BLM Protesters, Local Militia, Police and a ‘Happy Ending’ in Redding

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

The crowd of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters who gathered in front of the Shasta County Courthouse Tuesday evening shared similar signs, including Let me Breathe, End Police Brutality, and Stop Violence, Be the Change. A small group of black men led the crowd in chants, including, “no justice, no peace.”

Drone shot: Facebook

Slowly, the crowd swelled in size, from 50 to 100 to 500 or more. Exuberant yet peaceful, as the crowd increased in size, the group gradually expanded off the sidewalk and then spilled onto the street, blocking some lanes.

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

Most drivers adapted to the growing crowd, slowing to pass. Many drivers signaled their approval by honking. Others drove by with fists extended high from their windows in the black power symbol. Some had BLM signs hanging from their windows.

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

But another type of attendee began to join the protesters ranks. Men with vests, tattoos and scruffy beards soon appeared on street corners, hands in their pockets, no signs. They did not chant or sing.

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

I approached one group of those men and asked what brought them to the protest. “We’re here to back up the police; if called upon,” one replied. A few men said they respected the protesters, but they were concerned about possible destruction of property. They declined to give their names.

Across from the Courthouse, in front of the Christian Science Center and the Day Reporting Center, the crowd continued to grow, and included a mix of BLM protesters (easily observable by their black shirts and signs) and “observers” as they usually called themselves (some would call them counter-protesters), some had large dogs, some wore bullet-proof vests. Most of the counter-protesters were men.

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

By the courthouse itself, far back from the crowd, police gathered in small groups, with riot gear at the ready, and weapons at hand. I saw no interaction between these members of law enforcement and the crowd.

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

The peacefulness of the protest was briefly broken when a truck pulled to a stop in front of the crowd. A water bottle was thrown, the driver jumped out of his vehicle. Protesters swarmed. Observers shouted “drive, drive, drive,” and the car skidded away. I was told by these observers that the truck’s tire had been slashed by protesters, which was why he had stopped. I was unable to confirm this.

Straight across from the courthouse, but one block down, vehicles were arriving and stopping in the vicinity. Police cruised slowly past this group, too, that had gathered in the streets, the sidewalks and an empty parking lot. Most of their vehicles were trucks, many with large American flags mounted on the back. Men in camo, some with additional militaristic gear, stood around in groups.

The first man I spoke with from this group identified himself as Dan Scoville, 2nd Command, Alpha Company, California State Militia.

“I’m out of Cottonwood,” Scoville said, adding that he and his fellow militia were there to protect property and the rights of everyone to protest.

“This is about all of their rights to be here,” he said. “ Most of my guys hated what happened to George Floyd,” he said. “We understand the police officer who did it was wrong.”

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

It wasn’t just California State Militia in this group though, there was a mix of others. I spoke with another individual who identified himself as “American” and “pro-Trump”. He said he approved of what the protesters were doing, but added that he was also there to protect property.

“The police are happy we’re here,” he said. “They keep driving by, giving us the thumbs up.” He declined to give his name.

I spoke with another two members of the California State Militia, also from Cottonwood. They had come, one told me, because they had heard about the issues with protests in Klamath, Oregon, and they were concerned the same might happen in Redding. The counter-protesters had brought weapons. I asked if they were prepared to use their firearms.

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

“We shoot only in self defense,” the other man said. “And only against a weapon. That’s our orders from the CO.”

The two men said that the Sheriff had called them a half hour earlier and had asked them to “get down here now to keep the peace,” one man said. He added that the Sheriff was becoming “very concerned” about the safety of his guys.

“Woody Clendenen, our CO, got a call,” one of the men said. “The Sheriff told us where to go, to come right down here.” At that, the other militia member nudged his friend. “Too much man, too much,” he said, and the two wouldn’t speak any more after that.

Back on Court Street protesters continued to chant as small groups occasionally clashed. A woman in a Trump hat shouted at a black man, “ALL lives matter!” The man was sweating, holding his megaphone, as he calmly responded, “It’s not about that.”

Nearby a young white male barely restrained his anger. His girlfriend held him back, dragging him away from the crowd.

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

I spoke to him moments later, and asked him about his strong emotions. “They promote a promising sounding message,” he said. “Obviously all lives matter … but in the end ‘all lives matter’ means that they do not understand that this is a systemic issue. We give everybody their chance and now it’s the chance of under-represented minorities to have a voice. You can use my name,” he said. “Julian Durr.”

A white man who had inserted himself into the altercation between the woman in the Trump hat and the black man, also stopped to explain to me why he got involved, identifying himself as a Marine veteran.

“This is the most fierce of freedom,” he said. “It rubs me the wrong way when people come out not to support our right to protest but to get others not to protest. I served nine years in the military for this freedom.”

Dusk was falling, and back across the street, I noticed a group of young men held a large Trump flag. As the crowd chanted, “Black lives matter!” one of the young men shouted back “Black Jeeps matter!” His friends laughed, repeating the phrase. I asked why they were carrying a Trump flag at the event.

“The crowd was chanting, ‘fuck Trump,’ ” one man said. (Protesters confirmed that this was briefly chanted by part of the crowd.) “We’re here to support Trump,” he said.

Another man explained that they were there to support the National Guard in case “people mess with them.” I asked when they thought police should be allowed to use lethal use of force.

“Whenever they feel threatened in any way at all,” one said.

The crowd was huge, and the number of cars cruising past on Court Street had slowed considerably by about 9 p.m. I noticed that law enforcement were blocking off roads surrounding the area, and so I approached a group, their cars parked across the road, standing guard at Eureka Way and Court Street.

“We’re blocking the roads so people can’t get through” one officer said. “We don’t know why, we just follow orders.”

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

Back in front of the Courthouse, the crowd was bigger still, with more of the observers/militia in the mix. I stopped and talked to one, Jesse Lane, and asked why his group had moved from their former staging area into the crowd.

“The police are closing the roads,” he said. “They asked us to push the protesters through.”

“The police asked you to push the protesters that way?” I asked, pointing up Court Street towards Eureka Way.

“Yes” he confirmed, “And they told us we are supposed to stay on our side of the road.” But the crowd was now beginning to blend freely, and tensions were high.

I spoke with Brandon, a young black man who wore a bulletproof vest and held his hands up in surrender throughout much of the protest. Was the vest for safety, or a statement, I asked him.

“Of course both,” he said. I asked if the protest was going as well as he’d hoped, and how did he feel about the police closing of the road.

“It’s only what we expected,” he said. “But it’s going very well. We’re together cheering.”

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

Then, suddenly, the protesters began to walk. They moved forward, crossing Tehama Street and heading north toward Shasta Street. They chanted and sang, mostly on their side of the street, even singing the National Anthem at one point.

The observers/militia, mostly on the other side of the street, pushed forward, too, but much more slowly.

“What are we supposed to do now?” asked one observer/militiaman, “Chase them down?”

The protesters walked up the block, then halted abruptly as black leaders shouted, “Stop! Let’s get down on one knee!” They had stopped approximately one block from a line of police in riot gear, blocking the road. The protesters dropped to their knees, chanting, then, at the instruction of their leaders, laid down prone as they continued to chant.

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

Police faced them. Impassive. A few protesters, perhaps heading for their vehicles, tried to cross the police line and were turned back. “No one gets behind us,” one officer said.

When I asked why, the officer said, “Because we’re not letting anyone down this way.” And when I asked the reason why nobody was being allowed to go that way, the officer said, “Because we don’t want them coming this way.”

Photo by Annelise Pierce.

It was at that moment when I began to feel certain about something: The police had won. They had blocked the BLM group in, and they had closed off their access to demonstrate in front of the public. There was nowhere to go, and little for the protesters to do, because a group of police and other law enforcement were to the protesters’ north, and the large collection of counter-protesters were to the protesters’ south. The protesters, seemingly at a loss for several moments, then began chanting, “Walk with us!” to the police.

After several tense moments, a member of law enforcement stepped forward, out of the line, and toward the protesters, drawing cheers. The crowd surrounded him, hugging and applauding. Several white men, observer types, began discussing the situation with several black leaders. And although some of the black leaders appeared hesitant at first, an agreement was made to have five members of law enforcement march with the people back to the courthouse where they would disperse.

As protesters responded to the shouted instructions of leaders to “move onto the sidewalks!” and “start moving that way!”, the wall of police closed in on the protesters from behind. A line of law enforcement in riot gear and police vehicles, one with a barking dog, followed the group back toward the courthouse.

“No one gets behind the line!” one officer shouted at protesters who tried to walk past them, presumably toward their vehicles.

“They’re herding us!” shouted one young protester. “Why are we letting them herd us?”

He was mostly ignored, but I couldn’t help but feel that he had it very right. Somehow the police had won the photo op AND the battle. Why? Probably because they get to make up the rules as they go, closing streets, blocking access to public places, and coordinating with local militia for backup.

While the protesters were pushed forward by the line of police in riot gear, observers/militia were not pushed forward. Instead, the counter-protesters continued to line the sidewalk, as first the protesters and then the police passed. I stopped and asked several of them why the police wasn’t making the counter-protesters stay in front, as the protesters were being forced to do. “Respectfully, no comment,” one responded. “I’m not authorized to answer that,” said another.

Once the protesters reached the courthouse with police escort, within moments the crowd had dispersed. BLM protesters in small groups headed every way down streets, while observers/militia high-fived each other and moved toward their vehicles.

“This is going to make national news” one of the militiamen said. “What happened in our city was amazing!”

The militia group gathered for a photo op. Photo by Doni Chamberlain

It may make national news, but if so, only because it tells the same age-old story that Americans love to hear: Blacks and their allies may protest, just as long as they follow the rules, and as long as they remember that they are not in charge, not even for a moment. And here in Redding, blacks and their supporters may protest, just as long as they submit to the police, and as long as they allow themselves to be herded.

False justice, false peace.

Annelise Pierce
Annelise Pierce is fascinated by the intersection of people and policy. She has a special interest in criminal justice, poverty, mental health and education. Her long and storied writing career began at age 11 when she won the Louisa May Alcott Foundation's Gothic Romance short story competition. (Spoiler alert - both hero and heroine die.) Annelise welcomes your (civil) interactions at AnnelisePierce@anewscafe.com
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

204 Responses

  1. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    That local law enforcement would enlist the participation of a militia group is disturbing, to say the least.

    Despite its name the “California State Militia” is NOT officially associated with – or even sanctioned by – the State of California. These Tea Party-associated militias formed largely in response to the election of the first Black president.

    The website of this particular group states that its purpose is to “suppress insurrections” and “repel invasions”, and that “whenever any form of government becomes destructive (of Constitutional principles, by their lights), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it … it is their duty to throw off such government”.

    I listened to a radio interview early in Obama’s first term with the person who was then the leader of the recently-created local militia group. He mentioned the L.A. riots repeatedly, and claimed openly that the only way for white people to effectively protect themselves against criminal invasion by hordes of dark-skinned people from the bigger cities to the south was to join his group, heavily arm themselves, and train to repel this projeced invasion,

    And this is the group that local law enforcement called upon to help deal with a Black Lives Matter protest? How truly terrifying.

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Patrecia, thanks for discussing this. I could have certainly mentioned something about this group to help enlighten the reader.

      • Avatar Melissa Chapman says:

        I wish you would enlighten us in regards to these Cottonwood Militia men !!!!

        • Avatar Etl Diane McKay says:

          This group formed years ago to stop robbery in Cottonwood. The Record Searchlight did an article. I remember because my now grown daughter’s science teacher is a member.

      • Avatar Carla says:

        Really substantive in depth account. Great job!
        I wonder what the Sheriff would say about supposedly enlisting these militia people from Cottonwood. It seems really strange.

      • Avatar Ron Smith says:

        Don’t know why you failed to considering false journalism, reporting on false justice and false peace.

    • Avatar Melissa Chapman says:

      Yes … it is VERY DISTURBING! We have to remember,however, that members of the local law enforcement agencies in fact are themselves members of the California State Militia as well…

    • Avatar rachel says:

      According to the responses to the article, I would say you are causing more division instead of trying to unify these people, which is what we need. I was there. I saw bad apples on both sides and I spoke up to those individuals also tryng to keep these peace. I also was in the militia and can say there statements above are incorrect according to my experience. I can expand more later after work.

    • Avatar Adam says:

      I grew up in Siskiyou County, just north of Shasta county. I am now 44 years old and can tell you that there were militia groups in Shasta and Siskiyou Counties at least since I was a kid. I don’t know when this militia started, the Cottonwood group, but others that I saw growing up were there long before President Obama was elected. My family was not involved, but it was around, and at that time was focused on 2nd Amendment, federalism, and creating a new NorCal state. I never heard any white supremacy ideology expressed. Siskiyou County was also the first California County to elect a black sherrif, Charlie Byrd, who was sherrif for many years and was well liked. Just an fyi. Very disturbing that Sheriff would work win untrained, non-sworn armed group group as described here. #BLACK LIVES MATTER

      • Avatar Linda says:

        Has any sherrif admitted, or infered that this “militia “ was actually invited by them? Sounds doubtful. And if so, pretty irresponsible and potentially dangerous. I was there and physically felt the tension. Very scary. So glad no tension broke out. As “ walk with us” and cheers for RPD” were chanted. It sounded and seemed like a win. Win.

        • Avatar Adam R. Sanders says:

          Thank you Linda – I don’t think that any SO employee admitting or inferring that they did invite the militia is the only way to find out if an improper relationship exists between LE and the militia exists. I absolutely grateful that the evening ended without any physical harm to anyone. That is a win. If I had been in the area I would have gone. I don’t believe that it was necessary to have police already dressed out in riot gear, batons in hand (according to the picture), a helicopter and drone flyover(s), and a K9 when you all were clearly being peaceful. Why couldn’t you walk up the street if you wanted to? What concerns me is that according the description, the line of officers would not allow protesters with signs to walk behind the line of officers, “no one gets behind us” but allowed the observers/militia to get behind them. If the photographer could take pictures of one observer with a visible sheath knife, rifles visible through an open truck door, and pistols in waistbands under shirts (as reported in another article), any officer worth his pay would also have noted that some of the observers/militia were in possession of firearms (not saying that they didn’t have a right to do so) or sheath kife(ves). Did officers check for CC permits? Check the rifles to ensure they were legal? Registered (if subject to registration?). For the officers to allow members to that group to be behind them goes completely against officer safety protocol. It shows me that, regardless of whether they were invited or not, the LE in the line “walking” protesters toward the city hall showed it trusted the observers/militia to be behind them, and not the BLM protesters. If the protesters had no where to go because the officers were on one side and a mix of counter protesters, observers, and militia on the other side, they why wasn’t LE on the South side? Why not tell the counter protester/observer/militia group to stop blocking the BLM demonstrators? That is concerning and warrants close scrutiny. I hope to God that the DA investigates why at least three people from the observer/militia group said that they were coordinating LE.

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        Adam,

        Yes, some militia-type groups existed long before Obama’s election. However, they exploded in number all over the country around the beginning of Obama’s first term, and with a somewhat different focus of potentially overthrowing the government (per the quote from this group’s website in my first comment on this thread).

  2. Avatar David Boone says:

    I’m happy that so many people came out to protest, but given the dominant political climate in Redding I’m not surprised that it was kept under tight control. The people with power/money don’t *really* want anything to change, they just realize that it behooves them to pay lip-service occasionally. The ugly face of hypocrisy is blatant lately.

    And I can’t help but wonder why every single time I hear the words “local militia”, all I can ever think of is insecure trigger-happy redneck males with something to prove. We need to add trauma-engendered toxic masculinity and emotional repression to the list of social ills to be addressing.

  3. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Incredible!

    Best coverage yet!

    Great Work Annelise.

    Thank you Redding for all who attended.

    Thank you Redding for showing what Democracy looks like, peacefully!

    Please remember, VOTING BLUE helps carry the action forward!

    Another few bucks into the ANC jar!

  4. Avatar Curtis Chipley says:

    I am more than concerned, that if it is true, RPD and /or the Sheriff’s office engaged a group of according to reports I am reading heavily armed “militia”. To my knowledge these people were not trained in protest protocol, or had it got to that point riot protocol. IF and that is a BIG if, our local Sheriff, and Police Departments did ” put the call out for help”. Should they not have called other HIGHLY trained officers, and not local good ole boys who are heavily armed? While I am glad it all turned out as a Peaceful demonstration, the presence of these self proclamed militia gives one pause for worry. There needs to be an investigation into if our local Sheriff and Police did in fact engage these individuals, and what line of training these people have had. I for one am not comfortable with this type of good ole boy display. Who would they answer to if things had gotten out of control, and by what authority did they have to use any kind of herding to citizen’s of Redding, or in the worst case scenario any type of force. Unless you wear a badge, have been sworn in as a officer of the law, they have NO right to engage people who are using their Constitutional right to peacefully protest. Things are not adding up……

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Curtis: of course at this point the comments I mention by protest attenders have not been confirmed by three sources and cannot be assumed to be fact. I was told by them that the militia trains regularly and has been for the last ten years. They described themselves as heavily interested in self-reliance and preparedness. They spoke eagerly of pursuing peace, not harm.

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        The post by the local militia “commander” Steve replicated further down the page would indicate that they’re not interested in much of anything except using their guns to shoot down liberals.

    • Avatar Melissa Chapman says:

      Aha! You get it !!
      Yes, it’s the good ol’ boys …
      This mentality and the fact that some of our local law enforcement are in fact Militia members themselves, creates an ‘above the law’ mindset for most of these Cottonwood Militia men…

      • Avatar Annelise says:

        Hi Melissa, can you provide a source for your statements that some of our local law enforcement are members of the California Militia group?

  5. Avatar Robert Garcia says:

    Your article is blatantly dishonest and you should be ashamed. First allow me to identify myself as a person of color, also known as Hispanic, also known as a veteran, a graduate student and a mental health counselor. Second let me assert my American privilege like everyone did last night. It was not a perfect event but it was beautiful to see bridges in cultural gaps being built. But you, like plenty of journalist today, point out only the ugliness of a few and miss the degree of unity realized by most everyone in attendance. I saw uglines from several groups last night; chants like “you can’t stop the revolution,” to “prosecute all police,” but those were not in your story. Neither were the names of some of the “militia” you quoted. That’s really sloppy journalism…a thing I also know about, having been a journalism major.

    You can learn a lot about how you chose to assert your white privalage in a way to create a false narrative about what took place last night. Reading between the lines, one can infer that you were disappointed that violence did not break out. For shame!

    Sadly, you miss the purpose and motivation of the police, not to win, but to keep the peace so that we all win, so that we can peacefully and powerfully have our voices heard. The message last night was overwhelmingly positive. Most Americans are realizing that above the idea that all lives matter, which should go without saying, is that right now in this moment, Black people need to know that Black lives matter to all of us. That message deserves to be the loudest.

    I am proud that the message was heard loud and clear in our city last night, that BLM walked with police and Trump supporters, that liberals and conservatives are in agreement; even if not entirely but certainly when it comes to the injustice that happened George Floyd. I am disheartened that people from all groups had elements that tried pushing political/racial agendas, but there lies bare our imperfections on display as a people, who for one moment, for one night, drowend out the outliers and united in agreement that George Floyd, a Black man, an American, was killed by one of his own, sworn to protect him, and no matter the officer involved we as Americans are standing with our Black brothers and sisters to say this violence by bad police officers who murder Black people has to stop! That is the story! Shine a light on that and be a part of the healing process…and maybe open your journalism 101 text book. Good day!

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Robert: Thank you for your feedback and I honor your perspective on the protest. A careful read of my article will show me highlighting both anger and peacefulness on multiple sides. Names of people who spoke to me from all perspectives were only used when I was given permission to use them. I am absolutely thrilled there was no violence last night. Thank you for reading and broadening our perspectives with your voice.

    • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

      Robert, I can’t speak for anyone but I can with some degree of certainty that Annelise was not hopping for violence or destruction and I would totally agree it was, and always it, a beautiful sight to behold when people can protest without violence or destruction and that “Black people need to know that Black lives matter to all of us” and in this case is above “all lives mater” because of course they do. That message deserves to be the loudest.

      I’m not a peace officer or a member of a militia. However, I would think it would be safe to say that many “trump – conservatives” in this town, as well as many peace officer and the militia, really would have rather the people not protest and just stay home. I think that’s a fact.

      Also a fact, I truly believe most trump supporters don’t think trump is a racist, that propagates policy and behaviors that divide and can lead to so many people of color being killed by government paid peace officers, and are not in favor of full prosecution to the extent the law allows of those who have killed so many George Floyd’s, as evidenced by a good deal of empirically based data and social science research. But the majority of Americans do and without political change, this institutional racism may very well continue…

      I’m thinking that many (most) people are feeling pain right now, at micro, mezzo and macro levels, as we live in all overlapping spheres at once. Real change (like systemic racial violence) only happens when all levels are changed holistically and there is a societal – macro – “political” story to the all the George Floyd murders throughout America’s herstory, a political story to all that is racial, cultural, as well as societal, like education, economics and perhaps even spiritual, that affects the mezzo and micro; one had washes the others. And personally, I think that after all the protests calm down, and they usually do, we must continue to affect change by registering and voting! It was so good to see the racist Congressman Steve King booted from office in Iowa yesterday!

      As there are a few misguided “prosecute all police,” protesters, there are a few misguided (if not racist) peace offers. I love it when we get to see pictures of peace offers taking a knee with protesters. Such a simple way to deescalate.

      Little Peace Without Justice…

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Robert — Yours is an interesting and valuable perspective. I’m not going to dismiss out of hand the notion that Annelise’s account was too negative (and if it is, so too is my account).

      I will take issue with you on a couple of points:

      1. You said: “Reading between the lines, one can infer that you were disappointed that violence did not break out.”

      Foul. Accusing Annelise of being disappointed that there wasn’t violence isn’t anywhere close to being a fair inference. She made the grounds of her disappointment clear, and it certainly wasn’t that.

      2. If militia members claimed that our Sheriff actually reached out to a militia from a neighboring county and asked them to attend—whether for back-up, counter-protest, intimidation, or all of the above—that deserves to have a bright light shone on it. Participants and witnesses aren’t always going to give their names, but Annelise’s reporting on what they said was first-hand. She needn’t get confirmation of the quotes—she was there—and she didn’t present the Sheriff’s solicitation of militia help as fact. Just that men who identified themselves as militia members told her that.

      • Avatar Annelise says:

        Steve: THANK YOU. 1) for not dismissing Robert’s perspective. 2) for both of your comments about the article. I felt the statements by self-identified militia members were ones that the public needed to hear, although I am clear they are merely statements, not confirmed facts. And absolutely did not wish for violence. My daughter was in the crowd.

      • Avatar Jenny Hart Boren says:

        Christian: Here is the definition of ‘fact’: “A thing that is known or proved to be true.” You said both “I think that’s a fact” and, “Also a fact, I truly believe most Trump supporters–etc.” Something isn’t a fact just because you feel, suppose, or declare it to be so. It’s an opinion, which we are all welcome to have and share, but facts are held to a higher standard.

  6. Avatar Judy Salter says:

    I felt good about what happened last night. When the protestors started walking arm in arm with the police, I was Redding Proud.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Judy: I think many felt the same and this is certainly a valid feeling. I portray another perspective but mine is not the only one that should be felt or considered. Thank you for sharing here.

    • Judy, I felt Redding proud last night, too, because of the awesome job the protesters did despite their constraints.

      While the photos that capture the idyllic image of protesters walking arm-and-arm with some of the police (there was still the line of advancing police behind them), it took a bit of cajoling and encouragement from the crowd to get to that point, as they chanted over and over, “Walk with us! Walk with us!”

      Clearly, the protesters were trying with all their might to engage with the police in a positive way, including enthusiastic chants of “RPD! RPD!” One of my videos that live streamed last night shows two of the protesters who went down the line of officers and they hugged every one. Some of the officers hugged back, which was pretty moving.

      (Here’s a short video clip, before my phone lost power.) https://www.facebook.com/doni.chamberlain.5/videos/10217310169445510/

      But I’d say overall it appeared that the olive branch to join forces between RPD and the protesters was extended from the protesters to the police – not the other way around – and it was protesters’ idea to walk together to the courthouse, not RPD’s.

      And as they walked, there were energetic chants, especially by those protesters closer to the front of the procession to the courthouse of, “RPD! RPD! RPD!” But eventually, toward the back of the crowd, it was as if some protesters remembered their mission, and that section of the group began chanting George Floyd’s name, and “black lives matter”.

      In the end, it made for a touching photo, and who isn’t moved by images of protesters and police walking arm in arm, but I think it’s important to know the backstory.

  7. Avatar Greg Winters says:

    Did the sheriff call for militia backup? If he did, recall is in order. Have you asked him?

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Greg: I have not yet reached out to the Sheriff. As I mention to Curtis above, these are comments of attendees at the protest, not confirmed facts. The Sheriff’s office is not always willing to respond to press requests but I am certainly planning to ask the questions. Thank you.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Annelise, the protest was in the city limits under the jurisdiction of the RPD, not the Sheriff Office. I wasn’t there so I assume the Sheriff deputies were there to protect the county buildings on Court St, which is their jurisdiction. I recommend you reach out to Chief Schueller of the RPD, not to the Sheriff. It was always my experience when I was on the Grand Jury that RPD is very accommodating to the press

        I appreciate you not taking comments from participants as fact. I would be very surprised if the Chief of Police reached out to this group for assistance. It seems very unlikely to me. That is not how Police Depts work. From what I saw, the police looked like they had everything under control.

  8. Avatar Michael Mathews says:

    The sheriff in cahoots with the vigilantes? Hard to believe BUT this is Shasta Co.

  9. Avatar Greg Winters says:

    If your reporting is accurate as to the police letting the “militia” pass behind their lines several issues arise.

    1. Was this poor police tactics? The first rule of crowd control is that you never, ever, let people at a demonstration get behind you. (I speak from experience after 33 years with the San Francisco PD, many at command level, where “demos” were the norm rather than the exception.). If it was a mistake then there are training issues present.

    2. Were the militia types given preferential treatment? If so, the City of Redding has a deep and systemic problem with its police department. Officious intermeddlers like these amateurs are dangerous to police and public alike. They have no training and are responsible to no one.

    3. Why was a peaceful, and reportedly calm and orderly group of citizens addressing its government for redress of grievances herded at all? Police are there to maintain safety and facilitate the exercise of First Amendment rights. Clearing streets falls far down the list of imperatives during peaceful assemblies. Again, this may be a training issue. Or, this may be an inherent bias issue which calls for more than training- it calls for discipline for the responsible supervisors who directed the actions.

    4. The utterly lame excuse for cancelling the scheduled march given by RPD’s chief speaks for itself. While words are important, actions are what counts. The Chief made nice noises but when it came down to it, he blinked and retreated to administrative convenience rather than civil rights.

    Needless to say, there are many questions left unanswered by this article. These questions demand answers and soon.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      If you want to understand the mindsets of the militia members last night, check out Cottonwood Cosplay Commander Woody Clendenson’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/woody.clendenen

      There’s a post on his page with a picture stating that the Antifa bus is here in Redding. Lots of comments from people saying they’re heading into town, armed. Here’s an example of a comment:

      “I don’t know anyone beyond the cottonwood malitia. Not sure where there ao’s are.. I know they were here in RB tonight. Honestly with the designation by POTUS tonight and the fact essentially we are technically at war. And our sheriff’s are constitutional I’d lean towards certain laws being null and void. Especially for self perceveriance . Just my take and in no way advice. At this point personally Idgaf. If shit goes south I’m on it… Keep it near and dear if not on you…”

      To recap: Trump has declared war. We have constitutional sheriffs, so the laws we don’t like are null and void. I don’t give a fuck—I can’t wait for the shooting to start. Boogaloo, motherfuckers.

      • Avatar Annelise says:

        Steve: Thank you for sharing this. Very helpful.

        • Avatar Valerie Anderson says:

          Please do some research on Boogaloo, Annelise. I am deeply concerned, but not surprised, this is in our area.

      • Avatar John Doe says:

        Liberals will regret shunning firearms before this is over. Who do you call for help when the local extremist militia comes for you, when the local sheriff is a supporter (member?)?

        • Avatar Anita Brady says:

          And why do you think liberals are without guns? An armed angry F*** the Patriarchy woman with an assault weapon would be your worst nightmare!

      • Does it bother anyone else that the Commander of the Cottonwood Malitia is also Supervisor Les Baugh’s barber? I am tired of this good old boy network. If this is true that Sheriff Magrini called on these angry and armed men to respond to a peaceful protest then there is cause for a recall of the Sheriff….oh….except that he wasn’t elected but appointed by the Board of Supervisors !

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          It doesn’t bother me that he’s Baugh’s barber, but where I come from (Northwestern Colorado), that automatically qualifies him for exactly one other position—during sheep-shearing season.

          I’d be curious to know what qualifies him to “command” an armed militia, beyond founding it.

          • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

            Locals in cottonwood identity themselves as being from UCLA.
            Upper
            Cottonwood
            Lower
            Anderson

        • Avatar Denise Ohm says:

          I didn’t even know of THAT connection. LOL.

          WTF right now

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Greg: I appreciate your response with your professional perspectives. I can only share what I saw in the moment and will have to see if I have video documentation to confirm for you. Since the line of police was moving forward behind the protesters it was less apparent that some individuals remained behind, if that makes sense. It seemed to my eye that the police didn’t view them as a threat and so didn’t push them forward with the protesters. I too, wondered why streets were blocked and a line of police pushed forward towards the protesters who were peacefully walking. This is why I asked the police why they were blocking the streets and why we couldn’t pass their line. Their lack of response surprised me.

    • Avatar Mark D Twitchell says:

      Another issue with bringing in outside militia (Officious intermeddlers – good term) is that would bring liability upon the county or the city. If one of the militia trips over his (or her) gun and falls on a knee, that’s a work comp issue. If they do something where someone else gets hurt, that’s a potential lawsuit, as well. I would think that the county and city would want to steer clear of exposure to this kind of liability.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “Another issue with bringing in outside militia…is that would bring liability upon the county or the city.”

        That might/could happen, but only assuming that a formal request were made, with a formal swearing in of deputies. At the informal level, a well-placed phone call or carefully targeted text/email/web reference complete with times, locations, and pertinent logistics might suffice…and cover the bases without formality. The only real problem I see is that the zealousness of militia participation might be unquantifiable until it is recognized as a problem. Thus the reasoning for low key, low profile, minimal chatting with the press. This lack of disclosure is not due to lack of enthusiasm, but to prevent inadvertent – and possibly compromising – disclosure. Reprisal is unlikely if minimal information is divulged, should circumstances take a southward turn. Not necessarily secretive behavior, but undeniably designed to optimize discretion if liability becomes an issue.

        • Avatar Mark D Twitchell says:

          The incident in Trinity County referred to elsewhere on this section happened when the sheriff’s office got a short phone call from Ruth, CA asking for help. As they didn’t have a deputy within 3 hours of Ruth (Ruth is truly in the middle of nowhere), somebody called a neighbor and asked if they could go over and check out the person’s house. The couple went over to the neighbors” and found the neighbor, dead, and hanging from the ceiling. Both were attacked and throats cut. The issue of whether or not by their being asked to check out the situation they were deputized and therefore officially working for the county is actually going on to the supreme court soon.
          Seems to me that the problem with just informally “suggesting’ that maybe a militia might just want to come and hang around is the kind of issue that, if anything at all happens, there’s going to be a lawsuit and there’s going to be a lot of hindsight, depositions, and questions.
          My point was, and is, it’d be really stupid of a government to even come close to doing something like this. I don’t think that reprisal in case of a downward turn is all that unlikely at all.

    • Avatar Adam R. Sanders says:

      Right on, Gregg!

  10. Avatar Michael Mathews says:

    I love being censored on a site I pay for.

  11. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Here’s how I was prepared to process this event: The protesters were well-behaved, as were the law enforcement officers. The protesters had their spirited rally in front of the courthouse, and kept their confrontations with counter-protesters to verbal exchanges. There were no busses full of Soros-paid antifa activists throwing Molotov cocktails. The only people who might have been disappointed were the yahoos driving back and forth in their lifted pick-ups, looking for a reason for it to be “go time.”

    As we watched from Palo Cedro after stumbling across a Facebook feed (we’d been unaware that the canceled protest had turned into a spontaneous event elsewhere), it seemed like everything was just as you’d want. A spirited, peaceful protest. Some provocation by the other side, but the protesters refusing to take the bait. We watched until until deciding: We should go.

    By the time we drove in from PC it was too late—the protesters and LE officers were dispersing. But the first people we encountered were some young women complaining that the “white supremacists” had taken the event over and ruined it. Huh. That didn’t seem right. Not until I read this article this morning, anyway.

    Goddamn it—I wanted to be proud of Redding and Shasta County. A peaceful protest, no rioting, no looting, restraint exercised across the board. But if it’s true that the Shasta County Sheriff called in the armed militia from Cottonwood (another county, if I’m not mistaken), and that the militia helped LE prevent the protesters from marching “…because we’re not letting anyone down this way,” I’m sickened.

    • Avatar Robert Garcia says:

      If true? So Steve, exactly who didn’t know a peaceful protest took place last night and voices on the pressing issue of racism and police brutality were heard? Or is that not what’s really important to you?

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Robert — It’s vitally important to me that people were able to protest peacefully. It seems to me that, overall, the people who participated in the event believe it was a success. I applaud the LE officers on hand for their handling of a delicate situation, even if I don’t think what they did was perfect (nor were the protestors perfect, from what I understand).

        That said, I am deeply troubled by the presence of armed self-styled militia members from another county. If they were invited by Sheriff Magrini—as some of the militia members reportedly claimed—that should be investigated by the Board of Supervisors who appointed the (unelected) sheriff.

        A protest under the gaze of armed intimidators, some of whom are itching for trouble, is something less than a free protest. You can dispute if you like whether any militia members were itching for a confrontation, but I’ve lived here for coming up on 30 years, I know the type, and I read the comments on their “commanding officer’s” (:::cough:::) Facebook page.

        Annelise included some statements by militia-types who said, in essence, that they were there to protect the rights of the people who were protesting peacefully. I have no issue with that, so long as they weren’t brandishing weapons.

        Intimidation via implicit force is authoritarianism—the opposite of libertarianism.

        • Avatar Adam R. Sanders says:

          Great comments Steve – love “a protest under the gaze of armed intimidators…is something less than a free protest.”

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Steve: one of the most difficult aspects of covering this event is that many things are true at once. It’s true that many local people gathered in support of BLM. MANY. And many more cruised by showing support of BLM. MANY. An astonishing number really. I thought this was powerful and beautiful. This was the story I thought I was getting. Law enforcement were well back from the protesters. All was well. But as I circled the event from all sides, speaking to all different groups, another story also emerged, a story that is also true. My perspective on the ending not being happy is my opinion, not fact. But the rest of the story plays out as just as I discovered it, through talking to almost entirely respectful and polite people on the ground. The story I found absolutely astonished me.

      • Avatar Brandon says:

        My community of peeps would’ve been there from Red Bluff, but heard it was cancelled. And I know of dozens of others that didn’t attend for the same reason. We support BLM and peaceful protest. Otherwise, I suspect there would’ve been magnitudes more, like the turnout Redding had for March for Science.

    • Avatar KM says:

      Cottonwood is in Shasta County.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        My bad.

      • Avatar Alysia Krafel says:

        Actually, Cottonwood is in both Shasta and Tehama Counties. Cottonwood Creek is the boarder between the counties, but the town itself is on both sides of that creek. The locals call it the “Gas Point” or the “Bowman” side of Cottonwood.

  12. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Unless I misinterpret this event, the Sheriff has authority – within his own jurisprudence – to enlist the accompaniment of armed citizens under Posse Comitatus:

    https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7539&context=jclc

    If I am mistaken, please provide a link to California precedence that supersedes PC…

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      Bill Vercammen,

      Which doesn’t mean that the Sheriff needed to call in a bunch of racist trigger-happy yahoos (per the comment from the group’s commander Steve replicated above) to presumably keep BLM protestors in line. That’s a slap in the face to every Black person in Shasta County. It’s also a powder keg that endangers the lives and safety of the protestors.

      • Avatar Annelise says:

        Patrecia: I don’t think we need to call them “racist, trigger-happy, yahoos”. I honestly didn’t observe any of those qualities during my time at the event.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen, says:

        “Which doesn’t mean that the Sheriff needed to call in a bunch of racist trigger-happy yahoos…”

        I think, rather than focusing on the generalization you present, it might be constructive to first consider the constitutionality of the Sheriff’s authority to deputize. For all we really know, RPD may have requested backup from the Sheriff’s dept for the evening’s event, and the deputization of organized militia was made as a precaution to security. I seriously doubt any participation by Sheriff, county deputy’s, or militia took place without full embrace of cooperation by RPD. It seldom works that way, especially for a somewhat-scheduled event. Don’t get me wrong – a lot could have gone badly. I’m glad it didn’t…

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Bill — First, I think California’s old Posse Comitatus law was recently revoked by a new statute. The precipitating event was a lawsuit filed by a Trinity County couple, claiming that the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office had tricked them into participating in a dangerous encounter with criminals. I’m not going to Google that for you—you can run it down if you’re interested.

      Maybe you have an opinion regarding my counter-question: What authority does Sheriff’ Magrini have within incorporated Redding? Seems to me that calling in a militia to back up LE in Redding shouldn’t be his call. Wouldn’t RPD’s Chief of Police Schueller have to make that decision? Did the Chief defer to the Sheriff?

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “Did the Chief defer to the Sheriff?”

        That would be my first guess. As far as your counter-question: the two can enforce the law in Redding under the legal umbrella of concurrent jurisprudence, a courtesy normally made consistent thru communication, and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if this protest coverage was a planned, complementary “task force” style endeavor. Woody’s guys have the benefit of regular training in arms use, hand-to-hand confrontation, and the basics of constitutional law. The are far removed from a “bunch of yahoos”, and a logical first choice for deputization. All JMO….

        • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

          I hope Steve doesn’t mind, but I’m going to re-post the comments he turned up made by the “commander” of this militia group (which the poster above seems to be ignoring). This “commander” claimed they are entitled to throw out any laws they don’t like because Trump supposedly declared “war”, and is telling his followers to go to this protest armed. They are certainly NOT “the logical first choice for deputization”:

          “I don’t know anyone beyond the cottonwood malitia. Not sure where there ao’s are.. I know they were here in RB tonight. Honestly with the designation by POTUS tonight and the fact essentially we are technically at war. And our sheriff’s are constitutional I’d lean towards certain laws being null and void. Especially for self perceveriance . Just my take and in no way advice. At this point personally Idgaf. If shit goes south I’m on it… Keep it near and dear if not on you…”

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        Steve –
        Near as I can tell, Posse Comitatus is alive and well in CA. It was modified by a governor’s office EO in 2019, to enable a potential recruit to decline to support the Sheriff, but a voluntary deputization remains fully enabled. Alarming as it may appear to some – an armed, deputized citizenry remains supported by constitutional law…even in CA. Distempered the overtures presented here that the Sheriff have acted outside his authority – IMO, he likely acted in conjunction with RPD to provide adequate security to preclude an incident of undue proportion.

        • Avatar Mark D Twitchell says:

          Again, see my comment above about liability for the county and/or city. Have these fellows gone through the POST training? Even if so, it still seems like an incredibly stupid idea to bring in outsiders and the liability that could follow.

      • Avatar Anonymous Heckler says:

        The bill last year repealed the legal requirement to participate in a “posse comitatus” if deputized into one by a sheriff. It hadn’t been invoked in decades, and nobody could remember charges filed for failure to join one. But law enforcement officers can certainly ask citizens for help and do all the time.

        I don’t believe the horrible incident out in Kettenpom had anything to do with the repeal, but that’s likely the kind of case that gives a police chief or sheriff nightmares when they do ask ordinary citizens for help.

    • Avatar Greg Winters says:

      California is not a Common Law state. Sheriff’s powers derive from the state constitution And statutes.

  13. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Turning off the computer, headed to work, and than I saw this…. Tears…

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/george-floyd-daughter-gianna-floyd-stephen-jackson_n_5ed7a444c5b6f8b2ac14a83c

  14. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Was the protest at the kohl’s shopping center cancelled?
    It seemed very likely this event at kohl’s was a bethel sponsored gathering sanctioned by the RPD.
    As a result, even as I planned on attending, I decided not to go acknowledging it was nothing more than bethel and RPD stunt.

    I’m sorry I missed the courthouse demonstration.

    When is the next protest?

  15. Avatar KM says:

    I wish the writer would have toned down her opinion here, not because I don’t agree with her assessment of the event (I do agree), but because with so much opinion included, the reporting can’t stand as a counter to other new sources claiming to journalistic neutrality. This is one of many times I’ve wanted to hold a News Cafe article up against a Searchlight article, only to know it will be dismissed by many because of the overt editorializing.

    • Avatar KM says:

      I neglected to say that I really appreciate that ANC was there and provided this story, because I do. As a result of it, I’ll be “asking to speak to the manager” at city and county levels about the sheriff’s overreach in calling the militia.

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      KM: I struggled with this decision. I appreciate your feedback.

      • Avatar KM says:

        Totally. I just don’t want the sheriff or county supervisors to dismiss the account by claiming it was altered to suit the media’s narrative.

  16. Avatar Clinton Kane says:

    We must all recognize that this piece written by Annilese is in the “Opinion” tab. So it is a mixture of facts and observations and ending with in my opinion a provocative statement by the writer (her opinion based on first hand observation) and is open to more discussions base on observation and opinions by others (hopefully first hand but not necessary). A more complete investigation by a reporter is in order to fill in many questions left by the both writer and the reader. I look forward to seeing it in aNC or perhaps elsewhere.

  17. Avatar Denise says:

    I’ve had some peripheral experience with the Cottonwood Militia.

    As far as I know, they’ve been cool and exist underground. Some Cottonwood mega crime items included that arsonist and the young man who was paralyzed at a party (this case is ongoing).

    My daughter lives by the Cottonwood Creek. Occasionally there are homeless campers down there. I’ve personally been on waterway cleaning and what a mess.

    The militia has been known to move along the campers. As far as I know, no harm has been done. I can imagine they did have resistant campers here and there.

    I’m NOT okay with them “backing up the RPD” if that is true. However it is a free country and they can well show up when they like.

    Every one is whipped up with all the news reports of big damage to property in some areas. Many of us know very well that far and away the protests are peaceful and a way for us to be together and show our faces for solidarity.

  18. Avatar Candace says:

    I’m heartened that so many BLM protestors showed up in Redding last night and that it was peaceful. That said, it strikes me as odd that the same police chief who posted an impassioned “I’m with you.” on FB and said he’d walk in solidarity beside whomever was at the front of the planned protest march is the same police chief shown standing on a balcony for three hours (reported by the RS) at last night’s protest before coming down to mingle with the crowd. Also reported was that when he was asked to take a knee in solidarity with the protestors he refused and was reported as saying “ I’m not going to do that. What would it accomplish?” That response coupled with the possibility that local militia were either invited or given a wink and a nod when they showed up last night doesn’t feel much like “I’m with you” to me. Something doesn’t jibe.

  19. Avatar Connie Koch says:

    The name of the CO, Woody Clendenen..my, my, my! That is the barber that Les Baugh got his famous “make me feel like a man” hair cut!

    Is anyone else bothered by this? The Sheriff of our county calling upon a local militia group to go on stand by against peaceful protesters? Is anyone else bothered by the fact that something just isn’t adding up? Why would our Sheriff call them? I think we need some answers!

    Great article and thank for you bringing this to our attention!

    • Dang, Connie. Good job connecting the dots. I missed that.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      I am more bothered by people jumping to conclusions with little to no facts. The Sheriff has no jurisdiction in a demonstration within the Redding City limits. You have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the Sheriff recruited anyone. If you look at the video provided by KRCR, you will see that the RPD had the situation well under control and did an admirable job ensuring the demonstration remained peaceful.

      • Avatar Connie Koch says:

        I googled “Does the Sheriff of a County have jurisdiction in a city in said county”…

        What is the jurisdiction of a county sheriff? Generally, the sheriff is responsible for police patrol in unincorporated areas of the county, but retains full jurisdiction within the entire county. Generally, city or village police handle general law enforcement duties in incorporated areas.

        I have good friends in other counties who are both Sheriff and City Police and they generally work hand in hand.. as they do with the CHP.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Yes Connie, Sheriff deputies may enforce laws in the city limits, they can pull over cars for traffic violations as an example, as can the CHP and some CalFire employees. That is in their jurisdiction. It is not, however, the Sheriff’s job to unilaterally make law enforcement decisions inside the city limits. The Sheriff does not have the jurisdiction to issue orders about a protest against the Chief of Police. From what I gleaned from the videos I saw, the RPD had the situation well under control, the Sheriffs had a small contingent looking after the County buildings.

          Why can’t we just accept the fact that this was a protest by a bunch of well behaved folks, save for a few…heck, there are more people misbehaving at Little League games in town. it was a protest with a professional, polite and accommodating police presence. Why can’t we leave it at that? Why do we want to build it up as something more nefarious?

          All you people are doing is distracting from the message of the protest, nobody on here is talking about the meaning of the march, instead focusing on the Sheriff and a little man in his big red truck.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “I am bothered by people jumping to conclusions…”

        You are right Doug, it’s gotta be a pure coincidence that the militia showed up locked and loaded, and just in time to participate in closely coordinated, textbook crowd control measures. Constitutional serendipity at it’s best…

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Connie: Wow what a crazy coincidence.

  20. Avatar Caz says:

    The man who had his tire slashed sped through the middle of BLM protesters, grazing at least one person. He then reversed at at a high speed and exited his vehicle. Protesters seemed determined to keep the peace and as he got back in his truck an unidentified white man slashed his rear right tire. A Facebook post from the truck driver before the incident seemed to indicate he went there to agitate the protestors, with the text of the post reading “Game time at City Hall.”

    • Avatar Stone says:

      I can corroborate what happened at the actual protest with the truck. He reversed into the crowd standing to the side and people rushed to help those he might have hit, he then hopped out to start something with the protestors. As he did other protestors began chanting to keep the peace which they did. As he got back into the truck someone did puncture his tire before he took off.

      The police and miltia were too preoccupied with the peaceful protestors who made their intentions clear that they came to be peaceful. It’s apparent to me that they had no intentions to help protect protestors from the people who were fully intent on being agressive.

      It’s only because of the people who showed up for the movement and reporters like Annelise that I have any hope for this town. Those protesting violence with peace, then to be met by violence is so disheartening.

  21. Annelise attended the protest on Court Street from the beginning until the end, when the crowd was dispersed. She wrote a complex piece that was based on first-hand observations of things she saw and heard, bolstered by conversations with people at the protest, and then summarized with her opinion.

    A lot is being made of the counter-protesters, and how they ended up there, whether it was an original plan executed by the militia, or if what some of the militia told Annelise was true; that they were there at the sheriff’s invitation and request.

    I was there last night, as was ANC’s Frank Treadway, and we both heard separate references by the counter-protesters that they were there because the Sheriff wanted them there to “help keep the peace”.

    I’m as curious as anyone to find out more about that.

    But whether the counter-protesters were there by invitation or on their own volition, from my perspective, they were a distracting and unnecessary presence at an already peaceful – but yes, robust – protest.

    Even so, the protesters and their leaders did an admirable job of not taking the bait when taunted by some of the militia. The militia, from my perspective, added nothing positive to the event, in fact, to the contrary. What their presence did instill was additional tension with the implied threat of aggression.

    Annelise was correct when she said above in a comment, that “one of the most difficult aspects of covering this event is that many things are true at once”.

    Annelise did an impressive job of walking that story tightrope and artfully navigating those many things.

    • Terry Turner Terry Turner says:

      I agree, Doni! Annelise, you did an impressive job! This was thoughtful, informative, and well done. It was obvious to me that you were striving above all to be factual and descriptive in a time when it’s too easy to be the opposite. Thank you for an outstanding article!

  22. Avatar Candace says:

    Ya, ok, after my original comment regarding “something doesn’t jibe” I watched the RS video of our police chief’s response when asked by a protestor to take a knee in solidarity. Watching his dismissive reaction and discomfort to and with the woman’s request says it all for me. It all jibes. It would seem to me that good ol’ boy policing is alive and kickin’ in Redding, Ca., no surprise there.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Candace, if you look at the video from KRCR, you would see the RPD officers being very accommodating to the protesters, asking them where they wanted to go so they could escort them, the Sgt asked them nicely not to vandalize property and to be peaceful. ..there are shots of officers walking arm in arm with the protesters smiling. Is that the ‘good ol’ boy’ policing you are referencing?

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Doug, no, it’s not. I’m referencing our police chief’s refusal to take a knee and saying “What good would that do?” against the backdrop of his impassioned FB statement of solidarity with BLM protesters and therefore the thing they’re protesting. That and the possibility of the Sheriff having invited and directed local militia to the protest. I sincerely hope the latter is not true but having lived here for many years I have my doubts.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Candace, for some reason, comments seem to appear and disappear from this thread, not sure why. I addressed your concerns about the chief but it seemed to have disappeared so I will repeat it here. You seemed rather put off that the Chief was on a balcony for a number of hours and he didn’t feel it was proper to ‘take a knee’. I don’t know what balcony you are speaking of, but I’m assuming he was doing his job and coordinating and leading his officers that he is in charge of.

          It would have been improper for the Chief to ‘take a knee’ That is not his job. He should be a neutral as possible. What’s next? Have him holding up a pro-choice sign at a women’s rally? Why do you consider that ‘good ol’ boy’ policing? What does that even mean? From every indication that I could find, the police, and the good ol’ boy Chief of Police acted in a professional peaceful and cooperative manner.

          I have never seen so many people jump to conclusions as those on these pages. There is no proof whatsoever that any LE officer invited a local militia to the protest, other than one anecdotal story by one of them. I find that very difficult to believe that would happen…but you all want to believe it as the god’s honest truth.

          Time to put the rumors and speculation to rest. It was a fine rally…the message got out, it was a peaceful protest, and I’m sure the participants went home feeling good about themselves like they accomplished something. Ok, can we move on now?

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Doug,

            It appears from the article above that more than one militia member stated they had been invited by both the Sheriff and members of the police department – including one whose companion warned him he was divulging too much information.

            In addition, a number of police departments around the country are “taking a knee” to support the right of Black people to be free of police brutality. It has nothing to do with “holding up a pro-choice sign at a women’s rally”, which is just a right-wing dog whistle on your part.

          • Avatar Candace says:

            Doug, I thought about my comment regarding the RS reporting of the police chief’s standing on the balcony for several hours before he came down into the crowd. Given that this was not a “planned” protest I think it probably makes sense that he was watching from that vantage point in order to have a good view of the overall protest. Still, if the chief’s job includes remaining neutral why the initial “I’ll march up front with you in solidarity” FB post? How is that neutral? I won’t attempt to speak for others who were there as to how they felt but judging by comments here it sounds to be varied. As far a “moving on” not sure if you’re addressing me personally or the topic in general. Either way as far as I’m concerned you’re free to move on whenever you wish.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            My comment about moving on wasn’t directed at you, it was simply that we had a nice protest, there was no violence, there was perhaps one a-hole trying to stir things up in his big red truck, that I agree with Anita that he is compensating for a weakness. It looks like the stories of the Sheriff inviting the militia group is not real. Ok, let’s move on…It was a nice peaceful protest where the police were friendly and accommodating. Why so much angst on these pages about this? I guess we have been stuck inside for too long.

            I read a funny quote from Will Ferrell this morning…
            ” It’s already riot season, and I still have my Covid-19 decorations up”
            Made me laugh.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            “…that more than one militia member stated they had been invited by both the Sheriff and members of the police department”

            So what, Patrecia? I was at the library awhile ago and a lady there told me the government was poisoning us with chemtrails….I didn’t believe her either. You believe everything somebody tells you? I believe RPD made an announcement saying no militia group was invited by law enforcement. I will believe facts from an actual reliable source.

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Doug Cook,

            You’ve always been very selective about the type of “facts” you choose to believe. Just because a self-serving denial comes from a member of law enforcement doesn’t necessarily means it’s entirely true.

            There may not have been an official request for back-up from a law enforcement agency. However, we know that Supervisor Les Baugh is thick as thieves with members of this militia, and that the Sheriff is buddy-buddy with members of the local ultra-right-wing in general. The admissions made by several militia members at this protest (who told KRCR TV they were there “to protect the City”) aren’t as far-fetched as you’d like to imply.

  23. Avatar Spenser says:

    “The peacefulness of the protest was briefly broken when a truck pulled to a stop in front of the crowd. A water bottle was thrown, the driver jumped out of his vehicle. Protesters swarmed. Observers shouted “drive, drive, drive,” and the car skidded away. I was told by these observers that the truck’s tire had been slashed by protesters, which was why he had stopped. I was unable to confirm this.”

    I can speak to this. I was right by the situation with this pickup truck and can confirm the order of events:

    1. A red pickup truck had driven by multiple times revving their engine and speeding by the protest.

    2. On this pass, the pickup driver screeched to a halt, threw the pickup in reverse, and backed up about 6-8 feet. It was not apparent to me that there was any justification for this action.

    3. The driver jumped out of his vehicle to confront protesters. Some protesters shouted things like “Love Love Love” and “Drive Drive Drive” and “Don’t Take the Bait”. Other protesters stepped between to prevent a physical altercation.

    4. It was at this moment that a single water bottle was thrown. The thrower was chastised by those around them.

    5. Then a tire on the passenger side was slashed. This caused much of the crowd to quickly run away as it sounded as if there was potentially tear gas being deployed. The driver got back in their truck and sped off. The crowd eventually resumed chanting.

    • This is one of the things I love about having an online site; that readers like Spenser (thank you, Spenser), can add to the conversation in real time with their own observations. So interesting.

      (I also know there are some videos out there that recorded what happened. Perhaps we’ll be able so share some of those here, too.)

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Spenser, I saw the video of the red truck. We can all agree that this dude is some kind of a-hole trying to stir up trouble. But that’s about how far I am willing to take it. I don’t believe it is an indictment of any group that was participating.. It was one a-hole acting stupidly where there was universal condemnation of his actions. Thank you for your clear play-by-play account of this fool’s actions.

  24. Avatar Corey Jones says:

    Kudos to the protesters, police, and militia for keeping things safe & civil.

    It seems reasonable for law enforcement to shut off the flow of traffic after a potentially dangerous exchange between a motorist and protesters and at dusk to begin shutting things in the face of widespread night time riots and looting across the nation.

    I do find it amusing that many here believe a church congregation is a major threat to the health and safety of the county, yet see nothing wrong with 500 mostly unmasked people protesting in close proximity. I guess they want buffet-style constitutionalism to go with their buffet-style Christianity…

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      I found that amusing too, Corey. The protesters that went to the Supervisors chambers were vilified on here for the audacity of protesting without social distancing. I guess it is just a matter of what side of the buffet you are eating from.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Corey: among the BLM protesters, most were masked. Not so much among militia and observers.

  25. Avatar Shannon Hicks says:

    Annelise: you may consider including the word ‘allegedly’ in the future when making unconfirmed declarative statements. Your statement remains uncorroborated. Let us know what the Sheriff’s Department says about the allegation of coordinating with the local militia.

    “Somehow the police had won the photo op AND the battle. Why? Probably because they get to make up the rules as they go, closing streets, blocking access to public places, and coordinating with local militia for backup.”

  26. Avatar Candace says:

    I forgot to add a “thank you” to Annelise for showing up and being willing to ask questions of different people representing different reasons for attending last night’s peaceful protest. A shout out to ANC as well for featuring Annelise’s opinion piece and the (mostly) thoughtful if varied responses and conversation it facilitates. I appreciate having the option of “tuning” into ANC to hear different voices and perspectives as an addition to other local news sources. Thank you.

  27. I’m lousy at guessing crowd numbers, but to me, by the end of the protest, there were many hundreds of people, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more than 1,000.

    But one thing that was notable was how the militia group blossomed over the course of the evening, from just a dozen or so, to maybe hundreds.

    Here’s a video I took last night of the group basically taking a celebratory group photo during that window of time when the protesters were heading toward Shasta Street and toward the police line-up.

    Look at that crowd, and you tell me your best guess of how many counter-protesters are in that group.

    After that, the militia folks fanned out across Court street, curb to curb, and pushed forward en masse, to the point where the police and militia had effectively created a protester sandwich, with the protesters blocked by the militia on the south, and the police on the north, and the protesters smack in the middle.

    The police line was grounded at Shasta Street, while the militia kept pushing north, shortening the space that contained the protesters. The term that Annelise quoted one protester use – herding – was exactly what happened, and the protesters were contained and penned in with nowhere to go, except to reach the police, then turn around the other way and walk toward the courthouse again.

    (I hope this video works.)

    https://www.facebook.com/doni.chamberlain.5/videos/10217310092243580/

  28. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    While the cottonwood militia are a disgusting bunch perhaps we should take their word for it that LE asked them to participate.
    They wouldn’t lie, would they?

    The same lifted pick up trucks show up at every demonstration.
    Spewing diesel exhaust, flying flags and never without a tattered trump rag.

    This protest was organized in defense of human rights. In a call for action against this systematic killing of black people. In response to poor inadequately trained LE.
    Certainly the anti protesters have a right to assemble but their timing is simply a way to display their own misguided and anti American The rights of the militia end when they interfere or attempt to limit my 1st amendment rights.

  29. Avatar David says:

    Well written.
    Thank you.

  30. Avatar Rob Belgeri says:

    The non-well-regulated “militia” functioned here as Einsatzgruppen, desperately hoping to be elevated to SA Sturmabteiling. If the sheriff starts passing out brown shirts, the promotion is official.

  31. Avatar rachel says:

    I loved the protest and I was there. The reporting in this article is mostly true. You did a great job but I don’t agree with your conclusion or the violence it could provoke. I love all people. I consider myself a peacemaker and a lover of Jesus. I am not tying to upset anyone. I do sincerely want to know these answer (advice) regarding 2 things I encountered last night:

    1) what does the fist in the air represent?
    2) what do they truly mean by “you can’t stop this revolution”?

    Enlighten me.

    Thanks

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Rachel: Thanks for your comment. I think you’ll have to find someone else to answer those questions. I know I heard some non-protesters angry about the chant “prosecute the police” and it sounds like you object to “you can’t stop this revolution.” I guess it all depends on what the terms mean, right? There were probably hundred of people flashing the black power fist in the air last night, including those cruising by. I’m sure you’ll find some who will answer your questions.

    • Avatar don cohen says:

      Rachel;
      [1]It originated in the 1968 olympics with two medalists. I forget the details but you can google it. Juan Carlos was the gold medalist.
      [2] sometimes people just mean what they say

  32. Avatar Mark D Twitchell says:

    So, after all this, I’m still left with no real answer to my burning question: were there actually any Antifa there? There was a lot of talk about this bus with “Black Lives Matter” signs on it, and that this was full of antifa provocateurs, coming to Redding to loot, pillage and bomb the cops. Did anybody actually see a real antifa? Did they have a Molotov in their hand, if so?
    Still wondering.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Mark: I met no one who identified as Antifa and no one who identified as from out of town. I did begin to realize that asking people “are you from this area” wasn’t likely to earn me the truth, necessarily so I switched to “can you tell me what part of town you’re from.”

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “I met no one who identified as Antifa…”

        Not surprising, as they are up for designation as a terrorist group.
        At least, according to the Donald…

        Would you ‘fess up to being member?

        • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

          The “busload of Antifa” was apparently a baseless rumor started by militia members.

          In addition, Trump’s “terrorist organization” label is a joke. He needs to designate ACTUAL terrorist groups as such – like the Nazis and other violent hate groups he has repeatedly referred to as “very fine people”.

      • Avatar Rob Belgeri says:

        “Antifa” means only “anti-fascist.” It does not mean “black bloc,” the violent anarchists who show up at some events to foment violence. I am “antifa,” meaning I am against fascism. I am part of no centralized or decentralized movement. My anti-fascism merely guides my political involvement and decisions. If you cannot make the distinction between antifa and black bloc, you’re obtuse, whether willfully or not.

  33. Avatar Phil Castile says:

    So we’re saying we can only trust police to have firearms while protesting police brutality?

  34. Avatar Linda Cooper says:

    Thanks to Annelise for the boots on the ground. I’m thinking you must have been up all night writing. And thanks to Steve Towers for answering my confusion regarding the protest: “We’d been unaware that the canceled protest had turned into a spontaneous event elsewhere.”

    Now I’m wondering about permits and such. If a permit is even required. I’m guessing not, since dear husband howled at my question, then how do the police get the information in advance that there is a spontaneous protest in the works, and which streets and militia (if true) to call, and how the police planned for the protest in terms of strategy described in the article.

    Sorry, I’m remember my “old” marching days. With permits and portable toilets involved. Also, I (as they say) don’t have a dog in this race, just curious. My kudos to Redding people for keeping it peaceful, and the forum ANC provides.

  35. Avatar Semi-Retired says:

    I am curious about the alleged call from law enforcement to the “Cottonwood Militia” to support law enforcement in crowd control. Is this even legal?

    Sarcastic opinion: Just what we need is rednecks with guns at a BLM rally.

  36. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “I am curious about the alleged call from law enforcement to the “Cottonwood Militia” to support law enforcement in crowd control. Is this even legal?”

    It wouldn’t have to appear as blatant as a call to arms, a request for participation, or an open deputization. Not even close. Could be as discretionary as a suggestion dropped by a sympathetic County Supervisor at the barbershop, a text message, an e-mail, a phone message. Nothing illegal about including free-thinking, like-minded citizens at a publicly-held function, is there?

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Bill: IF the reports that the Sheriff called the militia in are true, I can only imagine that this would have beeen an informal request, not an official one.

  37. Avatar Katy Redmon says:

    I have not read all the comments. However, in case no one addressed this, I called the police and the sheriff. They do not collaborate with para-military groups. The military types who were present were not being accurate.

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      It’s doubtful that the Sheriff, the police, Les Baugh, or whoever may have encouraged the militia to show up will admit it. And unless something exists it writing that happens to go public, it could be impossible to prove.

      We know that County Supervisor Les Baugh is thick as thieves with members of this group, that the Sheriff is a sympathizer, and it stands to reason that some members of the police department would be involved, in this ultra-right-wing area. There is likely at least some truth in the admissions made by militia members.

      • Avatar Kathryn McDonald says:

        When the Brooklyn, NY police pushed a 75-year-old man onto a concrete surface yesterday, badly injuring him, the Brooklyn Police Dept. first said the man tripped. They had to correct that lie when video of the abuse surfaced. So who says police wouldn’t lie?

        • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

          Kathryn, that protestor was shoved by Buffalo police, not Brooklyn, and two officers have been suspended. He is a longtime protestor that protests everything from immigrant detention to nuclear disarmament to climate change. He has 35 you tube accounts and is a frequent LTTE writer to the Buffalo News, unlike most commentators on Anews. I didn’t need to google because I read about Josh Allen in Buffalo all the time and get emails and Facebook posts from the Buffalo News. Tell the whole story not just the wrong headline.

          • Avatar Kathryn McDonald says:

            Bruce, I apologize for getting the city wrong. However, his activism does not make it ok to push him to the ground when he did nothing wrong. Fortunately, the two officers have been suspended. That doesn’t change the fact that the Buffalo Police Department lied in it’s initial press release. Almost as disturbing as the assault by the police on this elderly man is that many police walked by the injured man with no attempt to help him, as if he were a piece of trash thrown on the pavement.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Katy: Well I guess that clears it up then. 🙂

  38. Avatar DAVID says:

    The raised fist is “solidarity”. No riots here with Rodney king. This is just authoritarianism, pure and simple.

  39. Avatar Farren says:

    Great article. Thanks for your reporting! I was also at the protest and the presence of the militia was unnerving for me.

    Just thought I’d point out–Woody Clendenen is the barber from Cottonwood that gave Shasta County supervisor, Les Baugh, a haircut on May 2nd. https://anewscafe.com/2020/05/06/redding/shasta-county-supervisor-les-baugh-didnt-just-get-a-haircut-he-set-an-example/?fbclid=IwAR1rrVhv0s2hlhrje7zgZ388uHQIzbXWCCz6J1G7ePCR1icAzMT_ZluQHO8

    I find the comments on Woody Clendenen’s facebook cover photo terrifying. Ironic that they come from a group that claims they are protecting the public:
    From Tony Jackson: “Woody Clendenen, we’ll swap out the blanks and get ready, protest in Redding tomorrow”
    Woody Clendenen: “Tony Jackson, ha…hope it stays a protest and not a riot”
    Shannon Perron: “Damn, thought you boys were getting geared up for the looters…”
    Woody Clendenen “Shannon Perron, well…we cant talk about that here lol”
    Bailey Spitz: “Coming soon to looters near you”
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3709132452435305&set=a.2456410837707479&type=3&theater

    From Louis Lois (another cottonwood milita member): “Over 200 (many legally armed/concealed carry-licensed) citizens in Redding stood their ground last night to ward off agitators in Redding. Buses of agitators including antifa were escorted out of town by the Guard after the citizens stood their ground preventing any issues. Cottonwood platoon militia worked with law-enforcement in Red Bluff last night and we stood to protect businesses, providing legally armed security. The protest was peaceful. Potential agitators knew where they stood, dissipated, and left. CHP thanked us and Red Bluff PD saw us as allies. This goes to show you that the legally armed citizen exercising their Second Amendment right is necessary. And you blue states, blue counties and blue cities, notice your destruction and chaos because your politicians deny you Second Amendment Rights especially concealed carry. Up here in Shasta County and neighboring far Northern California counties we are legally armed and we will and do stand our ground. So those of you in the blue who elect your liberal politicians, you get what you voted for and you cannot stand your ground because you are not protected. The police stand down. You are not armed. Remember this when you clean up your burned cities and vote in November. You might think about voting out Newsom and the liberal hacks that are denying you your right to keep and bear arms. Our Sheriff is on our side and we are over 10,000 strong, legally concealed-carry armed citizens. We will not stand and watch our windows broken, our cities burn, and the agitators know this. Red Bluff and Redding are prime examples of how good “red” counties and “red” politicians are. “You get what you vote for”. Wise up or suffer.” –https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1715932164&fref=search&__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARDi0Q8gI0Fb41g2PurkQVZ5ucxouZbqgj3baYDFrDf3c7U0iW1LQb_7bF1hufbeCuUvJ1PyT7Dfo-ZF

    –This was posted on Louis’ facebook profile on June 2nd at 8:47am (before the protest in Redding last night). I know there was a Red Bluff protest but he’s referring to Redding citizens warding off agitators in Redding and that buses of agitators including antifa were escorted out of town by the Guard.

    I checked out a few other Cottonwood militia members facebook profiles and one thing that struck me was how cavalier the comments tend to be in regards to potential conflicts. I’ve never had to physically defend myself or another but if it comes to that–I hope I’m not tempted to blast social media with a comment like this one: “Leeeeettttsss get reeaaadddy to Ruuummmmmmble!!!!!” (That comment came from Dan Scoville’s FB page). The rhetoric of POTUS is inflammatory enough. I wish our local militia could see that their rhetoric is equally as divisive and undermines the seriousness of violence being used against others–whether in self-defense or not.

  40. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “Leeeeettttsss get reeaaadddy to Ruuummmmmmble!!!!!”

    It’s been quite a while, so I may be paraphrasing here, but I seem to recall a question common to all exams given for the written CCW:

    “How much gun waving bravado is considered an imperative precursor to actually brandishing your weapon and posturing as if you might use it?”
    A.) Some
    B. )Lots
    C.) As much as you can muster
    D.) All of the above

    Yeah…that’s the ticket… that was it… or something very much like it…
    The civilian version of firing a warning shot…

  41. Avatar Connie Koch says:

    I honestly think there needs to be some follow up with the Chief of Police and the Sheriff to verify if these militia men were indeed asked to make their presence known. I would like to know how they have the right to act in a level of law enforcement when they aren’t LE. If you ask me, I bet they are wanna be’s that probably applied and were denied to LE.

    There is no excuse or reason for these people to think they can come in and bully, herd, or any other action against peaceful protesters. They had NO business being there and were there to intimidate.

    Please, will someone try to get on record if the Police Chief or the Sheriff requested their presence. If they did, they need to be recalled.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Connie: there will be follow up with local LE of course. While the obvious conclusion to seeing an armed militia near a protest is that they were there to intimidate, I think my reporting tells a more complex story. In their own words, they were there to protect.

  42. Avatar Daniel says:

    So the outside agitators were invited in by the Sheriff?

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Daniel: Several have said so, however this is not a proven fact. We don’t have evidence that the Sheriff did this, only the words of several people, some of whom have posted online.

  43. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Thanks for this article and photographs Annelise. As a teacher, I experienced several brutal fights in my classroom that erupted in a second….furniture flying….serious conflict. This is what I would have expected at a large gathering of people including some like the ones who had posted on social media that they were armed and ready to step in to clear the streets of protesters. I find no fault in the way the RPD handled this demonstration. The protest was thankfully peacefull. Officers are trained and were ready just in case things went awry as things can with large crowds. By the way, there was no riot in Klamath Falls. Again, thank you for your reporting and this article.

  44. Avatar Darlene Randolph says:

    #WalkWithUS
    I love Redding people.
    Proud to live here where all came together and walked toward peace in our community.

  45. Avatar Alex says:

    This event sounds like it was a huge success to me!

    – Diverse crowd
    – No violence
    – Police joined the march

    This is way better than how things have gone in Los Angeles (way more liberal town) that’s for sure!

  46. Avatar Kevin H. Jr. says:

    I can confirm this as well. The truck drove into the protest area in front of the court way over the speed limit, then slammed on his brakes and swerved towards the protesters, almost hit some young kids, may have grazed one but I wasn’t getting any closer to find out. He just about slid into a pedestrian in the crosswalk too, then he reversed his truck and squeeled his tires back towards the protesters and after he tried to hit em again he jumped out and tried to walk towards the protesters. He didn’t look like he was trying to talk because it took a few of those husky country boys packing heat that I guess were probably in that militia you were talking about to get him back in the truck. They definitely weren’t there to protest. I thought for sure the militia guys were going to start trouble. I didn’t know they were militia just figured they were troublemakers, but they didn’t start anything that I saw. I gotta say the militia guys or whatever they were did a good job getting that guy back in his truck and got him to keep moving, and they didn’t put hands on any protesters that I saw. It’s really fortunate the driver of that truck didn’t kill anybody. If his tire really got busted I feel sorry that happened to his truck. I don’t like anything getting damaged, but him not getting a third try at hitting people probably wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I hope I don’t sound too mean saying that. This was completely peaceful and family friendly until that driver almost put Redding in the national news. If he didn’t at least graze somebody I would be shocked, especially when he backed up after just missing those kids the first time. The protesters with the bullhorns did a good job yelling at everybody to stay peaceful the whole time the dude was trying to run over and fight people. That one dude almost ruined it for everyone and someone’s highschool aged kid might not have made it home if he had better aim or if they had been half a step forward. I’m not sure having them militia guys bring guns was the best idea, but at least they didn’t have em out. You could just see they had pistols in their pants, no assault rifles or anything that I saw.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Kevin: This is an interesting perspective. That the observers there to keep the peace kept someone harassing the protesters from harming anyone. I did not see this myself but I think this is very worth noting.

  47. Avatar John Rambo says:

    UNSOLVED – Redding – Anderson California – Black Child Found – Tortured – Hanging From Tree – Penis Cut Off – Found In Mouth 1998 – Racist Markings Found – White Local News Media Ignores

    https://twitter.com/RdgLvsandFsh/status/1268480421999734784

    • Avatar Fact Check says:

      It was a 1997 suicide, not a 1998 lynching. He was 31, not a child. Nor was his penis cut and found in his mouth, as evident by the photo in the story you alluded to ( https://oakland.access.preservica.com/download/file/digitalFile_6d8a8e94-d5aa-449d-8974-2577a8770a83 ). The racist graffiti was old and found 60 yards away from the body, and the soft tissue damage – “torture” – was the result of wildlife feeding off his body for the 8-10 days it was hanging from a tree (by his windbreaker, not a noose).

      I know there were some active white supremacists element and a couple racist cops in Shasta County in 1997, but it is simply implausible that 2 witnesses, a dozen police officers, a couple detectives, the coroner, and Allan & Dahl were ALL in on the conspiracy.

  48. Avatar Dan Scollon says:

    This is good journalism and good reporting. This comes at a time when journalists are being threatened and intimidated, in part as a result of the ‘fake news’ narrative coming out of the White House. We are being told that the press are the ‘enemy of the people’, yet nothing could be further from the truth. As we all try to sort out truth from fabrication, front-line reporting such as this is essential. This time serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the poor, the marginalized, and especially black and brown people. The visceral fear and anger that has resulted from the murder of George Floyd, and too many others, is something many of us have not experienced. Yet all of us have do what we can to take steps towards ending racism, injustice and abuse of power. This reporting contributes to that end.

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Dan: Thank you for your words. While I inserted my opinions at the end of the article, much of this piece is straight from the field. I attended the protest as a journalist because I believe that a free and empowered press contributes to a healthy society and improved racial justice and police accountability.

  49. Avatar Randy says:

    Annelise, Like many others have already expressed, I really appreciate your work in covering this event in such detail and then and sticking with the conversation to make sure every perspective is respected. How can journalism get better than that? There is a related part of this day of events that I am curious about. Why was the event at Kohl’s cancelled? The only word I found was that this even was cancelled over a ‘conversation with the Sherriff’. On what information did the Sherriff decide to cancel the event. On what information did Kohl’s, Trader Joes and even Orchard Nutrition feel the need to board up their businesses? As a lifetime resident here this all seemed very strange to me. The rumor about the ‘bus load of Antifa’ being sent out of town. There seems to be a tight connection between our Sherriff, Les Baugh and the Barber Woody militia. Is there some information they all knew about that the rest of us don’t?

    • Avatar Steve says:

      The glass guy who got the call to board up those businesses laughed all the way to the bank, twice! Once to put up, once to take them down. Seriously though, whom suggested, authorized, and PAID for businesses to be boarded up? On what detailed information did they base that decision on?

      • Avatar Annelise says:

        Randy and Steve: Some great questions. According to RPD’s live press briefing I viewed on Facebook, the original protest event was cancelled because a member of the Shasta County Sheriff shot someone and RPD was needed to help investigate the “officer-involved” shooting. According to the speakers, this meant that there would not be enough RPD resources available to safely monitor the original protest. This does not pass a common sense smell test, and there certainly seemed to be no lack of law enforcement at the new protest, but I have not spoken to RPD about it.

  50. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    Over 36 hours later have we a statement from the Sheriff that he doesn’t recruit “militia” for peaceful events? Telling… +!+

  51. Avatar Steve says:

    Just the plain fact that people up here ASSUME that protests lead to looting and violence says a lot. Who was the idiot that ordered the windows boarded up at kohls and dicks? As if a full scale riot was SURE to break out. People have been brain washed, to the point they believe almost anything! busloads of antifa? I have to question the IQ level of anyone who even remotely thought this was possible. Not to mention I happen to consider my self anti fascist, against the fascist tendencies of almost all law enforcement. If cant imagine anyone proclaiming they are Pro fascist right? It’s the fear thats the problem. People are afraid of change and having their fragile little world view crushed by reality.

  52. Avatar Dev says:

    I just want to make a correction that every media source seems to have somehow missed. The truck that sped “past” the crowd, your information about that incident was incorrect. That truck sped at very excessive speeds, very close to the edge of the crowd. It appeared to me the driver of that truck did not see that the stoplight ahead was red, to which he had to slam on the brakes to stop from hitting individuals that were in the crosswalk. THAT is what pissed people off, to which they began surrounding the truck, as the driver was obviously not acting safely. The driver then put the truck in reverse and nearly ran over protesters behind the truck. That is when people decided to slash his tires, rightfully so in my opinion. He then put the truck in park, got out of the vehicle, and realized what was about to happen had he kept antagonizing the crowd, so he quickly returned to his truck and sped off with a flat tire. I am disgusted by the misonformation being spread about that incident. That individual almost hurt people and could have started a riot, and nobody is holding him accountable for that. Disgusting.

  53. Avatar Craig S. says:

    I was at the canceled march (didn’t know it had been canceled) at the Kohl’s parking lot. There were about 50 of us and we did complete the march route, with lots of cars honking approval and only a few frumpy faces.

    But the reason I write is related to the militia that also showed up at the Kohl’s site. Initially I didn’t realize what I was looking at, as I just recently moved here and had never heard of Cottonwood militia until this article. What I did know was that their was some sort of organization to them, that they all left the parking lot at the same time in their trucks, and that they fully intended to intimidate us. All the cops had pulled back into the center of the shopping center, so there was no buffer between us. One of them, an older man with gray hair and gray beard, walked through our crowd telling us to ‘keep it peaceful.’

    What kind of police force allows two groups with such disparate, clashing agendas, beliefs, and behavior get so close together without a buffer?

  54. Avatar Ed Marek says:

    The “Vast-ANTIFA-conspiracy” myth has spread among trumpist organisations nationwide, not unlike “the vast- Jewish-conspiracy” myth motivated organized authoritarian hate groups a century ago.

    Does the report below sound familiar…?

    “Armed white residents lined Idaho streets amid ‘antifa’ protest fears. The leftist incursion was an online myth.

    June 4, 2020 at 11:09 a.m. PDT

    Protesters had only begun assembling peacefully in Idaho when a Facebook page for retired police officers advised its followers to stay on high alert.

    “We will protect our neighborhoods,” it vowed.

    So when early reports about potential violence surfaced a day later — claiming “ANTIFA agitators” were storming the state this week — scores of residents took to the streets. Armed with military-style assault rifles, they stood guard in places such as Coeur d’Alene, a resort town of 50,000 on a lake in northwest Idaho.

    “Enough of us swung into action, and put the word out on social media and elsewhere, that we were able to deploy and meet any violent elements that might come here from out of state,” said Trevor Treller, a sommelier and one of the armed locals. Treller, 48, said he mobilized after hearing from trusted voices that “antifa types” were on the move.

    It would not prove to be true.

    As vigils and protest actions unfolded in Idaho this week, local officials across the state confirmed that not a single participant was known to have defiled a home or storefront in the name of “antifa,” a loose label attributed to far-left activists. Many of the rumors about violent protests originated from dubious Facebook posts, often shared widely and rarely debunked, residents there said.

    The raft of myths and misstatements that triggered visceral reactions throughout Idaho illustrates how long-standing grievances have fused with the vast reach of social media during protests that have swept through the country — in big cities and rural towns — after the killing of a black man in the custody of Minneapolis police last week. Though many of the protests have been peaceful pleas to redress racial injustice, scenes of burning buildings and trashed businesses — often not at the hands of the demonstrators — have fueled the perception of a country under siege.

    As President Trump militarizes the government’s response to the roiling demonstrations, armed civilians across the country are taking matters into their own hands. They have engaged in preemptive acts of escalation, often in response to imaginary threats, raising tensions at demonstrations touched off by the death of 46-year-old George Floyd and intensified by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic collapse, which have disproportionately affected black Americans…”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/protests-armed-white-vigilantes/2020/06/04/09e17610-a5bb-11ea-b619-3f9133bbb482_story.html

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      The vast ANTIFA conspiracy in California comprises a few score gutterpunks on skateboards who like to throw things. It’s about as real as widespread mail-in-ballot fraud, the worldwide COVID-19 “plandemic” to destroy the economy and take down Trump, Obamagate, and a herd of unicorns riding unicycles, circling downtown Redding.

  55. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “…a herd of unicorns riding unicycles, circling downtown Redding.”

    Thanks for posting this, Steve – I’d hoped someone else saw them.

  56. Avatar Sam A. says:

    I was there and part of the Militia. We were there to keep the peace and protect our community. We were ASKED to be there by the shasta co. sheriff and we all answered the call. Our CO Woody C. is a good and honorable man. He has never lied to me but I know he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. Yes he was talking to the sheriff and he relayed the orders to us and we were happy to oblige. He is concerned now that the sheriff is taking heat and trying to distance himself away. He’s asked us to stay quiet but I’m tired of staying quiet and shouldn’t be ashamed of doing our duty. Woody was getting updates from the sheriff who was at the forward observation area watching the events on a drone. We were at the Fox Hole and the sheriff was concerned for his deputys that were there. He told Woody to get over there and keep the peace. He asked us to not intervene unless it got out of hand. which it didn’t because we were there.

    • Avatar Rob Belgeri says:

      You don’t have even P.O.S.T. I certificates.
      You have no training in crowd control.
      There is no legal mechanism for deputizing you civilians on the fly.
      The closest analog to what you were doing is set forth in the history of the Einsatzgruppen.
      Look it up.

      What would your group have done had those participating in the demonstration decided to move past the point at which you set up your illegal kettling? Would you have used your weapons to push them back?

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Sam: Thanks for your comment and for sharing important details with us. If you want to follow up further with me, please email me annelisepierce@anewscafe.com.

    • Avatar Connie Koch says:

      Sam, if this is true, then shame on our Sheriff and shame on your CO, Woody Clendenen. You had NO business what so ever being there acting in a capacity of law enforcement. And if Sheriff Mangrini instructed you to be there via Mr. Clendenen, then we need some serious questions answered by our Sheriff. You are not trained in crowd control and you and your group only made things worse! Those people were there protesting peacefully and your presence created a lot of stress among some of the people who were abiding by the request for a peaceful protest.

      I saw the pics of weapons in some of your vehicles. What did you plan on doing if things got out of hand? Did you have a plan if you had to intervene? What was that plan…shoot your fellow citizens?

      The fact that your group was called upon is wrong on so many levels. And I, for one, would like someone to get to the bottom of it, since my tax paying dollars pays for our Sheriff’s salary. If he was concerned, then he obviously doesn’t have faith and trust in his deputies to handle their duties as law enforcement agents, if he needs to call on some little militia group to back them up.

      I hope to hell either Doni or Annelise get to bottom of this. This makes my blood boil!

      • Avatar Connie Koch says:

        PS.. I want to know who would be held accountable if one of your militia guys messed up? Who will take responsibility if one of you guys got trigger happy? Who will take responsibility if one of you guys pushed someone, they fell, hit their head on the ground and ended up in the hospital with traumatic brain injury?? I want to know who will get sued if you guys cause great bodily injury to a peaceful protester? Will you place that on the Sheriff?

    • Sam A., you seem sincere and believable. If you were truly there to keep the peace, then you shouldn’t feel ashamed. You are a courageous person to speak up with the truth. You were following orders that you believed were passed down from the sheriff.

      An honorable person doesn’t suddenly distance himself from his friends when he’s coming under fire and taking heat. An honorable person stands by the people – even when under fire – who were there for him when he called upon them for help.

      I can’t imagine how conflicted you must feel. I’m glad you are here today. Thank you.

    • Avatar Adam R. Sanders says:

      Sam thank you for your transparency and putting yourself out there.

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        While I appreciate Sam A. speaking up in this forum, I have a little trouble with the claim that things didn’t “get out of hand” because the militia was there. That’s not only insulting to the protestors, but their presence was more likely to lead to trouble than to prevent it.

        • Avatar Adam says:

          Agreed. have either the SO or ROD made a public statement stating that having a peaceful march includes not bringing sheath knives and guns to a protest? And once someone does, check each gun and gun owner to ensure the guns were legal, that each person with a gun had a CWP or was transporting weapons according to law? If legal, then how about, “please leave your weapons locked in your vehicles during the protest? It’s not helpful to us LE.” (I am a rifle and bow hunter, gun owner since I wa 9, and I it would never cross my mind to take a gun to a protest). I think the fact that did not happen, the account of the observers who wrote on ANC, with Sam’s admission, attestation, and clarification tells us all we need to know. If BLM protesters had visible sheath knives and visible guns in vehicles would that have been ignored by LE? Given a thumbs up? If LE says they didn’t see the knives and guns then that means they weren’t paying enough attention to everybody there. The fact that the only local media that seems to have had a problem, or even fully reported on this issue and published pictures of the weapons is crazy. I am subscribing today.

  57. Avatar Damon Miller says:

    While I was watching one of the live feeds, I saw a yahoo in a Corvette do a burnout to intimidate like the yahoo in the truck. He also almost went into the crowd. I’m surprised nobody else has brought it up.

  58. Avatar Jason Ross says:

    Annelis, this is a great report. The comment about the sheriff calling the militia for backup is screaming for followup. He may not want to talk to you, but he’s legally bound to. If you’re persistent enough he probably will. I’m a former journalist from Chico and would happily talk privately about how to pursue this. It’s a huge story if true.-jjr

  59. Joe Domke Joe Domke says:

    I removed a comment because it posted someone’s personal Facebook page.

    • Avatar Farren says:

      I think that was my comment. In case you didn’t see–there is another facebook link in a comment higher up. Sorry–I didn’t realize it was against policy since it was a publicly made post.

  60. Avatar Lee says:

    The Cottonwood Militia is part of the California State Militia, which is formed under the guidance of our United States Constitution. California, nor any other state, can bar or negate any formation of such group as long as they obey the law, like local gun laws.

    Also, if people don’t like obeying the laws in this state, city or even county (Like local disturbing the peace laws), you have to get out and vote for those who have the same views as you do. Until then, the law is the law, if you break it, you face charges!

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      The so-called “California State Militia” has absolutely no connection to the State of California or actual law enforcement, and is not officially recognized in any way.

  61. Avatar Farren says:

    Thanks for saying that Doni. I too appreciate Sam’s honesty and courage in speaking up. It’s a shame because while I see the militia’s intentions as noble, the dishonesty and lack of transparency erodes the integrity of all parties involved. At the very least, I hope this admittance brings us closer to understanding each other and ultimately closer to the truth. One thing I have been thinking about today is why the sheriff and militia felt their presence was needed in the first place.

    I spent a couple of hours lurking around facebook trying to get a feel for what I should expect before the Tuesday night protest. Originally I was just trying to figure out things like: where to park, carpooling with my bubble or driving separately, time to arrive, what to bring, etc. Down the rabbit hole and I stumbled upon posts from the group who call themselves the “Patriots.” Most of the persons posting had one thing in common–they were going to the protest to protect businesses from looting and rioting. I wondered, why do all of these folks believe that there will be looting? Eventually I found what I think was the origin story: the ANTIFA bus from Portland, OR. A single white graffiti’d bus that read “Black Lives Matter,” spotted heading I-5 S, full of ANTIFA members looking to cause chaos and destruction at the Redding, CA protest. Various local’s tagged it along I-5 and I saw new photos of the bus erupt throughout the day in different threads. Some folks said that it had stopped in Klammath Falls during a local protest. Folks then commented that there had been a stand off with these ANTIFA members but that the local militia were armed and ready–so ready that they were successful in intimidating them and they got back in their bus and left. Some Klammath Falls citizens were quick to jump in that there was no such stand-off and that it was a peaceful protest. And then, wildly, I heard about these opportunistic looters and agitators coming to the Redding protest after my partner received an email from his brother (who lives in another state)–and then a text from his friend who had heard from his mom.

    I’m speculating, but I can’t help but think that our local sheriff and local militia fell prey to The Telephone Game. (Play a round and see how quickly a message can be altered even when passed from person to person in a relatively short line). Not only did they fall prey to a message that was repeatedly altered through its viral spread across the west coast and beyond, but they fell prey to a larger conspiracy theory which was fabricated by a white supremacist group called Evropa (they were said to be instigators, among others, of the unsubstantiated rumor that busloads of ANTIFA were heading to small rural areas and looking for trouble. (Source: https://ktvl.com/news/local/not-a-call-to-arms-curry-county-sheriff-explains-facebook-post-on-rumored-antifa-bus)
    *Also, just saw that Ed also brought this up in his comment up above. Thanks for posting that article–looking forward to reading it tomorrow.

    I am not calling out any particular person or group but it feels important to say that, words matter. And the things we post on social media matter a great deal. In my mind, blasting social media about the ANTIFA bus heading to town is the same as “fear mongering news organizations spreading propaganda.” At a time where journalism is undervalued, where professionals are a dime a dozen, where a meme has more power than an epidemiologist, scientist or doctor to inform us during a pandemic, where a militia feels they were given a call to arms, where a single social media post can destroy someones life, and at a time where tensions are running high–it is of the utmost importance to understand the material that we are sharing with others. We all play a part in what is trending and because of that we can be our own worst enemies. Unfortunately, this goes beyond media literacy. We must all look within and ask ourselves if we are holding onto any perceptions that could be hindering our ability to see things as they are and more importantly, check to see if any of these perceptions are perpetuating false narratives.

    The real conspiracy theory is that there are extremist groups and individuals who not only recognize our addiction to social media but who take advantage of our vulnerability through insidious manipulation tactics. As much as I hate to say it, nobody is immune to this and we all fall for it depending on the topic.

  62. Avatar Shannon Hicks says:

    Here’s a statement that opposes the false claims of local militia and the sheriff’s office coordinating for Tuesday’s protest.

    A statement from Sheriff Eric Magrini (excerpt)…

    “As it relates to the recent comments regarding the protest in Redding, I did not invite any “militia” groups or any other groups to come to town and participate. The day of the protest, our office was contacted by two different groups. The first group, the Cottonwood Community Watch, sent me a message stating they were going to be in town attending the protest. Another group, the Northern California Militia, came to the Sheriff’s Main Office. They told a records clerk they were in town for the protest. I repeat, I did not solicit or request any groups or organizations to come to town to appear at any event.”

    https://www.facebook.com/emagrini/posts/10219141730072948

  63. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    Nice analysis Farren. You should be a detective. Ps; tHe Sheriff denied communicating directly w/ the militia on FB link coupled w/ the analysis and timing is impressive really, no doubt it will fool most people +!+

  64. Avatar John Swearingen says:

    Darn you, Annelise! I followed a friend’s link to your post and looked at it late at night expecting to scan and move on–two hours later I’m still going through it. Good job, and good reporting. The tone and integrity of your writing carries through and has inspired a careful and civil dialogue that is refreshing and much needed. Thank you and everyone who has contributed.

    I’m struck that there are two stories here. The first is that Redding had a large BLM demonstration which was very peaceful. That seems remarkable in itself given the fraught lead-up to the event, and I was initially disappointed that this aspect of events was not more prominent in your coverage. The Sheriff calling on armed private citizens to ‘protect’ the rights of free speech eclipsed that narrative.

    Obviously that story, the non–deputizing of militia by the duly authorized LE is quite significant and worthy, if it is actually the case, but there are two elements of this that I think could receive more discussion:

    First, why did LE believe that violence and property damage was such a threat that they felt it necessary to show up in riot force, and that militias mobilized to help in controlling a demonstration? This speaks to a reality that holds that demonstrations are threatening unless contained, that Redding is targeted by terrorists, and only a high level of mobilization will save the property of the community from destruction. The sheriff apparently did NOT invite militia to participate, but the militia nonetheless believe they WERE given the call to arms and were there to support ‘law and order’– certainly not to join in the demonstration.

    The picture that this paints is that peaceful intent to demonstrate cannot be trusted to be peaceful and therefore needs to be ‘protected’. It follows that a peaceful demonstration cannot or would not happen without the presence of police to contain the inherent violence of a gathering of people. Those ideas are then “proven” by the fact that police and militia showed up, pushed people around, and the demonstration was peaceful.

    Without discounting the possibility of trouble, however remote, this is like doing incantations every morning for the sun to rise and offering as proof that the sun did in fact come up. I’m sure that LE sincerely are pleased to not have mob violence to deal with. I don’t know how the militia feel, but in either case the threat of trouble provides a compelling reason to get together and train with their weapons and have a presence in the community as protectors of American values.

    LE and militia need fear of ‘antifa’ more than the demonstrators need ‘protection’. There have been protests in over 400 communities nationwide, the vast majority of them entirely peaceful. The presence of police in riot gear and militia (assumed to be armed) before a demonstration begins, is a kind of prior restraint and will inevitably have a deterrent effect on the exercise of rights to assemble and protest. It characterizes the impending demonstration, and any future demonstration, as potentially illegal, dangerous and out of control, and a threat to property.

    Rather than protecting free speech, inappropriate use of power has the effect of limiting and diminishing the exercise of free speech. To truly protect free speech its exercise needs to come without real or implicit threat. Demonstrations of free speech can be joyful and should always be a celebration of our shared values of tolerance and freedom of ideas.

  65. Avatar A. DIAZ says:

    Liberals are attacking conservatives. If liberals wanted peace, there would be peace. If conservatives wanted war, there would be no liberals.
    Blacks are attacking whites. If blacks wanted peace, there would be peace. If whites wanted all blacks dead, they would be.
    If blacks want equality, equality is available…..but it will be equality, not special treatment with equal benefits. Those blacks, that decided not to use their race as an excuse or to demand they get special treatment, are treated equally and have benefited equally. Those that demand equal benefit but separate treatment continue to fail. The reality is it is a small percentage of people, usually lowincome and low educated, that are making the loudest noise, on both sides of this issue.
    In the 1960s and on, it hasbeen black community leaders that have asked for more police and stricter laws for the violent crimes occurring in their neighborhoods. It has been Democratic politicians that have enacted laws that have broken the black family apart. It is the Democratic politicians that have continued to tell blacks that the answer to social issues is social welfare while voting to make it harder for blacks and minorities to leave the environments they grew up in. Increasing EPA regulations making it cost more for businesses to operate which takes away jobs for trade skilled employees, increasing funding for organizations and programs that keep people dependent, enactinglaws that made crimes that normally occur in poorer neighborhoods have greater prison terms than the crimes committed in middle income and higher neighborhoods. Politicians that are multi-millionaires having held no other job than being a politician while continuing to tell people they care about them. People that have been in Congress for decades and things have only gotten worse for their voters…..
    46 million calls handled by the police last year, 10 million arrests, 1004 fatal shootings, 56 unarmed, 25 white, 15 black. 147 cops killed. 56 died from felonious actions. This data means you have a 0.0001% chance to be killed by a police officer and if you aren”t shooting at them or waving a gun at them, the odds drop to 0.000006% chance of death by cop. If you are white, and unarmed, you have a 0.000003% chance and if you are black and unarmed , you have a 0.0000002% chance. I can go on and on with statistics, all that can be seen on the FBI statistics website, but the point is yes, it is horrible what happened tonGeorge Floyd but it doesn’t mean there is systemic racism against blacks.
    Quit feeding the flames. The only people that will be hurt are those that are the most needy and I dont mean those living off the system not because they have no other choice but because they have chosen to be there.
    Show one example of systemic racism occurring to innocents, such as refusal of a mortgage when the person has met all the standards required such as credit score, income, etc. and we can go from there. I am sure somebody will say that is my white privilege speaking so for the record, I am Hispanic, raised as an orphan in the system, and grew up as poor as poor can get in minority inner cities.
    Hate your government, not the people. Dont break the law, dont act like an animal then be surprised when you are treated so and dont give people the excuse to control you by portraying a character that threatens others. If your ego is so weak that acting like a fool to those with the power to make life hard just to get some street cred and quit blaming your failures on others while also stating nobody can control you….lots of people that nobody can control in prison. Quit listening to these people that are going to go home to their urban middle/upper class neighborhoods telling you what you should think. They don’t care about you, they care about the likes and how shiny their dollar store halos shine.

  66. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Wow… Mr Diaz, First, your facts are twisted BS. But you currently do display interesting bias and I thank ANC for giving you the opportunity. There is a huge amount of peer review, evidenced based data showing that systemic racism persists, not only in police institutions but in most of our American institutions, as in housing, banking and economic development, real-estate opportunities, educational opportunities, police and justice administration. Literally, it would take not a book, but a huge library to hold all the information on racial and economic injustice in America, built on the backs of slavery and discrimination, and our economic system to date uses minorities as cheep, undocumented, low pay and no rights labor to feed America and cooperations make a killing off this system.

    Just a few rebuttals here on your comments: Looking at 100 million traffic stops by police departments nationwide found that black drivers were far more likely to be pulled over than white drivers. But, interestingly, the difference becomes smaller at night, when it’s harder for police to see the race of the driver.black and Hispanic drivers “were searched about twice as often as stopped white drivers”— even though black and, to an even greater extent, Hispanic drivers were less likely than whites to be found with drugs. Racism is not blind.

    National Academy of Sciences found that African American men were about 2 1/2 times more likely than white men to be killed by police. Black Americans account for 13 percent of the population but 25% of shooting victims. Among unarmed victims, the disparity was even greater: More than one-third of those fatally shot were black.

    In housing, again there is a ton of information on race discrimination in the mortgage – banking system and housing policy A couple of learning opportunities are “The Color of Law,” and Jessica Trounstine’s, “Segregation by Design.” Another is https://www.urban.org/features/exposing-housing-discrimination

    You tell us to do a lot of “quit” but reality doesn’t go away by closing your eyes. This pandemic has striped and exposed economic injustice to the core, no, most people aren’t poor because they chose to be and and the BLM movement has exposed racism and disparity to it’s core.

    There are a few people of color in the Boogaloo, Proud Boy and Alt-Right Militia types with a extremist agendas like, “Blacks are attacking whites” and “They don’t care about you, they care about the likes and how shiny their dollar store halos shine” are great examples. Some research shows this paradox as a psychological form of identification with the oppressor. It’s understandable if seen as ego formation and protection . Your, “If liberals wanted peace, there would be peace. If conservatives wanted war, there would be no liberals” extremism is also a good example of what could be this condition. I have no knowledge of you other than your, “Hispanic, raised as an orphan in the system, and grew up as poor as poor can get in minority inner cities.” That sucks… but hundreds of thousands kids did as well. Sometimes growing up in extreme conditions can create extremism. I also don’t know if your in Shasta County or not. But, there are civic groups that can help educate us about extremism and race issues. Ask the good folks here at ANC. Anytime you want to discuss this over coffee, I would like to do so.

  67. Avatar Robert Garcia says:

    Thank you Mr. Diaz. People need to hear from American citizens of Color who are outraged by this lawlessness in the name of social justice. We should also be saying “no law, no justice!” So many are hell bent on pushing the narrative that the entirety of Americas history and traditions are irredeemable, which simply isn’t so. Sadly that’s what many of us waded through in our intuitions of higher learning, and that more and more seem to be inundated with radical progressives preaching marxists ideologies that are infecting the body politic. It’s not just Confederate statues being taken down now. I can recall asking if we start with these statues where does the erasing of our national history, for better or worse, end. It obviously isn’t enough. The radical left is not done trying to fundamentally change our country as you can see in real time, and both the moderate left and right are too afraid to say anything about it.

    There are highly educated people of color, higher income bracket people of color who’ve benefited greatly from the freedoms our nation provides. We know race baiting when we see the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world whose track records when it comes to integrity are sorely lacking. What haven’t they done for the black community in the last 40 years? What have they done about black on black crime? What have they done about fatherless black families? What have they done about the genocide of unborn black people?
    It’s not just these hypocrital race baiters who are to blame, it’s the gutless whites taking part in the hypocrisy; the one’s taking a tragic injustice to excuse radical Anti-American behavior. Christan Gardiniers will spout out statistics that hardly the hypothesis that police violence against blacks is evidence of systematic problem or racism inherent all white people, while at the same time completely ignore the real time problems of blacks being victimized by blacks in their own community and the need for that injustice to be addressed. But not Christians problem because blaming white people is the safe move.

    I believe in peaceful protest, I don’t believe in this crap happening in the streets or that it’s the president’s fault that all these leftist are destroying lives and businesses. “Burn it down man!”

    It’s time more people of color speak up to our frantic white brothers and sisters ask for them to call out the radical progressives in our midst and perhaps begin to focus on those tenured at our local institutions of higher learning teaching the premise that the very idea of America is the problem rather than the solution to racial animous in our country. Yeah, way to get everyone to work together Teach!

    Maybe if white privalage, as they say, is the problem we should start to remove professors on the basis of their “white privalage.” It would seem to align with all the statues coming down presently.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *