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If you won’t protect our community, we will.

Last updated on March 5, 2023

I was one of the men who recently stood on the corner dressed as Kyle Rittenhouse. We did this because we support everyone’s right to self-defense and refuse to let street thugs gain a foothold here. The Bay Area will not become Eugene or Portland under our watch, and frankly, we don’t give a damn what the naysayers think of our actions.

I was planning to excoriate the recent letters to the editor (of The World Newspaper) by Sharon Ramirez and Lionel Youst, but something happened last night that changed my train of thought. Groups like Antifa are not the only threat to our community. An even more present threat are common criminals and drug abusers.

Recently, I’ve been helping a friend watch his property in Empire after several burglaries. A few nights ago, someone tried to steal some stuff but got scared off by my dog. Last night, I heard some movement, ran outside and encountered two people trying to steal stuff again. One of them threatened me and hit my dog in the head with a pair of bolt cutters before running off. As I’m writing this, I hear that Star of Hope was just vandalized and another friend had a burglary at his business as well.

This brings me to my main point. Crime has always been bad in Empire. This has only been exacerbated by police departments being stretched too thin because they are expected to be social workers. The damage to our economy by our government’s COVID-19 response has increased crime, especially property crime, even further. There are many of us who are sick and tired of this trend and plan to fight it. It’s time for citizens to stop sloughing off all the responsibility on the police. The police only have authority because “We the People” gave it to them.

Accordingly, some of us will be starting a neighborhood watch. We will “observe and report” and provide a visual deterrent. If you see us out and about, please stop and say hello. We are not your enemies but your friends and neighbors.

-Matthew Wilbanks (Editor @


  1. Rob Taylor Rob Taylor December 11, 2021

    People have a Right to protect their property, they have a Right to defend themselves, and they have a Right to open carry…Carry on.

  2. Jody Hoffman Jody Hoffman December 11, 2021

    Awesome ❤️ Thank you for serving our community this way. I feel the same way you do about not letting our community degenate into a criminal free for all that decent people wouldn’t want to live in.

  3. Sue Lee Sue Lee December 12, 2021

    Well, I certainly would be in favor of less crime and vandalism in Empire.

    We recently had our surveillence camera stolen, but replaced it that same night because if the thieves knew it was gone they might be emboldened to return. The police took a report then went across the street to a known house of ill repute and illicit sales. I had someone tell me they recognized her as a person who lives or stays there at times. Bu nothing came of it.

    Several months back someone smashed our back window and stole a telescope, probably to score one more fix. They also left a pile of crap (literally) as a calling card.

    I have handled firearms and am not afraid of them. I also have a bow and arrow. They would draw less attention. But I don’t want to hurt anyone. That girl who took our camera had a deer-in-the-headlights look on her face. She looks underage. Was she there on a dare? I hope she is not being trafficked. I would rather help her than shoot her, if I could. But if someone breaks into my house when I am here, I will not be asking questions first.

    I have known people aligned with Antifa. Kind, generous, moral people who happen to hate fascism and not be fond of a few businesses such as Bank of America and Starbucks. They have been known to break windows, start dumpster fires, and throw water bottles at police. I have stood between them and the police when they picked up rocks and bricks. None were thrown. Did you know that some groups have had pallets of bricks delivered to a site when they epected Antifa to show up? False rumors have been started that busloads of Antifa were planning to show up in places like Couille. Didn’t happen. Some Anifa impersonators have shown up to places and started trouble. There are fascists, and there are anit-fascists. I would jus ask that you consider this before demonizing all of Antifa.

    As much as I would welcome your watchful defense, especially here in Empire, and I understand what you are doing there and why, I have a few questions for you to consider.

    Who will be your next target? Democrats? ( I have no political alliance) People who get vaccines and wear masks? (I do that. I don’t wear a mask because I am ‘afraid.’ My mask is a curtesy to you because it helps protect you from me, should I unknowingly be carrying the Covid virus, It does not protect me from others)

    So my question is, “Where do you draw the line?” We need more unity not more division.

    • Editor Editor Post author | December 12, 2021

      Sue, thank you for the comment. I’ll try to address your concerns in order. There are people who consider themselves anti-fascist and instinctively gravitate toward the Antifa movement. Unfortunately these people are ill-informed. I and my friends have been attacked by Antifa, we have also protected various rallies and other events from them. Have you ever gone to an Antifa or BLM protest and tried to be a neutral observer? If not, I encourage you to go to Portland while they are protesting near the federal courthouse and see how they truly act. I and all my friends are ardent anti-fascists, but we are not Antifa.

      As for your question “who will be your next target?” I have to claim confusion. We have not targeted anyone. We defend our rights against anyone who would infringe on them. Democrat or Republican, we will call tyranny out. I completely support your right to choose to wear a mask. I might point out some information that proves they do not work, but that is your choice. I have the exact same choice and will not stand idly by while authoritarians try to force a mask, a vaccine or a lockdown on me.

      Your final question was “where do you draw the line?”. I draw the line at Rightful Liberty. I’ll give Thomas Jefferson’s definition of that below, but it basically means I can do whatever I want to do and long as it doesn’t stop someone else from doing whatever they want to do. When anyone sticks their nose in my business then I fight back. Some people like to say, “Don’t start none, won’t be none”.

      “of Liberty then I would say that, in the whole plenitude of it’s extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will: but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” – Thomas Jefferson

  4. Concerned Concerned December 13, 2021

    Honestly, I care less about walking around with your guns. I’ve always been a fan of militias. How else are we going to protect against foreign invasion? The biggest issue is dressing up like a killer. Even if you believe it was self-defense, you shouldn’t dress up like a killer. Which killer is next? Manson? Jack the Ripper? Jason Voorhees?

    If you’re actually supervising/patrolling the area, dress appropriately, carry your gear safely and be responsible. Don’t glamorize a killer.

    • Editor Editor Post author | December 13, 2021

      You’re seriously comparing Kyle Rittenhouse to Charles Manson? Not to mention that we dressed up to make a political point. The patrols are a completely different thing and we aren’t dressed up as anyone during them.

  5. Sue Lee Sue Lee December 31, 2021

    Thank you for publishing my concerns. I have not been around Antifa supporters in Portland, but I have been in DC and Philly and Ohio. Never a problem. I have been to BLM events in Coos Bay and Philly. Again, no problem. May Day march in Chicago? Yep, been there. I have been a medic for protests and events such as Standing Rock. I can tell you about media lies from there compared to my personal observations. I have mainly treated blisters, hoarse throats, and people with pepper spray in their eyes. Never saw any victims of violence, although twice I have gotten between two people shouting at each other and ready to spar (5’4″ elderly female that I am), but none were Antifa. I have been welcomed into Antifa supporters homes. The only people I have ever seen them angry at is fascists and racists, and, again, have never seen any physical violence. I watched video of Antifa protesting what they deemed a fascist/racist rally in Oregon with no displays of violence. I have seen a video of one person being interviewed in public who got a single punch, years ago, not in Oregon. Next time you anticipate any potential altercation, let me know and I would be willing to be an impartial observer, and a medic. It doesn’t matter which ‘side’ because I help anybody who needs it. If you have video of Antifa attacks against you and your friends, feel free to share any links because I will watch them.

    I am a retired nurse. A surgeon would NEVER operate in a theatre with anyone present who was not wearing a mask. That’s just good science. That and hand washing. The law is to wear a mask and I follow the law, just like I wear my seat belt. And I give a wide berth to those who refuse to wear one because I am older, have respiratory issues, and would rather not get infected. I do NOT, however, support vaccine mandates. I do support vaccines though, mainly to not over-tax our health care system and providers through keeping more people out of the ICU. I know vaccinated people can still get Covid, and are probably more likely to spread it, or would be if not wearing a mask, when they do because they are also more likely to be asymptomatic.

    It is good to hear you are anti-fascist. Are you also anti-racist? I don’t know, just asking. You have targeted ‘street thugs.’ I don’t think much of them either, but there are other lines that can be drawn between political affiliations, liberal vs conservative, religious inclinations or lack thereof, shades of melanin, countries of origin, etc. I am, for the most part, behind Jefferson, and fully endorse that quote, but if I wanted to live in Idaho, I’d move there rather than trying to convert parts of Oregon into a new state. Love it or leave it, right? Loving my country does not mean that I support everything it does. And it does not follow that I hate other countries. Our election system is a sham and needs a complete overhaul.

    I spoke out in defense of your patrols on a fb group and was verbally assaulted by a member. If I see you out and about some night, I would love to offer you some hot chocolate, coffee, tea, or cider and speak in person.

    As ethical human beings we have much more in common than not.

  6. Joey Joey January 13, 2022

    Hrmmmmm there is another watch group in empire but I don’t think they are very active patrolling anymore but they do know The Who’s who of empire tweakers and other Nefarious reprobates probably could get lots of info from them if you could get ahold of me I would like to introduce you to some people that have access to info that would help on patrols and such …….

    Also if your out on patrol please check my house !

    • Editor Editor Post author | January 14, 2022

      Yah, a couple from that group have already contacted us.

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