Assaults on Free Speech and the Cities We Didn’t See

Last night I thread a series of tweets documenting law enforcement abuses including attacks on journalists in different cities across the country during protests against police brutality.

I collected more than a half dozen reports from Minneapolis alone of attacks on journalists from different news organizations. This number doesn’t represent the entire number of journalists attacked in that one city.

Those attacked included:

Michael Anthony Adams, journalist, VICE
Tom Aviles, photojournalist, CBS affiliate WCCO
Jennifer Brooks, columnist, Star Tribune
Julio-Cesar Chavez, cameraman, Reuters and
Rodney Seward, security advisor, Reuters
Carolyn Cole, photographer, Los Angeles Times
Molly Hennessy-Fiske, journalist Los Angeles Times
John Marschitz, sound engineer, CBS (national)
Unidentified team member with Omar Jimenez, CNN
Unidentified camera person (reported by CNN but doesn’t appear to be on their team)
Nina Svanberg, journalist, Express-Sweden
Linda Tirado, freelance photographer
Ali Velshi, correspondent, MSNBC (and his team including Morgan Chesky and Richard Lui)

It’s not clear from Jennifer Brooks’ tweets from May 28 that her identity was clear to the police vehicle indiscriminately spraying tear gas out of a window toward the crowd.

Linda Tirado lost the sight in her left eye after being hit with a rubber bullet in the face.

I don’t have any tweets from Louisville KY but I’ve read that there was at least one more incident yesterday involving a member of the press. If you have anything about this and other police attacks on media not listed here, please share in comments.

Los Angeles was at least as bad as Minneapolis in terms of attacks on journalists.

These aren’t random accidents. This is a clear pattern of behavior.

Law enforcement across the country is attacking the exercise of the First Amendment.

They aren’t doing this relying on qualified immunity; their attacks on members of the press are violations of the Constitution where the identity of the media is clear, where law enforcement has made zero effort to validate the identity of the media persons they attacked.

Law enforcement are doing this with qualified impunity — assumed but not granted by voters.

Ignoring the rule of law which is the foundation of law enforcement’s existence means law enforcement has de-legitimized itself.

They are criminal gangs when they break the law and fail to protect and serve the public’s interest by attacking media which informs the public.

It’s absolutely essential that elected officials and the public demand accountability from law enforcement for their attacks on media during protests this week, before law enforcement becomes even more unaccountable for a broader range of failures to protect and serve the public

~ ~ ~

While Twitter has been awash with reports of police abusing protesters and the press — which interestingly failed to stop many white instigators engaging in property damage across the country — there were three cities I noted which did not devolve into riots while observing protests of police brutality.

They were Santa Cruz, California and Flint, Michigan.

I’ll let these tweets speak for themselves.

There weren’t reports in my timeline of property damage and rioting in either of these cities last night.

There also weren’t reports in these two cities of white agents provocateur escalating tensions by damaging property as there were in every city where police abused protesters.

It’d be nice to know if there is a more direct link between police brutality during protests and the appearance of white agitators.

This is an open thread.

145 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    There’s one more city I should add but I failed to capture it when it popped up in my timeline yesterday. If any of you happened to notice a city which had a protest yesterday, didn’t devolve into rioting, and in which police played a positive, constructive role I’d appreciate hearing about it.

    • P J Evans says:

      I understand that the original curfew order in Minneapolis, which said it was okay to be outside while on your own property, has been disappeared and replaced by one that says you can’t be out in front at all, even on a porch or balcony.

  2. harpie says:

    Governor Murphy re: Camden NJ:
    11:18 AM · May 31, 2020

    Yesterday in New Jersey, protestors marched side by side with law enforcement, in peaceful demonstration against systemic racism and police violence.

    We can – we MUST – march toward justice together. [link]

    Links to Camden County Police Department:
    8:01 PM · May 30, 2020

    Chief Wysocki on the march today, standing together with the residents we serve to remember and honor George Floyd. #StrongerTogether #CamdenStrong [photo]

  3. harpie says:
    9:00 AM · May 31, 2020

    Since 2012, more than 2,600 misconduct complaints have been filed by members of the public against the Minneapolis Police Department, but only 12 have resulted in an officer being disciplined. The most severe censure has been a 40-hour suspension. [NYTimes link]

    Here’s VIDEO of Bob Kroll, president of Minneapolis Police Union SPEAKING at a TRUMP RALLY last October:
    5:34 PM · May 30, 2020

    Uncovered: Last October, the head of the Minneapolis police union — which days ago warned against a “rush to judgment” of the officers involved in George Floyd’s death — spoke at a Trump rally and praised him for ending the “handcuffing and oppression” of police under Obama. [VIDEO]


    The Obama Administration and the handcuffing and oppression of police was despicable. [boos]
    The first thing President Trump did when he took office was turn that around; got rid of [cheers] the Holder Loretta Lynch regime and decided to start taking letting the cops do their job, put the handcuffs on the criminals instead of us. [cheers]

    Kroll sounds like he may just be one of those “big strong men” who supposedly always come up to Trump crying and calling him “sir”, and thanking him for MAGA.

    • Bardi says:

      Any chance a large journalist organization can take this and run? Would anyone take offense if I sent this onto Adam Schiff and ask that the president of the union be asked to resign?

    • Raven Eye says:

      This is a little worrisome, coming from a police officer that’s supposedly been around for a while: “…put the handcuffs on the criminals instead of us.”

      Maybe I’m being too picky about this, but they’re not criminals unless they’ve been convicted.

  4. BobCon says:

    I am curious whether media management is going to back up their employees in any serious way. Are the editors and producers going to stop sanding off all of the rough edges of everything police representatives and right wing politicians say? Will they stop pretending that attacks are isolated incidents?

    Frankly, I doubt that tone setters in the media will. They are so wedded to a broken sense of balance that they always treat the fist and the face as equal partners in mayhem.

  5. Ginevra diBenci says:

    Thanks Rayne, for the images of law enforcement uniting with protesters to express shared humanity. I have been horrified by footage from city after city showing police lined up against citizens, sometimes accompanied by military hardware, like a hostile army occupying our cities. This dehumanizes both sides, us to them and them to us. Your post shows that we can do better.

    • John Lehman says:

      Amen, thanks Rayne.
      The “cities we didn’t see”,
      Totally in the spirit of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and dare I say Christ and all the saints of every religion. Why can’t the media, at least once in awhile take a hint from these higher examples from religious history?

      • John Lehman says:

        From downtown Portland Or.
        We’ve had our share of brutality, broken windows and burnt cars here the last two evenings.

      • Rayne says:

        Let’s not blame the media about this. Surely you’ve seen just how many news organizations have made steep cuts to staff or furloughed employees due to the downturn in spending because of COVID-19. National organizations will send reporters for the benefit of the widest audience.

        Nobody across the rest of the country gives a shit about Flint except Flintstones and the people of Michigan, which is why it didn’t get national coverage. Blame the public at large for not giving a flying fig now that the Flint water crisis is just old news as far as they’re concerned (never mind the water still isn’t safe).

        • John Lehman says:

          Yes, you’re right, didn’t mean to lay it all on them (media). It’s much more systematic, something we all need to learn.

          Maybe there’s a Pulitzer for someone who has the time, talent and energy to follow through on your lead.

          Thanks again for pointing out great and noble things happening that aren’t hitting the front pages.

    • harpie says:

      [photo of George Floyd]
      If we had embraced Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest and paid attention to the issue he was trying to address.

      We could be working toward change instead of witnessing the chaos, anger and violence in our streets.

      Because this was exactly what Kaepernick was protesting.
      Not the anthem. Not the flag. Not the military. But unchecked police brutality against people of color like George Floyd in our country.

      [photo of Colin Kaepernick, kneeling]

      • WCIslander says:

        I feel like this.

        Stand on a bended knee

        I’m standing here
        on bended knee

        Taking a moment
        To ask what, how, why

        Inhale a deep breathe
        And exhale a sigh

        Lift up your face
        See what you see

        To be as one
        Equal as one

        As we stand here now
        On a bended knee

        For Our Beliefs
        That which is right

        That which is truly meant to be

        Shine your light
        As bright as you can

        On a bended knee

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks Harpie. Colin Kaepernick was right in 2016. Encouraging to see police and others taking a knee. Now Roger Goodell has a new attitude.

      ‘Hypocrite’: NFL’s Roger Goodell Slammed For Statement On George Floyd Protests
      “Colin Kaepernick asked the NFL to care about the lives of black people and they banned him from their platform,” one sports writer tweeted.

    • BobCon says:

      One overseas correspondent I read has commented that they work incredibly hard to get interviews with participants and everyday people, while the US press covers domestic problems with sweeping, unsubstantiated statements and quotes from politicians.

      CNN, the NY Times, AP and other orgs have shallow or no roots in these communities, but feel free to parachute in with scripted narratives to be filled with paint by numbers narratives.

      And a fundamental imbalance emerges, because while police departments and the right wing are masters of camera ready speeches from podiums and making pitches to get pundits on panels, ground level organizers struggle to get into the PR pipeline that has become the lifeline of hacky news organizations.

      • madwand says:

        Yeah, and local news organizations are failing or being bought up by organizations like Sinclair which are more propaganda oriented and who bend news to their agenda. All this means is that you have to dig harder for the local stuff or watch overseas news.

        I lost the story and if I refind it I’ll post it about the cop, I’m thinking this was in Minnesota, who got separated from his unit and was being protected by protesters. Thats a story worth seeing.

        Also as you note the heterodox view has to wade against the current more than the orthodox. It therefor acquires more validity because it is more vetted as it passes through the filters of the MSM. People don’t think that way as they are constantly fed the orthodox view. So contrarian ideas still survive on the internet where the curious and informed make refuge.

  6. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. Appreciate the open thread.

    Article about out of town trouble makers.

    Peaceful Protesters in Chicago.
    Joshua Potash on Twitter: 2:00 AM · May 31, 2020
    People seem determined to share only violent images tonight.
    Please make sure that the massive peaceful protests like this one in Chicago get just as much attention.

    Sheriff Joins Protesters in Flint, Michigan.
    Habiba Choudhury on Twitter: 2:35 AM · May 31, 2020
    NEW: Flint, Michigan.
    As protestors chanted, “Walk with us” the Sheriff joined. This gives hope. The momentum will transform our country. #GeorgeFloydProtests

  7. fubar jack says:

    That footage from Flint made me cry when I saw it.
    From Canada… worried as &#*^ about you guys! Wishing that you can find healing and let some light come through.

  8. Peterr says:

    From KCUR reporter Peggy Lowe in Kansas City, where protests in and around The Plaza and Westport areas were the biggest:

    Looks like the police are trying to keep everyone within Mill Creek Park and they’ve fired tear gas in. So not sure how we’ll get out.


    @avivaokeson and I both got a little doused with the tear gas but we’re ok. Stings like hell.

    • skua says:

      Beside over two years of the President portraying reporters as treacherous liars trying to overthrow the government?

      • mass interest says:

        I deliberately used the word “directives.”

        Trump’s rhetoric has been inspiring and motivating these actions, but it appears that law enforcement has been directed to target journalists in some of the protests.

        • skua says:

          It is possible that the population of active duty LEOs, a group who tend authoritarian and for whom being violent is somewhat normalized, needed more than the encouragement by their President to see reporters as treacherous agents of a movement trying to destroy America, to make targeting severe physical violence against reporters seem a reasonable action.

          The infiltration by an anti-reporter grouping into police hierarchies wouldn’t be surprising.

          So far I don’t know of anything showing the existence of any directive. And Trump’s vilification of the press appears sufficient explanation to date for the attacks by police on reporters.

  9. Peterr says:

    KCUR also has a great story on the aftermath of a KCPD police shooting in 2013, that opens like this:

    Ryan Stokes, an African-American man, was gunned down by a Kansas City Police Department officer in the Power & Light District in 2013. Now one of the officers at the scene who refuted the department’s version of events has been pushed out.

    The first Kansas City Police Department officer to reach a 24-year-old African-American man after he was shot to death in a downtown parking lot — who later gave sworn testimony against the department’s false narrative of that night — has apologized to the young man’s mother.


    “I feel there’s something greater that is missing from police departments across the country,” Straub said. “That missing trait is empathy and the ability to see the good in everyone and the tragedy in the hurting no matter who they are.”

    Straub, who resigned under pressure from the department last year, was one of the officers who was chasing Ryan Stokes into a Power & Light District parking lot around 3 a.m. on July 28, 2013, after a drunk white man falsely accused Stokes of stealing his iPhone. . .

  10. Peterr says:

    From The Root:

    Two white women traveled 130 miles from their home in the Catskills, New York to the scene of the protests in Brooklyn, where they proceeded to make molotov cocktails and throw them at a parked police van, NY Daily News reported.

    27-year-old Samantha Shader and her younger sister are now facing federal charges.

    From NY Daily News:

    The improvised explosive struck the driver’s side of the van and the four 71st Precinct cops inside managed to escape as the vehicle caught fire, authorities said.

    “It is by the grace of God that we don’t have dead officers today,” NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Saturday.

    The elder Shader was charged with attempted murder, attempted arson, weapons possession and reckless endangerment before the feds took over the case, cops said.

    Shader’s younger sister Darian, 21, faces Brooklyn Criminal Court charges of resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration.

    The siblings, from Catskill, in Greene County, tried to run away afterward but were caught nearby.

    ETA: That story at The Root also has a number of other examples like this.

  11. Thomasa says:

    Robert Costa on Washington Week on Friday held an extra session discussing protests across the country. They tried to compare what is happening with previous events. 1968 loomed large but no one was old enough to remember it. 68 was well into the years of unrest that punctuated my coming of age.

    I watched the Democratic convention that August on our company day-room TV at Ft. Monmouth NJ. I was 20. The scene was absolutely shocking despite having seen the violent footage every day of the Viet Nam war. Then there were the scenes on the news of riots in Watts, Harlem, Newark, Detroit, Chicago; I thought I’d seen it all.

    But here was Walter Cronkite narrating the scene outside the convention hall where the Daily-Machine cops were cracking heads left and right with two of his reporters roughed up on camera. Cronkite was outraged, on-air. The country was outraged. Our officers and non-coms were outraged. Many thought the hippies had it coming but for the cops to beat up two national network reporters on camera was just too much. There were reminders that we served in the army to protect the constitution. This event was perpetrated by the Daily machine. What it wasn’t was encouraged by the Whitehouse.

    On Thursday afternoon I listened to Radio New Zealand’s short-wave news broadcast. They broadcast in English with transmissions aimed all across Micronesia toward the West Coast. They gave perhaps four minutes to reporting on Minneapolis and then did a lengthy interview with a citizen who was on the street. Friday their BBC affiliate did an equally thorough report of Thursday’s events. The whole world is watching this play out.

    • Peterr says:

      From the Guardian:

      Protesters in London, Cardiff and Manchester gathered on Sunday in solidarity with demonstrations in the United States that were sparked by the death of George Floyd.

      In London, demonstrators first gathered in Trafalgar Square, chanting “No justice, no peace”. What appeared to be many thousands then made their way through Whitehall past Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament, then over the Thames to the enormous and moated US embassy at Nine Elms in Battersea.

      Defying the ban on mass public gatherings because of the coronavirus lockdown, the demonstrators held cardboard placards reading Justice for George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, White Silence is Compliance and Rest in Power.

      Per NBC, there were similar protests in Berlin and Toronto.

      • Tom says:

        According to the Toronto CBC News website, about 3,500 to 4,000 people attended a march in downtown T.O. last night to protest the recent death of a 29-year-old black woman, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who fell to her death from an apartment balcony after police responded to a 911 call from her family. Ms. Korchinski-Paquet was apparently in the midst of a mental health crisis. The incident is still under investigation. The protest march was also made in solidarity with similar demonstrations across the U.S. in support of the family of George Floyd. Police were on hand but there was no violence.

        According to the main CBC News website, Senior Correspondent Susan Ormiston was in Minneapolis last night reporting on what she described as a peaceful demonstration, though she added there were scattered individuals intent on causing trouble. As Ormiston describes in a video clip, she and her camera crew were by themselves in a vacant parking lot away from the main crowd when they were targeted by the police who wanted them out of the area. Ormiston said she was hit in the shoulder by a rubber bullet and had “a sore butt” from being struck by a tear gas canister.

  12. harpie says:

    This thread is from Nick Waters, Digital investigations, #YemenProject, Syria, drones. Ex-infantry officer. Senior Investigator @Bellingcat.
    He’s collecting incidents of police targeting the press. It begins at 6 AM on 5/30 with three documented cases:
    6:00 AM · May 30, 2020

    The third clear example of a news crew being deliberately targeted by law enforcement in the US I’ve seen.

    Anybody else seen similar incidents?

    He repairs a break in the thread, here:

    The latest addition…[he’s paused for a break], is at
    Incident 54 at 1:28 PM · May 31, 2020

  13. mvario says:

    Also, last time I looked, besides Santa Cruz, California and Flint, Michigan, Camden and Newark NJ have remained peaceful, with city officials and police joining protesters in Camden.

  14. harpie says:

    TRUMP continues to STOKE the FIRES:

    12:23 PM · May 31, 2020

    The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.

    12:36 PM · May 31, 2020

    The Lamestream Media is doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy. As long as everybody understands what they are doing, that they are FAKE NEWS and truly bad people with a sick agenda, we can easily work through them to GREATNESS!

    3] [link in next comment]
    4:04 PM · May 31, 2020

    Law & Order in Philadelphia, NOW! They are looting stores. Call in our great National Guard like they FINALLY did (thank you President Trump) last night in Minneapolis. Is this what voters want with Sleepy Joe? All Dems!

    • harpie says:

      With regard to 1]:
      1:13 PM · May 31, 2020

      Spoke to @BradMossEsq about this tweet. There is no legal authority to designate any domestic entities as “terrorist organizations.” The KKK, Weathermen, etc were also never designated—raises many #1A issues. A EO from POTUS would be hollow. @steve_vladeck points this out as well
      2:03 PM · May 31, 2020

      Important: even if Trump’s tweet is legally toothless it encourages police and other bodies to treat protesters *as they would terrorists. It is meant to encourage violence.

      • harpie says:

        More in regard to 1]
        a] A thread from Clint Watts:
        3:44 PM · May 31, 2020

        Regarding the President, politics, law enforcement & Antifa – we have a problem.

        Here’s my story – for last 15 yrs been involved or teaching terrorism/counterterrorism courses to law enforcement around the country, last 3 years, it’s gotten weird. […]

        then last 3 years – Antifa suddenly became #1 threat for majority class. […] Some that said antifa was the top priority, literally did not know antifa stood for anti-fascist […]

        12:53 PM · May 31, 2020

        A lot of people have suggested the United States should have a law that would allow the government to go after domestic terrorism on an organizational basis, but there ain’t one.

        I guess this is the scenario that some opponents of such laws were justly worried about—a fascist or protofascist president branding antifascists as terrorists […] [link]

        Links to:
        A Road Map for Congress to Address Domestic Terrorism
        Mary B. McCord, Jason M. Blazakis
        February 27, 2019

        • Old Antarctic Explorer says:

          That’s why the Republicans pronounce it “anTEEfa”, not antiFA. AntiFA naturally morphs into Anti-Fascist, whereas AnTEEfa is an unknown to most people in this country. Except as a label the right wing hates.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yep. It’s all about him, about destroying our ability to evaluate him and his crimes, and to impose penalties for them. He’s dumb as a post, but his feral sociopathic opportunism make him a candidate for CEO of a pharmaceutical start-up.

    • harpie says:

      With regard to 3]

      Law and Order…Pence dog whistled it other day, and now Trump…and we’re right back at the 1968 GOP Convention.

      • Eureka says:

        To add context to # 3:

        Over on bmaz’s page, scribe* brought up Trump’s imprinting on former Philadelphia cop-to-mayor Frank Rizzo. I added some links, historical and from Saturday (incl front page of Sunday Inquirer with crowd chanting towards the vandalized Rizzo statue). “Law and order” Rizzo and that statue are huge symbols of events in Philadelphia this weekend (the fact that it was cleaned before the statue of Ben Franklin was — said by Mayor Kenney to be incidental — was duly noted). There is all manner of ‘sidesing’ over everything Rizzo stood for; Trump would be well aware of this today. His Philly area fans, ground teams, and bots sure are.

        By way of that synopsis, if you want to hear “Trump” before he was Trump, here’s Rizzo: attacking the press (the words** he uses, many of the low-rent variety, with repeated offers to take the crew out for a beatdown, one that he’d of course win), the demented prattling of a boastful bully, It’s In There:

        Philly Mayor Frank Rizzo: “I’ll break that camera over your head”
        2+ min excerpt

        ** ~ “Let’s forget all the rules of this great country we live in…”

        Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo versus KYW-TV News Anchorman Stan Bohrman 11-10-80
        7+ mins full version


        The video from the Rizzo estate sale shows some other shared tastes — affections for “Third Term!”- style memorabilia, Nixon-, Hoover-, and self-portraits — down to the gold-toned décor (in Rizzo’s version, more South Philly-to-Chestnut Hill – style). Of course, there are only so many ways for one to express authoritarian excellence.

  15. Vicks says:

    Denver shut down public transportation in and out of the city Thursday.
    That’s not making a whole lot of sense to me.
    Is anyone aware of other markets doing the same?

    • vvv says:

      Chicago; bridges up, public trans stopped, apparently have to prove purpose or residence to access downtown (The Loop).

      The Mayor of Chicago (Lightfoot – very good, with a new police chief out of, I think Dallas, David Brown), etc., are saying these are organized groups – I’m thinking gang-related as this has been something of an issue the last couple of years. TV footage shows much looting in some neighborhoods, with some looters showing up in U-Haul vans.
      Downtown had fires and looting on the Mag Mile and in The Loop, lots of high-end stores and banks broken into.

      I’m a local Chi-boy, South Side and then Near North, work in The Loop – I do think this is gang-related, although perhaps more robbery-gangs than street gangs – or both.

      I now live 23 miles out in a south suburb, with a mall protest today, and the looters showed up, they say. Streets are closed, sirens …

  16. rosalind says:

    (if in need of a break from the outside world, tonight on Epix 6pmPST/9pmEST is part 1 of the documentary “Laurel Canyon”, re the music scene 1965-1975, including footage of bmaz’ neighbor, Mr. Alice Cooper.)

  17. DrFunguy says:

    Eyewitness account from Seattle yesterday:
    A friend copied and pasted this eyewitness account from Rev Cecilia Kingman who is a minister in a Unitarian church.

    “Seattle streets were rough today. This is my eyewitness report. And yes, I am home safely.

    White supremacists were out in force. They were stirring up trouble, setting off fire crackers, agitating, while pretending to be protestors. I walked through downtown about 3:30, trying to meet some colleagues at the main protest that was organized by black leadership. For blocks, I saw trucks full of burly white men, putting on masks, and getting organized in small groups.

    These were not antifa. These were clearly cops or agitators. Some looked like civilians and some looked like cops and had cop gear, but were not in uniform. I did not feel safe taking photos of them while walking alone, but you have my word that these were not regular Seattle protestors.

    I passed the Municipal Court and it was guarded by a line of cops, waiting attentively. As I walked the marching protestors came south bound, and it was clear that there would be a clash at the Municipal Court. I skirted around the block to try to get to the rear flank of the protest.

    The protestors were mostly young, racially diverse, and frankly, many seemed new to this kind of action. I didn’t see many antifa types, although I did not go into the crowd. (I am not interested in getting Covid 19, and shouting in close quarters is a pretty likely mode of transmission.)

    I couldn’t get though the police lines because they advanced rapidly. The protestors were quickly covered by police lines on more than one side, and I came back up to 5th Ave to try to cut through to meet my comrades. Within minutes the police line at the Municipal Court was in close quarters with protestors. I could not see what was happening, as I was almost a block away.

    But I did see these white guys in all black, with bullet proof vests, inciting anger, setting off loud firecrackers, shouting provocative phrases, and creating additional anxiety and chaos. They shouted at cars, too, of bystanders trying to get through eastbound, instead of moving. Other protestors were not acting this way. Folks were peaceful, if nervous.
    Within half an hour flash bombs and tear gas were being used near the Municipal Court. People began screaming and running north on 5th and 6th. I was still alone and unable to reach my friends, so I tried to stay ahead of the crowd.

    I headed north on 6th and could see a plume of black smoke coming from further north. I heard that BECU was on fire. There were cops to the north and south and people started heading west. Folks were mostly calm, and kind to each other, except these black clad white guys.

    My friends let me know that there was news of a guy with a gun, and that’s when I decided to get out. I walked to the light rail at University and 3rd, skirting groups of cops. I waited half an hour for the train, which is when I heard about the curfew. More and more people filled the station. People were quiet, somber, and helpful although socially distanced. Mostly young people, as I said, and racially diverse.

    I am deeply disturbed by what I saw. I heard from a friend that the Proud Boys were out, but I don’t know if that is who I saw. My heart aches not to stay there as a clergy witness, but the situation seemed too dangerous to be there alone. I’m praying for all who are engaging the forces of repression tonight. These are dangerous hours, in many ways. “

  18. DrFunguy says:

    Watching my homeland from across the border I have to think a big tipping point is fast approaching. And it doesn’t look good for our side right now. The right-wingers, fascists and racists have been preparing for this and they see Trump as their key to power. They are aided by useful idiots like (some) antifa, ‘boogaloo’ etc.
    Thanks for sharing some positive stuff in the storm.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump can think of nothing to say, so he hides in the White House bunker. Other than for practice, it was last used immediately after 9/11, I believe.

    Trump must be stocking it with supplies for the day he is told to leave by the government that no longer employs him. He seems likely to create a whole new definition for “disgruntled former employee.”

    • vvv says:

      Yes, he was apparently bunkered-up for an hour or so last night, which might explain some of his hyper-aggressive and paranoid “dogs and weapons” tweeting … or he was just being his usual douche-bag self – hard to tell.

      ht tps://

      • vvv says:

        My OCD (I really don’t have OCD, I always say that and then say I really don’t have it ;-D ) compels me to correct that it was a Friday night hunkering.

        I wonder could it be arranged as a weekly thing? One would think Twitter would be blocked down there, and as the wife and child were also present, perhaps a little parenting time might help … someone.

    • P J Evans says:

      I feel like that entire lot turned into “former employees” this week. Biden is more president than Trmp.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      HAHAHA, I have visions of him cowering in the bunker surrounded by piles of cold Big Macs and buckets of KFC.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The team inside the bunker with him would be like pharaoh’s priests inside the pyramid, waiting for the architect to break the globes and let the sand and granite blocks fall into place.

        Less dramatically, all that’s needed to start an orange stampede for the open door: change the launch codes, cut off his TV and twtr feeds, and stop fast food deliveries. Then somebody with him starts sneezing uncontrollably.

  20. e.a.f. says:

    Rayne, thank you for the article. the police attacking the press is not a surprise. Its like the old saying: first they came for the Jews,,,,,,,in the end they came for everyone they disagreed with. In the case of the U.S.A.: first they came for the African Americans, then they came for the journalists, etc.

    what Americans needs to ask themselves is: when will they come for me. Most Americans aren’t of much use to Trump and his ilk. they protest, they will be maimed or killed just as Journalists and African Americans were/are. They do remember how Trump spoke of Mexicans and Muslims do they not? He had no problem caging children…….

    I started to watch it all on the news and turned it off. I first saw this type of thing in the 1950s during the Civil Rights Marchs. Then as a teenager, one night my Mom got me up to watch the late news to see the riots in L.A.. Her point was, I think, this wasn’t unlike how things went for the Jews in Europe prior to WW II. Over the decades not much has changed in the U.S.A. The news last evening advised some states had ordered in all their National Guard, some numbering into the thousands. Then I turned to the rebellion/protests in Hong Kong and thought, really what is the difference between these two rebellions/protests. None really, both groups of citizens are fighting for their human rights.

    As that police officer murdered the man, the others stood by. it was like they didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with what was happening. that is the most frightening thing of it all. Its accepted behaviour.

    What was interesting was the mayor of L.A. carrying on about “rioters” and how they weren’t going to put up with it. What I didn’t catch was him speaking about cops murdering African Americans or police brutality, etc. When I look at the police its, we will kill you, if we feel like it. If you protest we will kill you. No where does any one seem to be saying police brutality is wrong, murder is wrong. Its O.K. to kill humans but not to damage buildings.

    We’ve have protests here in Vancouver last night and in Toronto. Toronto has its own problems. At 70 I thought this might have gotten better, but I can see, not so much.

    Again thank you for the article and I wish you and your country good luck and change for the better

  21. Duke says:

    Kalamazoo and Flint, Michigan impressed me even though Kalamazoo was expected to be mostly civil. Flint is a beauty beyond compare.

  22. P J Evans says:

    Guy who started fires in Pittsburgh yesterday has been arrested. 20-year-old white guy.

  23. CD54 says:

    What’s the chance any of these police departments will use their facial recognition system on their own officers acting illegally?

      • vvv says:

        I keep thinking about tweet footage of the Autozone window-breaking guy with the umbrella …

        “Are you a cop?’

  24. Peacerme says:

    A black protester was killed by a store owner who waited in his store for the opportunity to shoot. The person broke his window so he shot him to death as he stood in crowd of protestors. Happened in the old market by a man with a history of racist tweets and behaviors. The police are not reporting if he’s been arrested or will be charged. The town is now very affected by this.

    My daughter and son attended protests in Omaha and witnessed bus loads of white supremacists taunting protestors. She also witnessed police chasing peaceful protestors in to corners and surrounding them and gassing them. She said she witnessed that people could not get to their cars to disperse because of the way police cornered them.

    Of course Omaha is seen as small town and the news on this is being censored because we have no report on what they intend to do with the shooter.

    Gut wrenching. My only solace is that I’ve raised 4 kids who are trying to help the cause. We sat on the deck donating money to bail out protestors. Made signs and tossed out shouts of BLM wherever we could.

    • vvv says:

      Some really powerful photography here:

      ht tps://

    • posaune says:

      Blessings to you, Peacerme.
      I didn’t realize you raised 4 kids – that’s a real accomplishment.
      And that they are engaged and caring adults superb.
      Still thinking of you and sending our best energy your way.

  25. Jenny says:

    “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  26. Pete T says:

    Speaking of other cities though a bit off the topic here…

    If Trump could get his head out of his ass he might see what is going on in the rest of the world.

    BLM and George Floyd support protests goin on in New Zealand, London, France, and elsewhere.

    The social distancing and masking was unfortunately quite a bit lacking.

  27. harpie says:

    MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2020
    Washington DC

    6:51 PM ET

    TRUMP: “I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson. And to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights.” [VIDEO]

    7:29 PM ET CNN chyron reads:


    • Tom says:

      In his mind’s eye, Trump probably sees himself as raising Old Glory on Mount Suribachi.

      • harpie says:

        10:29 PM · Jun 1, 2020

        1. Spoke w/Bishop Mariann Budde of the Washington Diocese. On Trump’s remarks: “Everything he has said is antithetical to the teachings of our traditions and what we stand for as a church.” ALSO: One of those driven out w/tear gas for the photo op was a *priest of the diocese.*

        [screenshots of the experiences of others]

        She told me that law enforcement with shields forced priests, others *off the church patio,* meaning they stepped on church property to expel people from it.

        As she put it: “They turned holy ground into a battle ground.”

        • harpie says:

          Here’s his story:
          Ahead of Trump Bible photo op, police forcibly expel priest from St. John’s church near White House

          Jack Jenkins June 2, 2020

          […] Gerbasi, who serves as rector at a different Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown, arrived at St. John’s Lafayette earlier that day with what she said were at least 20 other priests and a group of laypeople. They were organized by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington to serve as a “peaceful presence in support of protestors.”

          The volunteers and clergy offered water, snacks, and hand sanitizer to demonstrators who were gathered in Lafayette Park across the street — which sits directly in front of the White House — to denounce racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd. […]

          The Rt. Rev. Mariann Budde, the bishop of Washington who helped organize the clergy presence at the church, said Trump’s arrival at St. John’s happened without warning and left her “outraged.” […]

      • harpie says:

        1] FBI seeking information:
        5:47 PM · Jun 1, 2020

        The FBI is seeking information and digital media depicting individuals inciting violence during First Amendment protected peaceful demonstrations: […]
        If you witness or have witnessed unlawful violent actions, we urge you to submit any information, photos, or videos that could be relevant to the case at [link]

        2] Rep. Karen Bass, [D-CA 37] responds:
        11:53 PM · Jun 1, 2020

        Found one. [photo]


      • harpie says:

        What keeps going through my mind about this:

        I moved on her like a bitch. . . .
        When you’re a star, they let you do it. . . .
        Grab ’em by the pussy…
        You can do anything.

    • harpie says:

      9:14 PM

      General Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, walking the streets of Washington DC right now [wearing camo]. Briefly spoke to say he is observing the situation. [VIDEO]

      10:00 PM [NYT]

      As protesters made their way into Chinatown, military helicopters were positioned just above rooftops, sending gusts of dust into the air. A part of a tree fell, nearly hitting passerbys. The crowds dispersed down side streets. Some storefronts were shattered. #DCProtest.

      About 10 minutes later, here it goes again. [VIDEO] [VIDEO]

      These are Lakota helicopters performing what’s known as a show of force, which is often conducted by low-flying jets in combat zones to scare away insurgents. A Black Hawk performed the maneuver minutes later.

      • harpie says:

        Looks like maybe
        TRUMP will GRAB that MILITARY PARADE he’s been CRAVING:

        Both via nycsouthpaw:
        3:17 PM · Jun 1, 2020

        Here’s the audio of the US secretary of defense referring to American streets as the “battle space”

        ESPER: And so, at my urging, and I agree, we need to dominate the battle space, [???] from the guard. I stand ready, the chairman stands ready, the head of the national guard stands ready to fully support you in terms of helping mobilize the guard and doing what they need to do]

        5:55 AM · Jun 2, 2020

        Remarkable that deploying the military in the streets has been a far-right bogeyman since I was a kid, and now it’s their guy making preparations to do it [link]

        Links to:
        [twitter dot com] AircraftSpots/status/1267674928729358336
        12:30 AM · Jun 2, 2020

        Tonight, multiple C-130J and C-17A cargo aircraft from Fort Riley, Fort Drum, and Fort Bragg are arriving into Andrews AFB. (@AP reporting 82nd Airborne Division activated) 10th Mountain Division & 1st Infantry Division which were on standby, also appear to be activated. [screen shots]

          • harpie says:

            TRUMP moved on US like a bitch!

            …with the assistance of
            The WHOLE fucking GOP and
            ALL the other fucking FASCISTS.

        • harpie says:

          Called it, re: MILITARY PARADE

          Uncomfortable Mission’: Pentagon Tries to Retreat From Trump’s Call to ‘Dominate’ Protests Pentagon officials say it was the White House, not the Defense Department, pushing for military might in the streets—with Trump seeking details on “tanks” that could be used. AWKWARD
 Erin Banco Spencer Ackerman Asawin Suebsaeng
          Jun. 03, 2020 8:06AM ET

          But three senior Pentagon officials who spoke with The Daily Beast said they viewed the secretary’s comments on the call as a way to publicly show support for the president. They did not expect the department to actually implement a plan that would reflect the president’s rhetoric and force additional troops upon the states. […] The Associated Press was the first to report about the military flyover being connected to a request from President Trump.

          Additionally, the president has pressed aides and Pentagon officials for graphic details on the kind of armored vehicles, military units, aircraft, and even “tanks” that they could potentially send to maintain order in U.S. areas rocked by protests and rioting, according to two people familiar with recent discussions.

          One of the sources, a senior administration official, insisted that the president wasn’t ordering tanks to roll down the streets, but was inquiring about “the kind of hardware” that could be used in military shows of force, and at one point Trump threw out the word “tanks.”
          “I think that is just one of the military words he knows,” this official said. […]

          It’s REALLY GROSS to know the slimy details of

          TRUMP’s WET DREAMS


      • harpie says:

        Well, I didn’t know what to call Milley’s attire, [I called it “camo”] but others more knowledgeable thought it was unusual, too:
        2:08 AM · Jun 2, 2020

        During my time at the White House Situation Room, it was normal practice for military officers to wear the more formal service uniforms when attending meetings there. […]

        That makes it even more unusual, but more importantly INTENTIONAL, that GEN Milley wore his Army Combat Uniform to the White House today […]

        Trump is setting the stage, and they are all merely players.

  28. Tom says:

    As I recall, one of the concerns raised about posting troops to the southern border last year was that the Army was being asked to perform duties that it does not ordinarily carry out, and that the consequence might be a deterioration in the soldiers’ combat edge. For the same reason it’s also my understanding that ordering troops to be deployed against their fellow citizens can be very damaging to troops’ morale, as it’s not a role they expect to be called upon to play when they enlist.

    For the Trump administration, is there not also a risk that if soldiers are called upon to confront or–God forbid!–use force against civilians in the street they will begin to question who the real ‘enemy’ is? As a volunteer force, I realize the U.S. Army is not representative of the society it comes from, but aren’t men and women in uniform generally respected and revered across the country? Everyone believes in supporting the troops but will that support still be there if city streets across the country become literally “battlespaces” with U.S. forces “dominating” the public square?

  29. BobCon says:

    I had wondered a couple of days ago if media management was going to back up their reporters.

    Unsurprisingly the message is mostly no, no they will not.

    Last night two out of three network news websites, NPR, and presented police violence and the attack on the St. John’s Church as clashes between two sides. And the NY Times ran this seven column headline, horrendous subhed, and embarassing story:

    This is an order of magnitude worse in terms of editorial failure than the 2016 “No Clear Link to Russia” headline because this is a full page headline. Not only did some editor decide to whitewash the ongoing attacks on peaceful protestors — and journalists — to protect Trump and the police. Someone — almost certainly Baquet — decided to format the Times as a tabloid to do it.

    Reporters are being targeted and the message their bosses are sending is they deserve it.

    • harpie says:

      Male: You’re outside the White House where Donald Trump is about to, to, I think it’s getting a bit tense.

      Reporter: Yeah, absolutely, guys, we’ve just had to run about a block while police moved in. We’ve been fired at with rubber bullets. My cameraman has been hit. We’ve also seen tear gas being used. [crowd turns and begins running] They’re moving through again. This is exactly what it looks like, exactly what it looks like [0:24] The same MEDIA! [camera off]

      M: oh! Female: OH! M: WOAH! [0:30] M: oh… F: Amelia [sp?], can you hear us? M: Amelia, are you OK? [0:32] [camera at studio] Or your cameraman?

      [0:33] [camera back to DC] M: Hello, Amelia. [0:36] Um, the police just charged at Amelia and our seven news cameraman there and looks like a policeman just ?? our cameraman [0:48]
      F: Which is interesting cause they are not discriminating between the protesters and the media, here. [0:53] Amelia, can you hear us yet? M: Amelia, are you there? F: Amelia, are you OK?
      [0:58] [Reporter on camera, speaking, inaudible]
      [1:02] Reporter [on camera] Yes, I am. You heard us yelling there that we were media, but they don’t care. They’re being indiscriminate at the moment. They chased us down that street as you see. They were firing these rubber bullets at everyone. There is tear gas. Now, we are really surrounded by the police. And you really saw the way that they dealt with my cameraman [?name?] They’re quite violent. And they DO NOT CARE who they’re targeting at the moment. [1:29]

    • harpie says:
      12:48 PM · Jun 2, 2020

      Watch this video by a Des Moines Register journalist [Katie Akin] repeatedly and clearly ID-ing herself to police before getting pepper sprayed. [link]

      This is terrifying.
      1:48 AM · Jun 2, 2020

      Here’s me getting pepper sprayed. [VIDEO]
      [towards the end] “I can’t really see. I DID get this all on tape, on the bright side.” […]

  30. harpie says:

    1] Earlier today, there were three itms on Pompeo’s public schedule [always subject to change] [Transcribed from screenshot, here: 12:04 PM · Jun 2, 2020]:

    11:20 a.m. Secretary Pompeo accompanies President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on their visit to Saint John Paul II National Shrine, in Washington, D.C.

    12:15 p.m. Secretary Pompeo attends President Donald Trump’s signing of an Executive Order to Advance International Religious Freedom, at the White House.

    2:30 p.m. Secretary Pompeo meets with Tiananmen Square Survivors, at the Department of State.

    When I looked at the State Department website sometime later, only the third item was still on the schedule, so I don’t know if the very conservative Catholic Pompeo went with Trump to St. Paul.

    2] Trump’s schedule has the visit to St. Paul, and the EO signing, as well: 11:27 PM · Jun 1, 2020

    11:15AM THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Saint John Paul II National Shrine
    Washington, D.C.
    In-Town Travel Pool […]

    12:15PM THE PRESIDENT signs an Executive Order to Advance International Religious Freedom
    Oval Office
    Closed Press […]

    • harpie says:

      Here’s why I’m bringing this up. At the exact moment Trump was scheduled to arrive at St. Paul, and five minutes BEFORE Pompeo was to meet him there, The Arch Diocese of Washington published this tweet:
      11:15 AM · Jun 2, 2020

      .@WashArchbishop Gregory has released a statement on the president’s visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. [screenshot] [link]

      Archbishop Wilton Gregory Issues Statement on Planned Presidential Visit […]

      I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree. Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings. His legacy bears vivid witness to that truth. He certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace.

      The tweet also links to a longer statement on the murder of George Floyd and the larger topic of racism in America, and this notice:

      Archbishop Gregory will participate in an Online Dialogue with the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University this Friday, June 5, from 12 noon – 1 p.m. EDT to discuss
      “Racism in Our Streets and Structures – A Test of Faith, A Crisis for Our Nation.” […]

    • P J Evans says:

      that’s St John Paul II, named for the pope. It’s owned and operated by the (very conservative) Knights of Columbus, who are known for funding conservative groups. The (RC) Archbishop of DC is Not Happy, but can’t intervene in this. (However, he *could* do something like refusing communion to Pompeo and his buddies.)

    • harpie says:

      And now this, via Ryan Struyk:
      1:49 PM · Jun 2, 2020

      A spokesperson for the US Catholic Bishops, whose headquarters are right down the street from the JP2 shrine, confirms that no @USCCB officials were involved in President Trump’s visit.

      It’s the second time in two days the WH has bypassed local religious leaders for photo ops.

  31. harpie says:

    [via Adam Klasfeld]
    12:39 PM · Jun 2, 2020

    The DC mayor’s office says federal officials, including at the White House, inquired about their powers to take control of the city’s police department. City officials objected and threatened a legal challenge [WaPo]
    12:30 PM · Jun 2, 2020

    Washington, DC @MayorBowser: “We don’t want the armed National Guard, armed military and we don’t want any of those things on DC streets.” [link]

  32. harpie says:
    2:14 PM · Jun 2, 2020

    Breaking from WaPo just now: “William Barr personally ordered law enforcement officials on the ground to extend the perimeter around Lafayette Square just before President Trump spoke Monday, a Justice Department official said.”

    Keep this in mind: Bill Barr is one of the top officials who has been using the “domestic terror” language, which is highly questionable, especially coming from the nation’s chief law enforcement officer:

    • harpie says:
      2:26 PM · Jun 2, 2020

      Replying to @nycsouthpaw [wrt: Wapo] Who could’ve guessed AG Barr would be chomping at the bit to send federal officers out to suppress demonstrations. And by “who could’ve guessed” I mean ” @NAACP_LDF specifically raised this exact issue when he was nominated.” [link, pdf]

      From the linked pdf:

      [p4] • Mr. Barr has insisted the unrest in Los Angeles following the beating of Rodney King in 1991 underscored the need for a tough-on-crime stance. Mr. Barr maintains that what followed the acquittals of the officers who assaulted Rodney King “was not civil unrest or the product of some festering injustice,” but “was gang activity, basically opportunistic.” 19 Mr. Barr acknowledges his role in preparing a plan “overnight” to send over 2000 federal officers—FBI, SWAT, a border patrol special operations group, U.S. marshals, prison special operations, etc.—to Los Angeles to make clear that, in his own words, “we’re not going to tolerate any of this stuff out in the streets.” 20 Mr. Barr told President Bush that an alternative to his plan to send in the federal officers would be to send in “the regular army.” Mr. Barr stated, “We had just gone through an exercise two years earlier in St. Croix, so I was very familiar with how to use regular Army in a domestic situation.” 21 Mr. Barr regrets that DOJ did not pursue federal indictments against people in the Los Angeles community during the uprising.22

    • BobCon says:

      “extend the perimeter” is not what he ordered, though.

      He ordered police to attack unarmed, peaceful protestors. The Post shouldn’t have allowed that euphemism.

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