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Antifa Weaponizing Arson?
Nothing about the year 2020 has been even close to subtle or normal thus far. To call it divisive would be a gross understatement. Political division is currently at levels only seen during the lead up to our nation's independence and the American Civil War. The country's ideological left incorrectly assumes it has both the popular majority and moral imperative to mold our society completely into their vision. This has led to a stand-alone complex being created. You have multiple factions of this ideology attempting to achieve this through different means and for different reasons. It gives the appearance that its one unified force but it's the opposite. Although the more mainstream and establishment political organizations operate under the faulty logic that they can control the others. These others are the more extreme and direct-action groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa.
Over the past few months, BLM and Antifa have mostly been conducting their operations to varying degrees in the safer stomping grounds of large cities. They are allowed a great deal of freedom to operate because these cities have leadership which thinks it can use these groups to their advantage. Thankfully, the federal government has been able to operate effectively enough to keep them not only occupied but contained. However, Antifa especially has learned how to operate from our foreign enemies like Al-Queda. These highly independent cells are able to coordinate through social media and prove than can challenge established law enforcement. They have also likely learned from the COVID-19 pandemic the power of nature disaster to control the populace.
This now brings us to a question being raised by some about their involvement in the forest fires that have been plaguing the west coast states this year. While some have been linked to specific causes, there are still many with unexplained origins. The most common natural-ignition source is a lightning strike. Yet the weather patterns this year have seen a very limited number of lightning storms to be the cause of so many fires. The other common factor is human interaction. Which brings us back to Antifa. Many have asked the question about whether some of its members are starting these fires and is the government downplaying this or outright trying to cover it up?
We will start with the latter issue and its plausibility. So far, years the democratic super majorities in the governing bodies of state like California thru Washington have allowed for environmental extremists to push through incredibly short-sighted laws pertaining to management of woodland areas. Preventing them from being safely maintained to help reduce both the chances and size of wildfires. One of the most significant examples of these laws are the ones to prevent the deliberate removal of dead and fallen timber in these forests. By not clearing these timbers and other underbrush, the accumulation of it is just building a natural fire pit. These laws started to have a massive affect beginning in 2013 and by 2019 the state of California alone suffered over 1,500 wildfires. Oregon and Washington were somewhat spared because they have not had the issues of drought until more recently. State leaderships have gone on to blame the usual suspects of climate change and electric power companies for the cause of these fires instead of recognizing their failed policies.
These state governments have been suffering sadly from super majorities where the halls of power have become an echo chamber. A chamber completely dominated by big city prejudices and biases. Many have been following the lead of many federal politicians in trying to use these wildfires are some reason to blame President Trump. These past few years have seemed to be nothing more than a sounding board to blame him and his administration to not only hurt him politically but deflect their own incompetence at governing their own jurisdiction.
Now we have Antifa, who over the last several months has been helping to facilitate the number and level of violence of riots across the country. They have been helping stoke the anger within minority communities over several highly publicized incidents with police. Their effectiveness has been aided by the prolonged, extensive lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. When Atlanta was gripped with riots, videos on social media popped up about cars filled with black-clad passengers pulling up to random people of color and offering "assistance." Antifa frequently has agents mixing in with BLM groups to help act as agitators and increase the tensions. Meanwhile, in areas that have become Antifa strongholds like Portland, more direct action is possible. Both police stations and courthouses have been targeted there, with attempts to burn them down. Especially the US District Courthouse and Immigration Courthouse which are only blocks apart in downtown Portland. The use of makeshift incendiary devices has been a common choice for these rioters. Although the effectiveness of the federal law enforcement at preventing success may have caused several of their number to seek out softer targets.
These targets would definitely include the more rural areas of these states which still elect Republicans to the House of Representatives. Oregon has one while Washington has three and California currently has seven, although several previous districts were red until the 2018 election. Removal of people from these districts to allow them to be dissolved or merged into Democrat districts would allow for the furtherance of their extremist policies at the federal level. Since Antifa itself has no control over the economy or other factors that force relocation the liberal use of arson would be their most direct means to achieve this goal. There is an obvious underlying motive as to why Antifa would engage in starting some of these fires.
In the same area as the previous example a man, Domingo Lopez Jr. was arrested in connection of several brushfires in the ditches and medium of a highway. Lopez gave statements to police about using a Molotov cocktail to help start the fires and material evidence has been found that seems to corroborate his statements.
It is worth noting that all of these previously listed stories are all connected as they from counties adjacent to Portland or easily reached from Portland via Interstate 5. So, it is quite easy for the urban Antifa rioters to depart their usual areas and head into the more rural surroundings.
The only confirmed activist with ties to either Antifa or BLM that we know of publicly is Jeffrey Acord. He was arrested for starting fires in the Highway 167 median near Tacoma Washington. He was present at the scene and even filmed his on arrest on Facebook live. We will likely know more about all of the recently arrested arsonists when their cases go to trial.
It's also been a long standing among the law enforcement community that criminal will mostly operate in areas they are familiar with or close to a base of operation. Since Portland houses many Antifa members, even ones from out of state it adds credence. You also have social media postings like the Scarsdale NY Antifa group claiming to have some representatives in the area deliberately starting the fires. Since they from out of state they would likely operate close to or to places easily accessible from Portland.
As previously stated these group operate independently of each other but can find mutual coordination through the use of social media in order to have some appearance of higher organization. Fox News recently reported that across the three states where these fires have been happening, four people have been charged with arson. Two in Washington state and one each in the other two states. These groups and their members simply feed off the reported acts of the others and it causes a chain reaction.
That concern of spotlighting these activities have led law enforcement to take the position of denying that Antifa is heavily involved with these fires. Most of these statements have come from the FBI Portland Field Office and not from more senior leadership. It's understandable they might want to downplay this as to not increase the level of panic around these events. That extra level of panic could likely lead to more violence as normal citizens may start taking matters into their own hands and become more violent themselves.
It's not just federal law enforcement agencies actively suppressing the story about Antifa's involvement with these fires. Local agencies have been desperately trying to control the narrative as well. A recent video went viral in which a Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff told the person on camera to leave the area because of Antifa's presence and possible connection to the local fires. That deputy has since been put on administrative leave. Like the FBI, they don't want to deal with the issue of local vigilantism along with everything else.
All of this sounds horrible enough all on its own. Yet now we go back to the leadership at the state level politicians and their overarching involvement. Which they have a two-part role. They first created the physical conditions with their own environmental laws which they refuse to back away from. They then allowed many of these Antifa groups to operate freely within their borders for years. When the protests started over immigration in 2017, these leaders said nothing. That patterned continued to the present as they haven't harshly condemned the violence until it affected the balance of the upcoming election.
All three governors, Newsome, Inslee and Brown have all made recent public statements blaming climate change and the current administration. They are simply unable to take any responsibility for their involvement. That and their all-consuming desire to see President Trump fail in his reelection bid. Showing no concern for the lives of their state's citizens and all the other losses connected with these devastating fires. Even though they can't control Antifa these politicians will do anything to allow them to continue to fracture the nation.