former Weather Underground members, so-called anti-racist skateboard punks who emerged in the 80’s, and younger radical.
While their racial and ethnic makeup is not certain, a large number, overwhelming in fact appear to be white. According to arrest records, as well as other public information, to nobody’s surprise many of those identifying as Antifa are either unemployed or marginally unemployed, with many being drifters.
Unlike your typical leftists, most Antifa members are not seeking any type of power. In fact, the group is largely opposed to power, which is one reason for their clashes with police.
By and large, the American Antifa movement goes back to some rather obscure, left-wing groups who opposed dictators in Europe, such as Hitler, Mussolini and General Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War.
Antifa activists are, as Hemingway says, hostile to American traditions. He cites examples where Portland rioters had smashed windows on the Oregon Historical Society building, even stealing and damaging a quilt fashioned by black women to celebrate America’s bicentennial. They also tore down statues of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt that had been in place in the city for over 100 years.
American Antifa members reject the First Amendment, as well as other liberal ideas about free speech and assembly, however admired abolitionists who fought slavery, and later on racism.
Many Antifa members come from punk-rock subcultures and post-1960’s left-wing extremism. Many white supremacists, Hemingway says, began to recruit the disaffected youths as skinheads. In response, counter-movements came forth.
One particular group, the Minnesota Baldies, formed in 1987 and formed a group called the Anti-Racist Action Network (ARA), which engaged in “direct action” confrontations utilizing spray paint, crowbars and bricks against the racists populating the punk scene.
The group’s anarchist and hard-left sympathies reformed in 2013 as the Torch Network, sometimes referred to as the Torch Antifa Network, which is the closest thing today to any type of organized Antifa group. The Torch’s website notes that affiliated groups are “autonomous organizing bodies…they may call themselves whatever they want, and can organize the best way they see fit.”
The groups that sign on to torch agree to support the organization’s five “Points of Unity.”
- We disrupt fascist and far right organizing and activity.
- We don’t rely on the cops or courts to do our work for us. This doesn’t mean we never go to court, but the cops uphold white supremacy and the status quo. They attack us and everyone who resists oppression. We must rely on ourselves to protect ourselves and stop the fascists.
- We oppose all forms of oppression and exploitation. We intend to do the hard work necessary to build a broad, strong movement of oppressed people centered on the working class against racism, sexism, nativism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination against the disabled, the oldest, the youngest, and the most oppressed people. We support abortion rights and reproductive freedom. We want a classless, free society. We intend to win!
- We hold ourselves accountable personally and collectively to live up to our ideals and values.
- We not only support each other within the network, but we also support people outside the network who we believe have similar aims or principles. An attack on one is an attack by all.
In August, Kyle Schideler offered written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Schideler is a director and senior analyst for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy.
He described Torch Antifa as “one of the largest regional networks of Antifa in the United States,” and specifically identified a man name Michael Novick, the “web registrar of the Torch Antifa website,” as a key figure in the movement.
Novick is a former member of the Weather Underground terrorist group, and the founding member of the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and a founding member of Anti-Racist Action-Los Angeles.
His former affiliation with the Weather Underground and Torch Antifa ties the two organizations together, tying the communist guerilla and terrorist movements of the 1970’s with today’s Antifa.
The business address tied to the national Anti-Racist Action organization is Novick’s Los Angeles home. Novick has also maintained ties with his old Weather Underground homies, appearing at an ARA conference alongside Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, two of the more infamous WU members, who were also buddies with one Barack Hussein Obama in his Chicago days.
Novick’s ties to the John Brown committee is instructive, because of that organizations ties to violence. That group not only fought anti-racist causes, but was involved in much broader types of radical causes, including Puerto Rican independence and defending leftist governments in Central America during the height of the Cold War.
Here members of the group were convicted for their roles in a series of bombings in New York and Washington, DC between 1982 and 1985, including an explosion at the US Capital building in 1983, explosions at three military installations in the DC area, as well as four bombings in New York City.
Two of the three served particularly long prison terms, but on his last day in office, President Bill Clinton commuted the 40-year sentence of the third, Linda Evans after 13 years. She had also been involved with the Weather Underground.
There are all manner of ties between these organizations. The John Brown group is believed to be a front for the May 19th Communist Organization, which takes its name from the birthday of Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X, which also had ties to the Weather Underground.
The most notable person in that group? Susan Rosenberg, 65, who helped Assata Shakur (formerly known as Joanne Chesimard) escape to Cuba after she was convicted for her part in the murder of a New Jersey state trooper. Oh, Clinton commuted her sentence as well.
Today, Rosenberg is not tied to Antifa, but Black Lives Matter. She is vice chair of Thousand Currents, a George Soros organization which is the fundraising arm for the Black Lives Matter Global Network. See how all of these organizations are tied in to each other? Black Lives Matter was of course founded by three self-described Marxists, who also had established a relationship with Venezuela’s left-wing government.
Antifa uses red and black as its imagery. This is not be accident, since that color scheme represents communist sympathies and a commitment to anarchy.
Why the Pacific Northwest you may ask? The area around there is strongly tied to anarchists. In fact, an anarchist community in Washington State at the turn of the 20th century was tied in to the assassination of President McKinley, who was killed by an anarchist.
Portland State University history professor Marc Rodriguez notes that the modern Antifa movement was birthed in the 1999 riots at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. While they didn’t use the Antifa label, the anarchist influence was obvious at that time.
Antifa is organized. Many of them carry weapons and their actions are coordinated on the ground to evade police and do maximum damage.
“They communicate in large Signal chat rooms, an encrypted peer-to-peer app,” said Andy Ngo, an independent journalist in the Portland area who has been covering Antifa for years. “They use hand signals, they have walkie-talkie devices, and scouts who watch where the police are and provide real time updates.”
So, how does Antifa define fascism? Well in Portland it includes the Republican Party, along with a left-wing and anarchist ideology which regards law enforcement as illegitimate, and attempts to justify especially radical beliefs, including the belief that opponents have no right to free speech or assembly, and must be confronted and shut down.
There is a book called “The Antifa Handbook” written by Mark Bray. As mentioned, Antifa rejects unabated free speech. Bray justifies this position in part by saying denial of free speech is necessary in order to prevent modern-day Hitlers from arising.
“At the heart of the anti-fascist outlook is a rejection of the classical liberal phrase incorrectly ascribed to Voltaire that ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” he wrote.
“After Auschwitz and Treblinka, anti-fascists committed themselves to fighting to the death the ability of organized Nazis to say anything.”
Bray claims that due to this, the ARA and Antifa have been a “victim of their own success,” which in the past 20 years has seen a significant decline in the white supremacist organizations. He quotes a New Jersey Antifa member wo said, “At a certain point the biggest group was the National Socialist Movement, with just 80 dudes doing reenactments.”
So that begs the question—if the number of fascists is declining, why has Antifa violence exploded this year? Well, first of all the group portrays the Trump presidency as a threat. “No Trump—No KKK—No Fascist USA!” is one of “the most popular anti-Trump chants” at protests, Bray wrote.
Unfortunately, the anti-Trump sentiment has also resulted in attacks on ordinary voters, as well as local political organizations. In 2017, the mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler was forced to cancel a parade in the city after Antifa threatened violence because the Multnomah County GOP was marching in the parade.
“You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely,” a threat sent to the city read.
The larger goal, Bray said, is “…that in twenty years those who voted for Trump are too uncomfortable to share that fact in public. We may not always be able to change someone’s beliefs, but we sure as hell can make it politically, socially, economically and sometimes physically costly to articulate them.” [emphasis added].
Vysotsky said, “One of the more shocking aspects of militant antifascist culture for observers outside of the movement is the consumption and trade of violent images.
“Pictures of being beaten or bloodied in addition to memes that extol the virtue of antifascist violence or mock injured fascists are a common element of antifa culture.” Such images are referred to as “riot porn.”
Not merely satisfied with physical violence, Antifa also uses non-physical means or threats, wit “doxing” a favorite tactic of the group.
For example, activists were able to solicit the names of “non-friendly” businesses in Portland that didn’t support the Black Lives Matter Movement. An Antifa-affiliated Twitter account said that Heroes American Café in Portland, which displays American flag décor, as well as pictures of various American heroes on the wall, which they alleged showed support for the local police.
The owner of the café, an African American veteran soon received a threatening phone call. Days later, his windows were smashed and bullets were fired into his restaurant during a protest referred to as a “Day of Rage.”
Ironically, Antifa’s use of violence actually makes them no better than the extremists and so-called alt-right groups they claim to oppose. Both groups use the same tactics to justify violence.
As Hemingway notes, Antifa’s beliefs clearly meet the definition of domestic terrorism as defined in federal law, defined as activities which “…intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”
Some people (and we’ve mentioned this on these pages) believe that Antifa’s violence is counterproductive to what they are trying to do.
“I think [Antifa] also need to understand how difficult they may be making the situation for the promotion of Black Lives Matter in this time where black people are really trying to make some headway,” said Portland State University sociologist and black studies professor Shirley Jackson. Public opinion seems to support that narrative.
Pew Research reported last month that support for Black Lives Matter has dropped precipitously since June, and the “findings come as confrontations between protesters and police have escalated.”
One other issue is the fact that political “leaders” have been unwilling or afraid to confront the violence perpetrated by Antifa. For example, in Portland, feckless mayor Ted Wheeler has forced his police department to virtually stand down, and in September, over 90% of charges against rioters were dropped by the useless District Attorney Mike Schmidt.
Almost unbelievably, Wheeler is in a dead heat for re-election with a challenger who is an admitted Antifa member, Sarah Iannarone. She has tweeted out photos of her wearing clothes honoring such legendary Marxist and Communists Joseph Stalin, Vlaidmir Lenin, Che Guevera, etc., …a virtual who’s who of bad guys.
However, Antifa is much more than trying to achieve reforms related to racial justice or police violence. With the election being held this week, the group appears to have a lot more in mind.
A group called Shutdown DC is distributing a 38-page guide called “Stopping the Coup,” designed to give guidance on disrupting the election if it is contested, which is a possibility. They claim this is to stop President Trump, “who is energized by the forces of white supremacy and brutal capitalism.”
Hilariously, the document discourages violence, however Shutdown DC has worked with other groups such as All Out DC, a “collective of DC antifascist activists” who want to “burn down the American plantation,” when they have organized large-scale protests in the city.
Meanwhile, two election simulations done by political groups—the far-left Transition Integrity Project (a misnomer if there ever was one) and the Texas Public Policy Center, working with the Claremont Institute on the right have both been predicting Antifa violence after the election, especially if President Trump wins.
As Hemingway notes, regardless of the description of Antifa as either an ideology or a unified movement, “the threat it presents to disrupting the democratic elections and enforcing basic law and order is tangible.”
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