Drifting out of the shadows in small groups, dressed in black, carrying shields and wearing knee pads, they head toward the front lines of the protest. Helmets and gas masks protect and obscure their faces, and they carry bottles of milk to counteract tear gas and pepper spray.
Most of them appear to be white. They carry no signs and don’t want to speak to reporters. Trailed by designated “medics” with red crosses taped to their clothes, these groups head straight for the front lines of the conflict.
Night after night in this ravaged city, these small groups do battle with police and the National Guard, kicking away tear gas canisters and throwing back foam-rubber projects fired at them. Around them, fires break out. Windows are smashed. Parked cars destroyed. USA TODAY reporters have witnessed the groups on multiple nights, in multiple locations. Sometimes they threaten those journalists who photograph them destroying property.
The mayor and governor say outside agitators are hijacking peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and literally fanning the flames of destruction. And experts say things will likely get worse in Minneapolis and in other cities seeing similar peaceful protests that turn violent like Los Angeles; Louisville, Kentucky; Des Moines, Iowa; Detroit, Atlanta; and Washington, D.C.
“The real hard-core guys, this is their job: They’re involved in this struggle,” said Adam Leggat, a former British Army counterterrorism officer who now works as a security consultant specializing in crowd management for the Densus Group. “They need protests on the street to give them cover to move in.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said protests in the city Tuesday were largely peaceful and organized by local residents, but that the “dynamic has changed over the last several days.”
“I want to be very, very clear: The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents,” Frey said Saturday.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, without providing specifics, said he believes 80% of the people now taking part in the overnight rioting are from outside Minnesota.
“There are detractors. There are white supremacists. There are anarchists,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said Saturday afternoon.
However, a civil arrest list provided by the public information officer of the St. Paul Police Department shows 12 of the 18 people arrested from Thursday through 6 a.m. Saturday were from Minnesota. Five of them are from St. Paul, three are from Woodbury (part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area), two are from Minneapolis, one is from Mankato and one is from St. Louis Park. Four are from out of state and two did not have cities of residence listed.
Leggat, the security consultant, said intelligence reports from his colleagues indicate most of the hard-core protesters in Minneapolis are far-left or anarchists, and that far-right groups have not yet made a significant appearance. He said looting is typically done by locals – usually people with no criminal record who just get caught up in the moment.
But direct conflicts with authorities come from a mix of both locals and outside groups who see these conflicts as a core part of their mission. Many of the anarchists, he said, target banks, chain-type businesses and even luxury cars as symbols of corrupt institutions. He said even a peaceful protest can turn violent if outside agitators decide to participate, hijacking the message.
“The difficulty is that you have no control over who turns up,” he said. “If this was to continue to go on, more people will come. And potentially you could have people on the right turning up, which would make things far more complicated. If those guys turn up, they will claim to be there to protect business. But it means the police will have two groups to keep apart. And that uses up a lot of police resources.”
This is a nationwide leftist insurrection that has absolutely nothing to do with Floyd. It needs to be put down with extreme prejudice. Until these Antifa assholes start going home in body bags, they will keep it up.
Yes, all of the outside agitators are Alt-Left Thugs.
this was well planed out by the democraps partnered with the globalists. one can only imagine what these AH’s would have done to the White House. society is not dealing with educated individuals-jihad want to be’s.