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  Portland Copwatch Statement Against Criminalization of Anti-Fascists

Portland Copwatch, as a project of Peace and Justice Works, adheres to principles of non-violence. We are very aware that efforts by the President and members of Congress to label Antifa as a criminal and/or "terrorist" organization are unfounded and can only lead to criminalization of free speech and association. Antifa is a term which is short-hand for anti-fascists, covering an entire movement, not a specific organization.

As Rose City Antifa pointed out in their statement condemning the government's stated intentions, the government is not taking such steps to criminalize or label as terrorists the right wing groups who promote and engage in violence, racism, and anti-immigrant organizing. Here are a few examples. Although the government did arrest people who took over a federal wildlife refuge while openly carrying guns in Oregon in 2016, they were unsuccessful in prosecuting them. When a law enforcement official suggested that the FBI had labeled the "Proud Boys" or "Patriot Prayer" as hate groups, the FBI denied that was the case. Similarly, the Portland Police did not alert the media or the community right away nor did they make any arrests when people associated with Patriot Prayer were found on top of a downtown parking structure with guns.

Portland Copwatch and its members stand against fascism. We support other groups who oppose fascism. We have documented how the Portland Police visibly favor right-wing protestors while facing down and/or attacking anti-fascists who confront them.

We as an organization remain committed to nonviolence as we seek to end the use of violence by the state to enforce its policies. The threatened criminalization of an entire movement is itself a form of state violence and must be stopped.

-- Portland Copwatch
    (a project of Peace and Justice Works)
    *Founded in 1992, Portland Copwatch promotes police
      accountability through civilian action and is working toward a
      Police Bureau free of brutality, corruption, and racism.*
    PO Box 42456
    Portland, OR 97242
    503-236-3065 (office- call or text)
    503-321-5120 (incident report line)


Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

Posted August 8, 2019

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