Filed under: Anti-fascist, Editorials, Northwest, Police, The State
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PopMob in Portland responds to the City of Portland who refuses to walk back on their promotion of a far-Right conspiracy theory.
The City of Portland’s refusal to retract and apologize for Portland Police’s statement on Twitter about cement milkshakes on June 29th is further evidence that they do not appreciate the true gravity of the threat posed by right-wing extremists to the safety of Portlanders.
Members of PopMob were front and center distributing vegan coconut milkshakes on that day, as we had publicized in advance that we would be doing. By sharing the rumor without confirming what was in the milkshakes, Portland Police foreseeably exposed members of PopMob to abuse from far right extremists.
Right wing media and prominent individuals repeated PPB’s vague tweet as fact. That led to PopMob receiving an onslaught of threats, including death threats, from far right extremists and white supremacists including vile racist, anti-semitic, homophobic and misogynistic violence.
To this day, the City has produced no substantiated evidence whatsoever of cement milkshakes or of PopMob’s involvement in distributing harmful substances.
The public comments by PPB have changed every time they have responded to criticism.
Moreover, PPB’s actions in response to the alleged threat of cement milkshakes seems strange: there was no attempt to warn demonstrators consuming the milkshakes about this potential hazard beyond the Twitter post, despite having a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) which made announcements throughout the day. Officers nearby made no attempt to stop PopMob from serving the milkshakes, which was happening in plain view from where they stood.
PPB expressed mild concern about the death threats we have received – but have entirely failed to take responsibility for fueling them. Doxxing, rampant threats, and even the potential for real life violence are an obvious and foreseeable consequence of actions such as this tweet by PPB.
Portlanders deserve much better from their city government: it is well past time for them to wake up and get to grips with the threat that right wing extremists pose, and the role the police play in protecting them.