New York Times: Protesters in Portland ‘divided’ over whether or not they should harm police officers

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PORTLAND, OR – Although Portland has seen riots and violent protests in the past, it is doubtful the city has ever experienced an event that has lasted this long. 

For more than 100 straight nights, rioters have taken part in burning down the city, and they are not slowing down. 

Now, according to the New York Times, the protesters are divided.  Continue going into “white residential neighborhoods” and/or attack police?  Hmmm…decisions….decisions.

The violence in Portland has been occurring since May, when George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

The likes of Antifa first joined in with Black Lives Matter to supposedly fight for racial justice and against police brutality.  However, that message was lost somewhere between day one of the riots and day 100.

Antifa and other protesters had been primarily centered in downtown areas, burning and attacking as many structures and buildings as they could. 

They now seem to be shifting focus and going into “white residential neighborhoods” and forcing the residents to pick a side. 

But it seems that some of the protesters are conflicted: Is this approach working for them?  Should they continue to attack and injure police officers? 

The New York Times, like Law Enforcement Today, has reported on the change in location from downtown to the surrounding neighborhoods. 

The Times says:

“Demonstrators with bullhorns shout for people to come ‘out of your house and into the street’ and demonstrate their support.

“These more aggressive protests target ordinary people going about their lives, especially those who decline to demonstrate allegiance to the cause.”

These radical thugs of Antifa have been using this tactic for the past month.  They have stormed residential areas, shined lasers into people’s houses and attacked police officers trying to keep the peace. 

The Times spoke to a man identified only as Mr. Moses, a black man who is a military veteran and local business owner.  He tells the media outlet that he has seen his neighbor personally targeted by the rioters and protesters because the neighbor dares to fly the American flag on his property.

He said:

“It went from a peaceful march, calling out the names, to all of a sudden, bang, ‘How dare you fly the American flag?  They said take it down.  They wouldn’t leave.  They said they’re going to come back and burn the house down.”

Mr. Moses said that he and other people in the neighborhood stood up to the bullies and told them to leave. 

Moses said:

“We don’t go around terrorizing folks to try and force them to do something they don’t want to do.  I’m a veteran.  I’m for these liberties.”

The New York Times spoke about the newer approach by members of Black Lives Matter, Antifa and other protesters and rioters. 

The paper wrote:

“[T]he tactics are dividing supporters of Black Lives Matter, with some worried that the confrontational approach will antagonize people who would otherwise be receptive to the message or play into conservatives’ critique of the protests.”

The New York Times reported finding literature set up in a grassy area and guarded by three people wearing ski masks. Perusal of the titles indicates that Portland will be in flames for perhaps another 100 nights.

Here are some of the sickening titles: “Why Break Windows,” “I Want to Kill Cops Until I’m Dead,” “Piece Now, Peace Later: An Anarchist Introduction to Firearms,” “In Defense of Smashing Cameras” and “Three-Way Fight: Revolutionary Anti-Fascism and Armed Self Defense.”

The Anarchist Library lists the authors of the “kill cops” material as “Narcissa Black,” “KCBG” and “Anonymous,” meaning they are too cowardly to have their real names associated with this drivel. Here’s the frightening premise of  “I Want to Kill Cops Until I’m Dead:”

“To begin, we wish to address a simple yet potentially contentious issue which will form the basis of our appeal here.  Police Officers must be killed, the families of Police Officers must be killed, the children of Police Officers must be killed, the friends and supporters of Police Officers must be killed.”

The “fun” may soon be over, as sedition charges are being considered for rioters, as Law Enforcement Today recently reported.

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WASHINGTON D.C. – Attorney General Bill Barr  held a conference call with several prosecutors in September and allegedly addressed potential federal charges that can be brought against the likes of violent protesters who have been wreaking havoc across large cities.

The specific federal charge that has sparked intrigue reportedly mentioned by AG Barr was sedition.

Apparently, the New York Times also alleged that AG Barr suggested levying charges against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, but those rumors have been debunked by officials.

You often hear that not all forms of speech are free speech within the United States. There are plenty of examples that can fall under said realm, such as direct threats of violence, or general calls to violence against individuals and also terroristic threats.

Then there’s sedition, which is usually a partially verbalized intent to overthrow the state or government and is typically paired with certain actions in concurrence or following said form of speech.

But it’s a difficult law to navigate, successfully charge with and later gain a conviction.

Many may look at the federal charge of sedition and think that it bears an uncanny resemblance to treason (defined in Article III in the Constitution) – which is understandable.

But the difference between sedition and treason is that sedition is the conspiring to overthrow the state authority and treason is the act of actually waging a war against the United States or proving aid to an enemy of the nation.

Looking at U.S. Code 18 U.S.C. § 2384, sedition is legally defined as follows:

“If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.”

Considering all that has played out over the past several months in areas such as Seattle and Portland, it does make sense why AG Barr would bring up the idea of sedition.

Many that are left-of-center are – quite frankly – freaking out over AG Barr suggesting that prosecutors explore charges of sedition against suspects who may have engaged in such acts.

Rachel Maddow referred to the suggestion by AG Barr as going “off the deep and” and “nuts.”

Joyce Alene, an MSNBC contributor, is claiming that AG Barr is trying to levy sedition charges against people who are intent on “voting against Trump:”

“Voting against Trump isn’t plotting to overthrow the United States. But apparently Bill Barr thinks it is & wants to aggressively charge people with sedition. Cannot overstate how serious this is.”

But there’s literally nothing in any reports circulating that implies AG Barr’s suggestion relates to that agenda. Furthermore, sedition is a very well-defined act and can’t just be used against people legitimately protesting peacefully.

Even someone who described herself as an “aggressively anti-Trump voter” called out Alene’s framing of the shared articled online:

“Speaking as an aggressively anti-Trump voter, let me say that nothing in that story suggests he wants to charge people w/sedition for voting against Trump. He wants to charge violent protesters with sedition. What are you missing about that?? Did you even read the article?”

Sedition usually requires more than someone saying “we need to revolt” in a general sense.

There has to be planned actions discussed and attempts to fulfill those actions.

Instances such as perhaps arming people with weapons to attack police officers (which sounds an awful lot like what happened on July 25 in Seattle.)

Whether or not the DOJ explores and acts on sedition charges is anyone’s guess – but considering all that has happened in recent months, it would not be surprising if a case (or cases) could be made.

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