“And yesterday [7/10] we learned that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is planning to offer a six-day “citizens academy” course to train people in what ICE does, including the arrest of immigrants. “You have been identified as a valued member of the community who may have interest in participating in the inaugural class of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Citizens Academy,” read a letter from ICE Chicago Field Office Director Robert Guadian. The program will “serve as a pilot for nationwide implementation,” it said. The course will include training in “defensive tactics, firearms familiarization and targeted arrests,” according to the letter, although when asked about it, ICE spokeperson Nicole Alberico said “The goal is to build bridges with the community by offering a day-in-the-life perspective of a federal law enforcement agency.””
— Heather Cox Richardson, Letter From An American [7/11]
- ICE Teaching Citizens How To Arrest Immigrants — Just like Nazi Black Shirts:Link To 8-Minute Video
Proud Boys Show Up To Support Pence, Philly Police While Harassing Protesters
By David Neiwert
Daily Kos (7/10/20)
The far-right Proud Boys—designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center—have been lurking around the fringes of both the Trump reelection campaign this year and the police brutality protests of the past month and more. This week in Philadelphia, members of the group made the connection explicit.
At an appearance by Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday—in which he gave a stoutly pro-police speech at the Friends of Police Lodge 5 in Northeast Philadelphia—a group of about 10 Proud Boys stood outside and harassed a small group of protesters. The same men later appeared at a gathering of police officers after the Pence speech and were apparently welcomed warmly.
“You literally are what separates order from chaos … but we live in a time when the radical left presenting the American people with one false choice after another,” Pence told the gathering. “Under this president and this administration we are not going to defund the police, not now, not ever,” he added.
Outside, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, the gathered Proud Boys and other supporters of the police stood in the street and exchanged shouted epithets with anti-police protesters. When some men supporting Black Lives Matter began engaging them, they chanted: “All lives matter!”
“Back the Blue” after-party
At one point the exchange was broken up by a large group of men on motorcycles—led by a Dodge Charger with flashing lights, apparently imitating a police cruiser—that rode through the area. Afterwards, police lowered barricades they had erected and allowed the pro-police contingent, including the Proud Boys, into the lodge for a “Back the Blue” after-party.
Proud Boys have previously made their presence felt at other Trump/Pence campaign events, notably in Colorado and Washington State, as well as at Democratic events, where they harassed liberals attending rallies. At Trump’s reelection announcement event last year in Orlando, Florida, a group of Proud Boys were prevented from attacking anti-Trump protesters by police.
“We are aligned with Trump in that we believe in America First,” said one Proud Boy at the Colorado Springs event. “There’s an America First agenda. And ‘America’ means everybody that’s here in America. We’re sick of people dividing each other across lines of race and ethnicity.”