Michael Forest Reinoehl calls himself an anti-fascist and has posted videos and photos of demonstrations he attended since late June, accompanied by the hashtags #blacklivesmatter, #anewnation and #breonnataylor.
Michael Reinoehl has been estranged from the family – including her, their parents and a younger brother – for at least three years, his sister said.
“On the one hand, this whole thing surprises the daylights out of us, because we always thought he is a lot of bark, not a lot of bite,” she said. “But he’s also been very impulsive and irrational.”
Reinoehl has stolen their mother’s seizure medication and owes a lot of debt, often giving his relatives’ addresses as his own to avoid responsibility, she said.
He has a son and daughter and is split from their mother, she said.
Gee, those details on his life are just so surprising...
Marshals don't play. I suppose they sent the Fugitive Task Force after him because they suspected he'd not come peacefully. I, for one, am satisfied with the explanation from the Marshals and hope people in Portland can accept that this fvcker got exactly what he deserved. These violent delights have violent ends...
Gotta say, I'm a fan of Vice, but I'm not too thrilled with this guy getting an essentially open mic to spin his bullshit story. And he actually claimed that his shots were the opening shots of a civil war. Asshole. And I feel bad for his kids--12 and 17, I think--who have likely been brainwashed by this loser.
Can you talk about rioting as a tactic? What are the reasons people deploy it as a strategy?
It does a number of important things. It gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage—which, during COVID times, is widely unreliable or, particularly in these communities is often not available, or it comes at great risk. That's looting's most basic tactical power as a political mode of action.
It also attacks the very way in which food and things are distributed. It attacks the idea of property, and it attacks the idea that in order for someone to have a roof over their head or have a meal ticket, they have to work for a boss, in order to buy things that people just like them somewhere else in the world had to make under the same conditions. It points to the way in which that's unjust. And the reason that the world is organized that way, obviously, is for the profit of the people who own the stores and the factories. So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.
Importantly, I think especially when it's in the context of a Black uprising like the one we're living through now, it also attacks the history of whiteness and white supremacy. The very basis of property in the U.S. is derived through whiteness and through Black oppression, through the history of slavery and settler domination of the country. Looting strikes at the heart of property, of whiteness and of the police. It gets to the very root of the way those three things are interconnected. And also it provides people with an imaginative sense of freedom and pleasure and helps them imagine a world that could be. And I think that's a part of it that doesn't really get talked about—that riots and looting are experienced as sort of joyous and liberatory.
I was so sure the Osterweil book was satire — a clever comic doing a Marxist Andy Kaufman routine — that I bought it. It’s not a joke! In Defense of Looting is supposed to be the woke generation’s answer to Steal This Book, another anarchist instructional published in an epic period of unrest. But the differences between the books are profound.
Like Hoffman, Osterweil is a self-proclaimed leftist revolutionary who justifies stealing on the grounds that property is a crime. The similarities pretty much end there.
For one, Hoffman imagined a life of infinite possibility on the other side of the revolution, while In Defense of Looting sees life as a string of ceaseless miseries that might at best be abated temporarily by stealing your flat-screen TV.
I found two examples in the book of the author writing approvingly of what might commonly be termed “enjoyment.” One involves rioting itself, which she variously describes as “violent, extreme, and femme as fuck,” a “queer birth,” and a “party.” The Watts rebellion, which left 34 dead and over 1,000 injured, was “not some dour thing,” but a “carnivalesque, celebratory atmosphere.”
The other example was soldiers having gay sex in the trenches during World War I (“No doubt,” Osterweil commented, “many fiancees found the same queer comforts at home”).
Oh, and also:
In a strange passage buried in chapter seven, she confesses to a “personal aversion to violence,” lamenting a “refusal to attack property” that “does not lessen the degree to which I benefit from systems of domination.”
So this is a 288-page book written by a Very Online Person in support of the idea that other people should loot, riot, and burn things in the real world.
Just shoot me now...
Last Edit: Sept 6, 2020 10:20:05 GMT -5 by robeiae
Look, I just can't stop quoting Taibbi, the takedown is so viciously entertaining:
Page after page commits the reader to exhausting tautological constructions, the gist of which usually turns out to be something like, “Through looting, a thing that was once somebody else’s comes to belong to a different person.” Here Osterweil explains that looting is a way of acquiring things without working:
Looting represents… a way to solve some of the immediate problems of poverty [by] creating a space for people to freely reproduce their lives rather than doing so by wage labor.
Here, she explains that through looting, a thing that once cost something, comes to cost nothing:
When something is looted, that thing’s nature as a commodity is destroyed by its being taken for free… Everything in the store goes from being a commodity to becoming a gift.
In case you weren’t convinced by her authoritative tone, Osterweil includes a scholarly citation attesting to the fact that in the process of stealing a thing, you end up acquiring it:
Looting, as scholar Delio Vasquez writes in “The Poor Person’s Defense of Riots,” “directly results… in your acquiring the things that you are seeking.”
Because right-wing reactionaries do not have the same kind of experience in organizing street protests as the left, they instead rely heavily on social media—particularly Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter—to mobilize crowds. Their efforts to counter the wave of public support for Black Lives Matter protests have made extensive use of this tactic.
As a scholar of social movements and media studies, I see an alarming split between the types of content consumed by right-wing reactionaries and left-wing social justice advocates. Given the way media accounts shape public perceptions about protest and define who has recourse to the “legitimate use of violence,” the kinds of content shared within these hyperpartisan media systems play a powerful yet often invisible role in mobilizing white vigilante groups. If social-media companies do not act swiftly to stop calls for violence against protesters, the situation can only get worse.
She imagines that she's a scholar, then seriously offers this kind of one-sided analysis. But wait, there's more:
When Kyle Rittenhouse shot and murdered protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, it wasn’t just the act of a lone vigilante; it was a direct consequence of white militia groups’ organizing on social media.
Since June, right-wing media makers have recorded and circulated videos of violent altercations at protests in cities including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon. Fed into a media ecosystem with an established bias toward highlighting violence and rioting, the videos have mobilized white militia and vigilante groups to take up arms against Black Lives Matter and “antifa” protesters. This feedback circuit has created a self-fulfilling cycle where white vigilantes feel justified in menacing and physically attacking racial justice protesters—and inspire others to do the same.
I don't necessarily object to her thesis, insofar as people can be driven to action by seeing videos, etc., but the idea that this is a one-sided (politically) thing is just so ridiculously stupid, I don't know what else to say. And I think such a bullshit take does little more than undermine the side offering it, just like the "in defense of looting" stupidity or all of the ignorant takes on the right wing side.
This article is particularly comical in my view, given where it has been published and what we now know about the Portland shooter, since it's pretty clear that Reinoehl was much more of a cold-blooded murderer than is Rittenhouse. That doesn't mean Rittenhouse's "side" is better, to be sure, but then the reverse was the foundation of this piece.
Hannah Arendt, writing about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956:
In its positive significance, the outstanding feature of the uprising was that no chaos resulted from the actions of people without leadership and without previously formulated programme. First, there was no looting, no trespassing of property, among a multitude whose standard of life had been miserable and whose hunger for merchandise notorious. There were no crimes against life either, for the few instances of public hanging of AVH officers were conducted with remarkable restraint and discrimination.
For those unaware, the Revolution began as a student uprising in Soviet-controlled Hungary and actually toppled the government, before being put down--harshly--by the Soviets, proper (don't get me started on how the UN, the US, and Western Europe responded to the Revolution).
One of the currently en vogue themes with regard to looting is that it was an integral feature of the US Revolution and indeed of revolutions in general. This is total hogwash. It (looting) may occur during a violent revolution, but it also may not. It's not a critical element and its existence isn't evidence that something Important is happening.
I wonder if these people have even heard of "the rule of law," know what it means, why it's crucially important for maintaining a functioning society, etc. I imagine they'd likely be the type of people who would whine about "this goes against the rule of law!" when things don't go the way they want, yet totally ignore it when it serves their ideological needs.
Last Edit: Sept 8, 2020 16:30:09 GMT -5 by Optimus
Well, see, looting is actually an economic strategy--as valid as any other--that has been utilized by various people across history as a means of not only overcoming oppression of the so-called rule of law, but also as a means of undermining the principle of property and thereby acquiring necessities for life.
/academic gobbly-gook speak.
Dammit, where is Sokal/Higgins* when I could actually use him...
* This is a reference that no one may get. That's okay; I'm pleased with myself for making it, nonetheless.