Reports of what’s really going on in (and behind) the Antifa and Black Lives Matter demonstrations across America are coming in with greater regularity. The authorities aren’t saying much about what they’re learning, but they’re clearly monitoring radio frequencies and cellphone location and use, among other techniques. We’re seeing results in arrest warrants issued en masse after enough information has been gathered to justify them. (See, for example, recent developments in Portland and Los Angeles.) The Justice Department, in particular, appears to be deploying assets on a large scale to gather information.
Two recent reports from informed observers shed light on what’s going on during the riots. First, the Center for Security Policy published an analysis titled “Contextual Insurgency: Lessons From a Week Observing Portland Black Bloc“.
Contrary to media claims, the situation in Portland has continued despite efforts by federal law enforcement to deescalate and get state and local authorities to take responsibility. Antifa and its allies have subsequently shifted targets from the federal courthouse to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB).
This article examines an ongoing effort by a complex, distributed antifa network to conduct a “dilemma action,” intended to target the PPB based on several days of open-source research and direct observation.
Put simply a dilemma action is a strategy using carefully-targeted types and degrees of civil disobedience to cause security forces to either concede the space and thus exhibit weakness, or respond in a manner that appears disproportionate and evokes negative sentiments in the population.
Civil disobedience for a dilemma action is usually characterized as “non-violent.” but it must be remembered that within radical left organizing circles property damage by itself is considered non-violent by definition. Portland protests in particular have been marked by a nightly damage toll heavily biased towards law enforcement and government property and buildings.
The course of the nightly action against the PPB followed a fairly predictable pattern: a contingent of notional BLM protesters rendezvoused with a group of antifa black bloc at a public park close to their objective. As they moved towards the police building which was their target, “corkers” -a sort of bicycle-mounted blocking force – closed off side streets and the scouting line – typically on mopeds – moved ahead and on the flanks. Behind them came the main contingent of black bloc. Upon arrival at the PPB the streets were blocked with vehicles and burning dumpsters, with the “corkers” stationed to direct traffic away from the action and the scouts setting up a picket line extending out several blocks, watching for police reinforcements and creating the strong impression of antifa control of territory.
The report goes on to describe typical developments during and after the riot, and concludes:
The dilemma action put the police in a conundrum: police have a responsibility to enforce order and control space, so doing nothing and allowing antifa to occupy and destroy property causes them to appear weak and ineffectual, thus inciting further acts against police. If they appear to respond too aggressively however – or intercept the march before it reaches its location, giving grounds for claims of a first amendment violation – they risk facing allegations of being tyrannical and overbearing.
It is best to think of the ongoing situation in Portland not as a series of otherwise conventional riots, but rather as an insurgency taking place between dueling narratives. Antifa seeks to displace police and steal for itself the mantle of “community defense,” while pinning upon the police the blame for disruption they themselves have caused. The ultimately successful party will be the one that consistently pressures their opponent into playing the assigned role as “the bad guys.”
There’s more at the link.
We should note that the actions described in the report are evidence of training and organization far beyond what one would expect of a “spontaneous” protest movement. These are highly organized events, perpetrated by a trained cadre of leaders and community organizers. This infrastructure must have taken months to build, if not years. It’s clear that Antifa/BLM are building a field army. Just like a core national army, they’ve had their “inner circle” preparing for this for a long time. Now, “conscript soldiers” (i.e. those who support their objectives enough to come out and demonstrate) are being trained during the nightly violence, and radicalized. They’ll spread the message further, and take it to areas where enough local support is not available. (Note how many of the rioters in Kenosha were “out-of-towners”, not locals: almost 60% of those arrested.)
We aren’t dealing with “spontaneous” protests at all. We’re dealing with an active, trained, motivated insurrection.
That’s confirmed by another report about the demonstrations in Michigan some weeks ago.
The narrative being presented was that these protests were not centrally organized and that they were grass-roots protests just springing up in response to social issues. My time inside the protests verified that this just isn’t true; they are very organized and are being planned by someone.
. . .
The first one I attended was on the University of Michigan campus … the first speaker pointed out that “allies from RevCom/ANTIFA” were present, just to provide “logistical support” including medical and security teams. The local RevCom leader got up and explained how to find the medics (Large red or green crosses) and explained that security was “circulating among the crowd” for safety. That was an ominous statement, as I’ll point out later.
I began moving through the crowd and quickly spotted several security team members, obviously watching the crowd for anyone who wasn’t clapping or cheering along. It’s important to note that these protests require 100% ideological agreement or they will approach you and become confrontational, so I made sure I was chanting along. I noticed almost immediately that despite the man who said he was the RevCom leader, a young man named Ethan, that I would later have many interactions with, was actually in charge. He is a security team leader within the ANTIFA organization.
The biggest observation from the first protest was that despite the claims that they aren’t organized, they are highly organized by a central organization. Ethan and his security/medical team have been at every protest I’ve attended in Michigan, including one at the Capitol an hour away. They use the ubiquitous BaoFeng Handi-talkie radios to communicate.
Ethan himself most frequently wears Interceptor Body Armor and a Guy Fawkes mask, while dressing in black and red. When he is not personally actually leading the march, he wears the full face Guy Fawkes mask to try and prevent being identified.
Next, I attended a smaller protest that was scheduled in Canton Township, Michigan, a small Detroit suburb. I arrived an hour early, and lo & behold, Ethan and his crew were already in place. The protest met in a local grocery store lot and Ethan’s team was patrolling the lot, checking cars for people who appeared to be watching the protest.
. . .
A few days later, I was attending a BLM protest in downtown Detroit. This one was different. The organizers, while they accepted the RevCom/ANTIFA medical assistance, refused the offer to assist with security and had their own provided by the local Masons club. Ethan was not to be stumped…despite their claims to refuse outside assistance to prevent “agitators”, I quickly found Ethan and his entire security team hidden among the crowd, still using radios, and conducting serious counter-surveillance, including snapping a few photos of me.
. . .
The next few protests were more of the same, with Ethan and his team following and intimidating anyone who didn’t appear to belong. They followed people to their vehicles and recorded license plate numbers. It’s important to note that they were very obvious about recording the numbers, in an attempt to intimidate anyone who might oppose their viewpoint.
At the Capitol protest, the game changed significantly. Ethan and his team met up with other RevCom/ANTIFA and BLM security teams from around the state and all were openly carrying arms, including long guns. Many of the ANTIFA people who showed up all in black were wearing helmets and soft armor, so they were ready for violence. They actively harassed and intimidated anyone they deemed as “Militia”.
. . .
As a follow-up, after I observed one protest in Detroit, my friend Ethan came out of the shadows and made a Twitter post that the Detroit Police had tried to run him over, complete with video. I was there. They surrounded the police cars and began beating on them, trying to force the police to use deadly force or hit them with the cars. The entire situation was a set-up designed to produce a new incident to create more tension and protests.
Again, more at the link.
So, if you find “demonstrations” coming to streets near you, be aware that they’re unlikely to be actual “protests”. Rather, they’re likely to be organized actions to destabilize your area, provoke police, and further the aims of the enemies of this nation, who seek to overthrow it from within. It’s “terrorism lite” – and may become heavier as the elections draw closer.
I think it’s important not to overreact to such provocations, because that’s exactly what those behind them want. They’d like nothing more than to spread violence and bloodshed across our country. Rather, hold back your anger, no matter how justified, and let the authorities handle it. Of course, if the insurgents are stupid enough to threaten you with harm that you can’t otherwise avoid, then all bets are off. On such occasions, Captain John Parker’s orders at Lexington come to mind.