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Sedition Charge Could Apply to Riot Violence

A Department of Justice memo sent to U.S. attorneys urges federal prosecutors to bring harsh penalties against rioters and even sedition charges could possibly apply, according to a report.

The Associated Press stated Thursday:

The sedition statute doesn’t require proof of a plot to overthrow the government, the memo read. It instead could be used when a defendant tries to oppose the government’s authority by force.

Attorney General William Barr has been pushing his U.S. attorneys to bring federal charges in protest-related violence whenever they can, keeping a grip on cases even if a defendant could be tried instead in state court. Federal convictions often result in longer prison sentences; sedition alone could lead to up to 20 years behind bars.

The memo cited as a hypothetical example “a group has conspired to take a federal courthouse or other federal property by force,” but the real thing took place in Portland, Oregon, during clashes that erupted night after night between law enforcement and demonstrators.

The report comes after Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec confirmed that the federal agency looked into whether it could bring criminal or civil rights charges against local officials due to ongoing violence in their cities.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Barr asked federal prosecutors to explore whether Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) could be charged over her city’s police-free “autonomous zone” — known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) — which was closed down in the wake of violence and two shootings.

Durkan took to social media to responded to the Times‘ report, branding it “chilling” and the “latest abuse of power” by the Trump administration. “This is not a story about me. It’s about the how this President and his Attorney General are willing to subvert the law and use the DOJ for political purposes,” she added.

Barr has repeatedly slammed Democrats over their response to the ongoing civil unrest and riots sparks by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

“What makes me concerned for the country is [that] this is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic Party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts,” Barr told House Judiciary Committee members in July.

“Why can’t we just say: ‘Violence against federal courts has to stop?’” he added. “Could we hear something like that?”

300 people have been arrested on federal crimes since protests began over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody, according to an analysis conducted by the AP.

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Portland police declare ‘riot’ near Kelly Building away from downtown

Unrest continued in Portland, Ore., on Saturday night into Sunday morning, with police declaring a riot just after midnight near the Penumbra Kelly Building, which houses public safety offices, according to reports.

Rioters were seen hurling rocks, bottles and other objects at police officers, Portland’s KGW-TV reported.

“The Incident Commander has declared this a RIOT. Immediately disperse to the WEST,” Portland police wrote on Twitter.


Police warned rioters that failure to leave the area would subject them to “citation, arrest, and/or crowd control agents, including but not limited to tear gas and/or impact weapons.”

Officers deployed in the Southeast Portland area, about six miles from downtown, were seen trying to block crowds at 47th and 53rd avenues, KGW reported.

There was no immediate information about arrests, injuries or property damage.

An earlier march to the building was turned back by police, The Associated Press reported.

The government building is located at the corner of 47th Avenue and Burnside Street in Southeast Portland. It houses offices for the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

​​​​​​​A Portland, Ore., police officer scans the crowd while dispersing protesters, Aug. 21, 2020. (Getty Images)

​​​​​​​A Portland, Ore., police officer scans the crowd while dispersing protesters, Aug. 21, 2020. (Getty Images)

Crowds arrived near the Kelly building around 11 p.m. local time, Portland’s KOIN-TV reported.

The overnight riot was declared hours after opposing groups of right-wing and left-wing agitators clashed Saturday afternoon near the Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland, just short of six miles west from the Kelly Building, across the Willamette River.

The city has seen nightly unrest for nearly three months., since the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.


On Saturday, President Trump urged leaders in Oregon to request federal assistance with quelling the violence.

“Would bring in National Guard, end problem immediately,” Trump wrote. “ASK!”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Leftists Riot to Demand ‘Peace Deal’ with Marxist Terror Group

Leftist rioters in Colombia set out a range of demands in a letter to President Iván Duque on Thursday, including a renewed peace deal with the Marxist terror organization National Liberation Army (ELN).

In the letter to Duque, elected last year on a platform of taking a harder stance against the Marxist terror organizations that have destabilized Colombia for decades, the “National Strike Committee” warned that his promise of a “grand national dialogue” was not sufficient to end the riots that have rocked the country over the past eight days.

In the letter, also signed by 56 members of Congress and the pro-guerrilla Movement to Defend Peace, the signatories propose three demands to begin a dialogue with the government. One of these demands involves the demilitarization of Colombian cities following violent clashes between rioters and security forces.

Another demand is to hold a “national table of dialogue that is both plural and diverse,” featuring representatives from various social sectors involved in the recent protests, including the National Committee of Unemployment, the Movement to Defend Peace, the Peace Bank, local assemblies and town councils, cultural expressions, and other sectors of the population.

Once having initiated a dialogue, the committee is demanding that the government engage and make concessions on five different issues, which include:

  1. Negotiations on the government’s social and economic policy, with specific regard to minority movements such as students, peasantry, and indigenous communities.
  2. Full implementation of the Final Peace Agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) forced through by former President Juan Manuel Santos, with a view to re-opening talks with the People’s Liberation Army (ELN), who have carried out a number of deadly terrorist attacks across the country in recent years.
  3. Discussions surrounding the government’s national security policy, human rights and military campaign against guerrilla forces.
  4. Political and electoral reform, as well as a detailed plan of how they plan to fight corruption.
  5. Measures to guarantee the rights of nature and the protection of the environment.

It remains highly unlikely that the Duque administration would cede to such extensive demands, although the severity of the demonstrations has placed him under increased pressure to return stability to the South American country.

The demands also make clear that the riots are being coordinated by groups with ties to Marxist terrorist organizations. The FARC, which the rioters seek to legitimize, declared war on the state this fall despite the Santos government issuing them multiple uncontested seats in the Colombian Congress.

On Friday, it was reported that the government is seeking around $1 billion in dividends from state company Ecopetrol S.A. to help fund a public spending spree that would help reduce tensions, especially among Colombia’s most impoverished communities.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at [email protected]

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