By David Martinez
Portland police are shown in a video from June 3, 2018 cutting a deal with fascist leader Joey Gibson, giving him a chance to end his demonstration and avoid taking arrests. The officer in the video relays to Gibson that Lt. Jeff Niiya, the commanding officer at the time, authorized the deal himself.
It’s rare to see the collaboration between police forces and fascists captured so clearly, but it only further confirms that the police in a capitalist-imperialist country will tend toward protecting and aiding the forces of reaction and fascism, and will repress and brutalize the masses fighting back against it.
In the video, an officer approaches Gibson, telling him, “I just talked to Jeff Niiya, and he asked me to tell you that he has probable cause to arrest a couple of the guys here. They’ve arrested the other side, so it’s not singling you guys out.” Gibson replies only with ‘Ok.’
“But it’s time to go, if you guys can go home, there won’t be any arrests.” The police arrested four antifascists that same day, while allowing the fascists to go home unmolested.
In the video, Gibson asks who they will arrest. The officer voluntarily says, “These guys here,” gesturing towards two men nearby, including Tusitala “Tiny” Toese.
Lieutenant Niiya, who offered the deal, has corresponded with Gibson in the past via text messages. This included notifying Gibson that he would not execute a warrant for Toese, and to make sure Toese didn’t, “do anything which may draw our attention.”
Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, has gained notoriety for his protests in Portland and in other cities on the West Coast. His protests have sparked spontaneous antifascist resistance from the masses and handwringing from politicians and state authorities.
Portland is one of a handful of US cities with a self-promoting image as a tolerant, liberal sanctuary, but this incident shows that Portland police are no different from the racist, brutal pigs of any other urban area.
This recorded collusion between the police and fascists only emphasizes the need for centralized antifascist resistance, guided and led by Communists. The spontaneous, volunteerist form of antifascism is insufficient and unsustainable against such blatant collaboration between the imperialist state in deepening crisis and its fascist shock troops.