Image for post
Image for post
Photo Credit: Tyler Merbler from USA — DSC09156 CC BY 2.0

The Trump-incited insurgency only prevails if pro-democracy forces are divided by fear

Predicting the future isn’t possible — even when reading the tea leaves left by racist extremists. Assessing existing realities is possible, however.

In the face of violent threats from insurrectionists bent on ignoring facts and history, much of the nation is now sitting on pins and needles, or at least concerned, with an eye toward Jan. 20, 2021, and the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. …

Image for post
Image for post
About two dozen pro-Trump protesters gathered in the parking lot of a Safeway grocery store in South Seattle on Saturday, October 24, handing out flyers that attempt to decieve the large Vietnamese community in the neighborhood. [All photos by Bill Conroy]

At a Seattle protest today, Trump backers were handing out flyers intended to deceive people in my neighborhood

I just checked out an impromptu pro-Trump voter rally held today, Oct. 24, in the parking lot of a Safeway grocery store a few blocks from my house at MLK Way and Othello Street in South Seattle.

I counted only about two dozen protestors who were under the watch of at least four police squad cars, one parked behind a vehicle decked out with Trump propaganda, two in the parking lot near the protesters and one street-patrol car driving around the protest.

About half a mile away, a neighborhood community center that has a ballot drop-box in its parking lot also was invaded by Trump protesters who were met there with Biden counter-protesters. Reports I received from a source who observed the scene said there was a strong police presence at the community center as well. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo from the website of AGAPE Tactical, which specializes in providing military-style training and security services to religious organizations.

The company, Atlas Aegis, works closely with another Tennessee company that provides military-like training to faith-based groups

The Tennessee-based private security company that plans to send armed guards with special operations training to Minnesota to protect election sites from “looting and destruction” by a leftist boogeyman dubbed “Antifa” also appears to be closely associated with conservative religious groups.

The company, Atlas Aegis, is a partner and works closely with another Tennessee private security company, AGAPE Tactical — which specializes in providing protection services and military-style training to religious organizations.

The Washington Post and Minneapolis Star Tribune reported recently that Franklin, Tennessee-based Atlas Aegis posted job listings on a special ops recruiting site as well as its Facebook page seeking “armed security” personnel with special ops training to staff “security positions in Minnesota during the November election and beyond to protect election polls, local businesses and residences from looting and destruction.” …

Image for post
Image for post
Members of the federal team deployed in Portland, Oregon, confront protesters. Courtesy of Doug Brown, ACLU of Oregon.

A listing of federal security-firm contractors in U.S. cities being targeted by Trump reveals the players to keep an eye on

Sometimes, even the professional media fact-checkers need to be fact-checked.

That’s the case with a Poynter Institute “PolitiFact” online posting about the use of private contractors in President Trump’s federal troop deployments, which are focused on quelling protests in cities like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle. They are among more than dozen cities that Trump has targeted for such deployments, with the secretive camouflage-clad federal troops sent to Portland this summer receiving the most press attention to date.

For now, the federal troop deployments under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are supposed to be limited to buildings owned or leased by the U.S. government — though pending ACLU of Oregon litigation alleges their law-enforcement activities have been excessive and strayed well beyond federal property. The forces are being led by DHS’ Federal Protective Service (FPS), which employs some 15,000 private security contractors, according to recent information from FPS officials. …

Image for post
Image for post
Members of the federal Rapid Deployment Force in Portland, courtesy of Doug Brown, ACLU of Oregon.

The security company, working under contract with the Department Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service, was outed in court pleadings

The identity of the private contractor assisting federal agents deployed in Portland, Oregon, in stemming anti-racists protests in that city has surfaced in court pleadings filed by the ACLU of Oregon.

The contractor is Annapolis, Maryland-based MaxSent — which also does business as CDA Inc., according to a court transcript of a video deposition of Gabriel Russell, a Federal Protective Service (FPS) regional director. The company is licensed to do business in 44 states and also has FPS contracts to provide security personnel to federal properties in at least six states, including Oregon.

Russell, who confirms the company’s identity in his deposition, is in a position to know, given he is overseeing the federal deployment in Portland as commander of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Rapid Deployment Force. …

Image for post
Image for post
Freelance photojournalist Mathieu Lewis-Rolland, while wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Press,” snapped this photo on July 12 during protests in Portland, Oregon. A short time later, a Federal Protective Service officer shot at him 10 times with hard-plastic bullets. The photo is included as part of his declaration filed in federal court in an ACLU lawsuit focused on law-enforcement abuses.

Congress is now probing the use of contract security personnel in law enforcement operations led by DOJ and DHS

A rolling deployment of federal law enforcement forces underway in this country since June has been making headlines nationwide because of the “shock and awe” show of force it has unleashed on this nation’s streets. The federal officers, many clad in camouflage, riot gear and trained in special operations tactics, have been sent into American cities under orders from President Trump.

They are being directed by Attorney General William Barr in coordination with Chad Wolf, the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These law enforcement chiefs claim the show of federal policing power that has been assembled in recent months in major urban areas like Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; Kansas City, Missouri — and more recently Seattle, Albuquerque and Chicago — is part of a coordinated effort to stem a rising tide of street violence being perpetrated by common criminals and radical leftist protesters. …

Image for post
Image for post
Members of the federal strike force deployed in Portland, courtesy of Doug Brown of the ACLU of Oregon.

Flight records, a former chief-of-staff of Homeland Security and a former DEA agent are among sources that confirm their origin

President Donald Trump’s deployment of U.S. military troops on June 1 against peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., included his announcement that he would send U.S. Armed Forces into American cities to, he said, “dominate the streets.” In the days that followed, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and top Pentagon officials publicly rebuked the president and rejected his plan.

The heavily-armed, camouflaged and undercover SWAT-like forces with cloaked identities that have appeared recently in Portland, Oregon, and other U.S. cities have used military tactics against peaceful protesters, but they are not members of the Armed Forces. They have refused daily requests by local officials and news media reporters to identify their agency or origin, as they have unleashed a wave of violent attacks to provoke largely peaceful protesters. …

Image for post
Image for post
Courtesy of Doug Brown of the ACLU of Oregon

Congress needs to shine a light on the use of private security firms, including ‘Blackwater’ legacy companies, in Trump’s response to ongoing civil rights protests

The Trump administration’s deployment of federal law enforcers in Portland, Oregon, as part of a supposed effort to protect government property has prompted at least two lawsuits alleging that their show of force has resulted in abuses of authority and the unnecessary use of violence against peaceful protesters, journalists and observers.

What has not been reported widely in the media, however, is the fact that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unit that is coordinating the “crowd control” effort — an agency called the Federal Protective Service (FPS) — is composed largely of contract security personnel. …

Image for post
Image for post
Mexican law enforcers exhume bodies at the House of Death in Juarez, Mexico. Courtesy of Narco News.

The infamous ‘House of Death’ informant is linked to multiple brutal murders in Juarez, Mexico, carried out with the knowledge of his ICE handlers

Guillermo Eduardo Ramirez Peyro, who helped a Mexican drug organization carry out multiple gruesome murders in Juarez, Mexico, in the early 2000s while working as a paid U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) informant — a case since dubbed the “House of Death” — is once again back in the slammer. This time he’s facing federal charges in Florida accusing him of conspiring to possess and distribute cocaine.

If convicted, Ramirez Peyro could face up to a 10-year prison sentence, court records show. He was caught up this past spring in a sting involving an FBI confidential informant as well as audio and video surveillance, which the criminal complaint alleges is evidence of Ramirez Peyro’s intent to purchase and distribute at least five kilos of cocaine. …

Image for post
Image for post
George Floyd protest in Washington, D.C. Licensed by Geoff Livingston under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

White people, the first rule of this moment is to educate yourself

I watched the video of the Minneapolis police officers’ execution of George Floyd, and that’s what it was, an extrajudicial execution, and recognized immediately the agonizing knot in my stomach that it provoked.

It was the fear that Floyd could just as easily have been one of my own children — singled out for brutal oppression because of the texture of their hair, a hint of a non-European facial feature or the hue of their skin. Yes, by the one-drop-of-blood rule established by this nation for its slave trade, my bi-racial children, all four of them, are African American.

They are grown now, all college graduates, gainfully employed and two with terminal degrees — a medical doctor and a university professor. My wife and I are now married 30 years and worked hard to open doors for them, despite fighting against a force in this country that so many white people want to deny or minimize: Racism. …


Bill Conroy

Bill Conroy is an independent investigative journalist. For more information, check out

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store