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.