Editorial Note: This reportback is provided so that comrades who counterprotest reactionary events such as the Trump event held in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20th know what to look for and what steps to take to keep comrades and the masses safe.
Arrived in Tulsa, OK at 1 pm. Parked half a mile away, and immediately saw a suspicious person in the area. MAGA hat, white male, pacing between the two same blocks, and constantly looking around. Assessed as suspicious, but not a threat. On route to the BoK center, many businesses had boarded all windows to prevent damage, local artists and employees were painting murals on these boards. All entrances into the BoK center were barricaded by large concrete blocks with armed national guard members behind them, at least six for every entrance. The pro-Trump crowd was already large at this point, with atmosphere being similar to a college football tailgate party. Vendors lined the streets, people were decked out in Trump merchandise. Open containers of alcohol were clearly visible, and several Trump supporters could be marked as being visibly intoxicated.
Near entrance to the center on Denver Ave., I encountered a small group of Black Lives Matter protestors. Including supporters, their numbers would grow throughout the day, at this time, they numbered no greater than 10. They were already surrounded by belligerent Trump supporters, with a clearly intoxicated man already arguing with them. I would stay near this group for the majority of the day. The amount of press also present was staggering, and will be talked more later on. At this moment, the press consisted of national, local, mainstream, and underground media. Fox News, lnfoWars, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, and the Associated Press were all in attendance, and all in this area. Trump supporters acknowledged the press, yet were unmindful of their presence as far their actions and word usage were concerned. At this moment, many Trump supporters proclaimed they would not talk to any press that wasn’t Fox News or lnfoWars as the rest were all fake news, yet would say anything to anyone with a camera or mic regardless of if it was on record or not, and regardless of whether or not they had any proof. Qanon conspiracies were the prevailing talking points. At this time, only plainclothes and undercover police were noticed.
The anti-abortion organization Abolish Abortion were also present at this event, with many wearing some sort of body armor. Either concealed or visible, no assumptions of them being armed will be made. They were verbally aggressive in their antagonizing, and focused more on denouncing BLM than their stated mission of stopping abortion. Trump supporters themselves do not like this organization, and would grow more tired of them as day progressed. Even to the point of arguing with Abolish Abortion, even declaring them as fake Trump supporters and the worst people there. Between three and four o’clock in the afternoon, the number of BLM members and supporters began to swell. The supporters were made of many groups or orgs with many races and all ages. In contrast, the Trump supporters were overwhelmingly white, and ranged primarily from 20yrs to 60yrs.
As the BLM numbers grew, they were able to march and take a small portion of Denver Ave. To this, a sizeable police force showed up comprised of Nat. Guard, Tulsa Police, and Broken Arrow Police. The majority armed with Pepper-Ball guns, and far more concerned with protestors in the streets than Trump supporters in the streets. As the marching died down and cops dispersed for the moment, this moment was taken to run back to my car to grab fresh supplies. Upon my return, it was noted that Oklahoma Proud Boys had visited my car and placed their sticker upon it. I defaced the sticker, but left it on. the car in case they returned, and then went back to the BoK center. The BLM numbers were still strong, and they had now entered the main entrance area, between the concrete barricades and fencing that kept non-ticket holders from entering the attendance area. This space was around 75 yards in length, around 30 yards in width.
In this area were also many Trump supporters, and a group of 10 Proud Boys. Some of them in their black and yellow Polos and some of them in Hawiian style “boogaloo” shirts. The tension in the area was high. As people began to file into the BoK center, the State Police in riot gear formed a barrier line between the people and the fencing, and held firm. Constantly trying to get the protestors to give up ground two steps at a time. They also brought out police tape and an official line, declaring anything behind between the tape and the fencing to be officially a federal area, firearms prohibited. Oklahoma, itself, is a Constitutional Carry state.
As the tape went up, the State Police fell back and were replaced by Tulsa Police in riot gear. There was a plethora of terrible trigger discipline among them” and many seemed very wanting of the protestors to make any wrong moves. It was also at this time that Trump supporters in the crowd became visibly more hostile and aggressive in their actions, predominantly from the men. Racist epithets became louder and more frequent, many began touching women (inappropriately and not), and verbally antagonizing the black men, all women, and anyone they suspected of being LGBTQ+. As the first physical confrontation happened, started by a male Trump supporter swinging at a female BLM activist, the police barely moved, despite being ready for a fight with protestors, and only pointed at the altercation and said, “There’s a fight.”, leaving the protestors to break it up, or the activist to be beaten. This would be the way for much of the rest of the afternoon. After that altercation was broken up and defused, the activist went directly to the police present to press charges. They told her only to stay the behind the line, and that she had to call the non-emergency number to press charges. They wouldn’t help her. Only repeated that she needed to call the non-emergency line. She went back to the BLM front line and let her anger flow through her words as she spoke through a megaphone. At this time, another male Trump supporter was verbally antagonizing a black male to point of violence as I, and others, put ourselves between them. After separating them, and defusing that situation, I saw the same male Trump supporter that had previously struck the female BLM activist I taking a swing atva white, female, BLM supporter.
I put myself between him and her as several other men with the Confederates Motorcycle Club emblems on their vests came to his support and tried to tell me to go away. I stood my ground until the retreated. As the retreated, one of them grabbed the megaphone away from BLM activist that had been punched earlier. After a brief verbal altercation, there was momentary tussle for the megaphone ending with it in my possession. I returned it to the activist, and the motorcycle club fully retreated. They were not seen again that day. Shortly after this, as she was speaking, the group of Proud Boys seen earlier came up to her, one of them maced her and the whole group ran off. After caring for her and flushing her eyes, some BLM supported the group, and pointed them out to me. One member of the group who had been maskless all day was hurriedly pulling his mask up to conceal his identity as they circled to the far side of the protestors in an attempt to make it back to the lounge they were seeking refuge in. However, the one who masked himself could not keep himself from stopping to argue with another BLM supporter. During this argument, the Proud Boy absentmindedly wiped sweat from his forehead, allowing the mace still on his hands to run into his eyes. As he went down, and the other Proud Boys rushed to flush his eyes, I explained to the crowd that gathered what has happened earlier and it’s direct connection to what was happening with the Proud Boy. With no way to defend his actions, he and the other Proud Boys retreated to the lounge they were launching from.
As they sought refuge, it was noticed that the police had left their tape up, but had retreated all the way to behind the fences. This left the entire zone unprotected, and the protestors to fend for themselves. The protestors caused no damage to the area, no graffiti, and no vandalism. Still the aggression towards continued. Shortly before the venue emptied, the protestors cleared the boxed in area and returned to the wider streets to demonstrate with more chants and marching. A large group of Trump supporters had gathered on a corner and were listening to the Trump rally inside as one of them played it from their phone through a bullhorn. As the event ended, the police showed back up along with a large National Guard force. The protestors still demonstrated, but most of the agitators kept their calm. There was an incident as the protestors held a small intersection when a male Trump supporter got out of his vehicle and maced some of the protestors and then fled. Shortly after this the protestors were forced from the area when the police shot Pepper-Balls at them. This marked the end of the demonstrations in that area on that night. It was after the protestors had fully left the area that many Trump supporters came back to the area and began to open carry. Mostly small arms, mostly sidearms with a few revolvers. A small handful did have assault rifles. I made it back to my vehicle, which had not been further tampered with, and headed home at 11:15 PM.
Trump events are more like a concert in that; there is a lot of merchandise being sold. There are people there hours beforehand, drinking, congregating, and amping each other up.
Qanon presence, even if just as ideals and conspiracies, is extremely present at Trump events. Particularly in the southern states. Proud Boys cosplaying as Boogaloo enthusiasts is becoming very prevalent. Proud Boys, Trump supporters, and racists are relying heavily on the mace and run tactic. The police rarely follow up on the assault in any way. Police forces are at these protests with their sole focus being on anything BLM related. The opposing side can, and will, get away with almost any action they commit.
Though there was more press at this event, with cameras everywhere and constantly rolling, very little of it makes to makes it to the outlets. And, many outlets will share the exact same stories with exact same photos. As little reference to any Trump supporter/racist/ supremacist aggression, instigation, or violence will be talked about as little as possible. If at all. The Right has far more press present than any version of the left, and their sole focus is on painting anything or anyone they decide is BLM or Antifa in the worst light possible. The police will absolutely abandon if they believe the protestors will be, either, too busy dealing with aggressive opposition to bother the police, or be beaten back by aggressive opposition.
Pepper-Balls are every bit as effective for clearing an area, the police do not have to use the gas canisters. The police at all the protests I have attended do nothing to discourage the non-BLM side from drinking any sort of liquor, but have stopped all BLM protestors they even thought had an alcoholic beverage. The authoritative, and oppressive system does not want the system to change, and their entire focus is on keeping it from doing so.