Tag Archives: first amendment

Portland’s Protester Culture Just Got More Surreal After Strickland Attacker Ben Kerensa’s Latest (Hypocritical) Move

The story of Ben Kerensa, the loutish and violent Antifa activist who conspired with others to attack citizen journalist Mike Strickland to violently prevent him from filming a Don’t Shoot Portland/Black Lives Matter protest in 2016, has taken yet another – ironic – turn.

You’ll recall that Strickland was attacked by ‘protesters’ who, according to court testimony, conspired to confront and attack the successful YouTuber who kept a close and skeptical eye on Portland’s protest culture.

Strickland covered Portland’s Professional Protesters, Inc.™* for years without incident. On July 7, 2016, however, activists decided Strickland needed to go. They surrounded Strickland and hit him with, among other things, Antifa flag sticks to harm and intimidate him and push him away from the protest. Kerensa led this effort.

Strickland filmed throughout the attack and afterwards. When multiple activists came back to attack him again, Strickland, a licensed conceal/carry permit holder, drew his pistol. No shots were fired and no one else, except Strickland, was hurt. Strickland, a well-trained gun owner, showed a poised discipline and never let his finger get close to the trigger. For defending himself against a band of thugs bent on stopping him from performing a First-Amendment-protected activity, Strickland was arrested, jailed and convicted for drawing his weapon. His case is on appeal.

Four months later – four months! –  and mere days after the days’ long violent anti-Trump protests seen on national news,  yet another nation-wide, orchestrated ‘protest’ was planned in Portland concerning the Dakota Pipeline.

Kerensa was filming the protest that day and was told by a Portland Police sergeant that it was illegal to film a cop. That’s patently untrue and Kerensa knew it. He filed a complaint against the sergeant.  Though cops are allowed to lie to the public – what, you didn’t know that? – the officer, who claimed he lied to de-escalate the protest, an understandable move after an avalanche of violent protests, was found to have to have violated the spirit of truthiness (or something) required by the Citizens Oversight Board. In January of 2018, the ironically-named Police Chief, Danielle Outlaw, ratified the findings of the Board.

Now comes December 2018 and the Portland Police Citizens Review Committee, having taken none of the violent protest history into consideration, voted to sustain Kerensa’s complaint against the sergeant. The Oregonian reported:

Committee members said they were perplexed by the captain’s reasoning for her finding, even though Sgt. Erin Smith acknowledged he misrepresented the law to get protester Benjamin Kerensa to stop videotaping him during a Nov. 30, 2016 demonstration in front of fuel storage facilities in Northwest Portland over the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Kerensa, who is thought by activists to be a police ‘snitch,’  said he had every right to film the protest:

“I had the constitutional right to film the police. There’s no circumstances [sic] where an officer should be allowed to infringe on First Amendment rights.’’

It is a First Amendment protected activity to film protests, something Kerensa violently ignored only four months before.

But, just as Portland Judge Thomas Ryan did before in the Strickland case, the Review Committee ignored reality to take the word of an Antifa thug, bomb hoaxer, police impersonator and violent felon over the word of a cop, whose job we thought was to protect people from violent people like Benjamin Kerensa.

Let’s leave the Committee’s idiocy aside for a second and go to my main point of this post.  The ironic and retch-inducing cant of this thug cannot be overstated. Four months after he attacked Strickland for filming a protest and violently deprived him of his First Amendment rights, Kerensa himself was filming a protest and piously stood on the Constitution for his right to film a protest and a cop.

One got the support of Portland leadership. The other didn’t.

Strickland was jailed for defending himself against a Kerensa-led violent mob bent on beating him again.  Kerensa is viewed as some sort of freedom fighter and is embraced by the ACLU (which never lifted a finger to help Strickland).

Only in Portland.

 

Editor’s note:

As I’ve chronicled here and will continue to do, Kerensa’s bizarre attempts to reinvent himself into a public do-gooder reveal him as a fabulist and dangerous man. Now the convicted bomb threat hoaxer, hacker, thug and police and FBI impersonator has reinvented himself into a practicing Muslim.

*sarcasm

Strickland Sentenced Today; Appeals Attorney Named

Give Generously to the Michael Strickland Defense Fund Here


A sentencing report prepared for Judge Thomas Ryan recommends no prison time for Michael Strickland, though the judge could ignore the report.

Strickland never has posed a threat to anyone, even the day he was forced to draw his weapon to defend himself against an onslaught of Portland Black Bloc outfitted anarchists and the ironically self described “anti fascists” as they attempted to — for the second time that day — assault and throw him out of a protest July 7, 2016.

The move employed by the violent mob that day was the same threatened against the GOP at the 82nd Avenue of the Roses Parade, which was canceled due to the promised violence.

Multnomah County’s two track justice system — one for anarchists and one for law abiding citizens  such as Strickland — is being watched by national figures.

Strickland has secured the services of Robert Barnes,  an appeals attorney, to take over for his able trial attorneys Chris Trotter and Jason Short.

Times Free Press

Barnes specializes in tax law and constitutional law. He successfully argued and won the first amendment aspect of actor Wesley Snipe’s tax prosecution. He’s been involved in several high profile cases. Though he bases his practice in Los Angeles, Barnes practices all over the country and the world. He’s tried at least one case in Oregon before.

Though rife with many appealable angles, Barnes has told me that he initially sees the Strickland case as a first amendment case.

Strickland will be sentenced today at 9am in the Multnomah County Courthouse.

I won’t rest until Strickland gets his ability to do his job back, his freedom back and the agonies that he’s undergone absolved and restored. I hope there’s a civil lawsuit against these people and I hope he wins a huge judgement against them.

 

Precious progressives ponder possible Supreme Court review of religious objections to ObamaCare

[Since this was posted, SCOTUS has decided to take the Hobby Lobby case]

This brisk Portland morning I dragged myself into a local coffee shop to get three Americanos--stat!–and, coffeeas I was drizzling in the required milk product into the cups, overheard a gaggle of gals discussing ObamaCare. It seems the three 20-30 somethings were upset the US Supreme Court may decide today to take up cases that could exempt religious people from parts of the bill forcing them to cover abortifacent and birth control insurance coverage.  The convo went something like this,

Red head, ‘Well, I mean, they can have their religious beliefs…’

Short hair (finishing her sentence), ‘I suppose…’

Too much make up, ‘But should they be able to go line by line through it to pick what they want to follow? I mean…’

These women were in support of  forcing free people into a system which subordinates religious beliefs to obamacare priests arrested for protestthe collective ‘good.’ It made me sad they could speak so dismissively of religious beliefs while supporting a program, ObamaCare, which drops a cluster bomb into America’s health insurance and delivery system and thus far has been a spectacular failure. Had they been paying attention, these women would have known this aspect of ObamaCare has been fought hammer and tong since somebody actually read the bill.

SCOTUS could take up one of three cases challenging ObamaCare’s birth control insurance criteria, 

The three cases on which the court could act on Tuesday concern claims made by Mennonite, evangelical Christian and Roman Catholic families that run businesses.

“What’s really a focus of the case is protecting these people’s religious convictions,” said Kyle Duncan, an attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents evangelical Christians David and Barbara Green and their children in one of the cases. They own arts and crafts retailer Hobby obamacare hobby lobbyLobby Stores Inc and Mardel, a chain of Christian bookstores.

A key question will be whether individual religious liberty applies to a person’s company. If stare decisis means anything, the legal theory guiding Citizen’s United campaign contribution case should prevail in this one. If it does, get ready for the howls of protest from the left. 

Back at the coffee shop, it never occurred to these women they could pay for their own birth control pills for less than $10 a month instead of forcing people of faith to forsake their beliefs to accommodate others’ sex lives. I guess the old saw about about cows and milk has been changed to, ‘why should I pay for my birth control when I can force it from everyone else for free?