After obtaining secret recordings from an activism planning session held by Planned Parenthood’s political advocacy arm in Tennessee, The Tennessee Star learned that far-left agitators are planning to disable U.S. Customs and Immigration (ICE) vehicles during August’s special session of the General Assembly.
During the day-long training, which was held Saturday at 50 Vantage Way in Nashville, where Planned Parenthood has an office, the will-be protestors surveyed the danger levels of protesting at various places in the city.
Danger levels, which were assessed based on how likely protestors were to get arrested, were ranked by the agitators using a color scale. Green was a non-dangerous place to protest, yellow a bit more dangerous, orange a bit more dangerous still, and red signifies a highly dangerous place to protest.
One of the planned protest locations is ICE’s office in Nashville.
At first, some of the far-left activists said that ICE would be a yellow to orange danger level.
Those activists were quickly corrected.
“I think there’s increased risk with it being a federal building and beholden to federal laws on federal property,” one agitator said. “I also think there’s significant risk to any undocumented folks who would want to be a part of that action. I also think that, you know, if we are disabling vehicles, I think there’s a way to do it without being caught – and I’m a strong proponent of ‘it’s only illegal if you get caught’ – but it would be property damage at the minimum, and I do think that with further planning there would be ways to make this a safer action.”
The rest of the protestors in the room then chimed in, saying that protesting at ICE would be a danger level of red.
“Because you’re at a federal building, and you’re actively blocking them, like, trying to do their jobs, right?” another person said. “So if a police officer is doing something and I stop him, then I’m obstructing justice. If we’re here to actively stop people from being deported we are obstructing justice, and that’s a homeland security issue, that’s not a state-level issue. We are definitely in the red, and I want everyone to be conscious of that because we wouldn’t want volunteers to show up, do the action, and be caught off guard by the big, like, false imprisonment charges, even if they don’t stick. That’s a huge thing on your family.”
“There’s even aiding and abetting,” a third activist said. “Specifically if you’re in an immigration space, people who have helped illegal aliens – that’s the terminology that they use – undocumented people, flee or escape or even ride in their vehicle, have been charged with aiding and abetting. And that’s up to five years. Five to 10 years in prison for you, just so you know. So I would call this a red risk. I think it’s important for us to be conscious of our privilege, right? Sometimes when we enter into spaces – to me it might be like, ‘oh, I can step into Amazon and get arrested, but I have no prior arrests.’ So for me if it’s an arrest I’ll beat that charge, it’ll be fine. But for somebody who has a prior arrest or something like that, that could mean a whole other different can of worms for them. So yes, we each have our individual level of risk, but it’s important to understand the collective risk that we have.”
Amazon is another location where the protestors plan to gather during the special session. Protest locations will be revealed later in this reporting series.
Finally, one attendee of the training warned that it’s possible that some activists could be charged with domestic terrorism.
“I would add that domestic terrorism charges is a possibility for ICE,” she said.
Gov. Bill Lee (R) called for a special session in August to address gun control, and has even called for red flag laws.
Sensing weakness, far-left activists appear ready to turn up the heat when the special session arrives.
Listen to the audio here:
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter.