Today is a big one, but not in a good way, for Portland. I like that city, I think. It’s eight hours away by train, and that’s still a no from me so no, I don’t really know if I like it or not. I've never been. I’m holding on until 2055. 2055, that’s the year the high speed train linking the three Cascadia cities is supposed to be up and running. Portland will then be less than two hours away from Vancouver. You'll be hitting speeds of 400 km/h. That gets you down to Seattle in under an hour. No one will need to drive East for anything ever again. That's a future we can all get behind.
Portland today, I don’t know—I think I’d give it a miss. Today's the day the alt-right is supposed to “descend” on Portland in numbers projected to approach or exceed one thousand. It’s for an event organized by Proud Boys an organization which was founded by Canadian Gavin McInnes. McInnes is a co-founder of Vice Magazine, a magazine, originally from Montreal, that made its money by making fun of people, and by butts--lots and lots of butts. How does a nice fellah from Ottawa go from social style shaming and boner fetishism to forming and funding a predominately American, heavily armed, civilian paramilitary force devoted to protecting what they call “western chauvinism"?
Yeah, I don't know, but maybe someone from Rose City Antifa, one of the leading Portland organizations expected to meet the Proud Boys today, can pose that very question when they see Gavin. Oh hey Gav, what's up.
The following is an excerpt from Rose City Antifa’s website. It explains why direct protest is the correct way to engage over civic disagreements in the public sphere. Rose City Antifa reminds us that any action which harnesses the power of the state, or its institutions, to censor ideas with which we disagree and to punish those who say them, is wrong and ultimately self-defeating: strengthening already powerful institutions, by enhancing their already massively far-reaching and utterly devastating disciplinary powers, chills dissent and discourages open and free discourse.
“We aim to address issues of racist and extreme-Right organizing within communities, not to trust or engage the courts, or to ask for government action. We oppose calls to fight fascist movements through increases of state power, as this firstly treats the state as an allegedly neutral tool and conceals institutional racism. Furthermore, increases in state investigative and prosecutorial power against alleged “extremism” can facilitate crackdowns on protest and social change movements in general, which we oppose.” (emphasis added)