In­vis­i­ble en­e­mies

Times Standard (Eureka) - - OPINION - By Os­car Marx

Af­ter read­ing of the an­tics of some of our neigh­bors to the north and seem­ingly ev­ery small town that feels un­der siege from what is re­ferred to as An­tifa, it dis­ap­points me that our Sher­iff Wil­liam Hon­sal chose to not only be­lieve that this group/ groups/group­ing has come to Hum­boldt, but chose to share these thoughts/fears/fan­tasies with the pub­lic. Hav­ing seen the re­ac­tion gen­er­ated else­where: armed “good peo­ple” with guns and fear pro­tect­ing their “what­ever” it trou­bles me that Hum­boldt County’s chief law en­force­ment of­fi­cer and cur­rent in­ci­dent com­man­der would do this.

Cit­ing “CHP in­tel­li­gence” that bus­loads of out­side ag­i­ta­tors were on the move and had in­fil­trated our lo­cal protests, I must ask the pur­pose of dis­sem­i­nat­ing this “in­for­ma­tion” to the pub­lic as Sher­iff Hon­sal did. This “in­tel” would seem more suited to a brief­ing of his troops; I would ar­gue it is not worth even that. If true, the CHP would have shared this in­for­ma­tion widely among law en­force­ment, and likely not want it di­vulged to the gen­eral pub­lic, oth­er­wise they would have done it them­selves. An­tifa is not an or­ga­ni­za­tion just as the en­vi­ron­men­tal move­ment is not ELF; it is a way to tar­nish le­git­i­mate protest with scare tac­tics and mis­in­for­ma­tion. From sto­ries of a va­ca­tion­ing multi-racial fam­ily chased from town and trapped by felled trees at their camp­site in Wash­ing­ton, to hun­dreds of armed cit­i­zens in­tim­i­dat­ing 200 peace­ful protesters in Coos County, Ore­gon, demon­strate a call and re­sponse of the worst kind. This box­ing at shad­ows over­re­ac­tion is hap­pen­ing across this coun­try and some of it is in­spired by law en­force­ment,specif­i­cally sher­iffs who wield enor­mous power in ru­ral Amer­ica. This in ad­di­tion to ac­tive mil­i­tary fig­ures such as Col. Jeff Ed­wards, the com­man­der of the Ore­gon Air Na­tional Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing, who lend cre­dence to this dis­in­for­ma­tion.

When com­bined with Sher­iff Hon­sal’s re­cent ill­timed ex­er­cise in con­sti­tu­tional law in­ter­pre­ta­tion as to beach clo­sures that never hap­pened, a les­son in wait and see, I ques­tion his mo­ti­va­tion. There is a move­ment within law en­force­ment called Oath Keep­ers who are ac­tive in the cur­rent cri­sis and took root dur­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion; it is my hope that our sher­iff re­pu­di­ates this ide­ol­ogy as it is dan­ger­ous and counter to Amer­i­can democ­racy. Os­car Marx re­sides in Trinidad.

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