Source: Emily Zanotti
Portland’s infamous “snack van” — a roving, graffitied commercial van that feeds protesters in Oregon and elsewhere, and has allegedly been tied to “anti-Fascist” elements — was reportedly stolen over the weekend, ahead of a confrontation between both far-left and far-right elements in the city.
“Jeremy “JeVa” Edwin Vajko, 27, operates the graffiti-covered vehicle dubbed the “Snack Van.” Since the early weeks of Black Lives Matter-Antifa riots broke out more than 100 days ago in Portland, he’s been providing protesters and rioters alike free water, food, and medical supplies,” the Post Millennial notes.
Vajko claimed on Twitter late Saturday that the van “disappeared” overnight Friday. First, Vajko noted that the van had been stolen — “I woke up to the Van and everything I still owned stolen” — but then pivoted to suggesting that either Portland or Federal authorities had stepped in to have the van towed.
“Given the FBI knocked at my safe house yesterday evening, the vehicle could have been taken by anybody from federal forces, police, protesters, counter-protesters to other activist groups,” Vajko said. “For my own legal protection, against any of those groups, it will be reported as stolen.”
Vajko also noted that he was “conflicted” about reporting the vehicle stolen because it would trigger a police response, which could connect him to any previous activity involving the spray-painted van. He ended up filing a police report, largely to check whether the van had been towed and impounded.
“I was very conflicted about this,” he said, “but I also felt I needed to protect myself from police who I feel is likely to use not having it reported as stolen in court to blame me for any activity related to the vehicle. I won’t be naming anybody to anybody and I still work alone.”
Vajko, of course, received a lot of pushback on social media, both from those who insisted “anti-Fascists,” who often align themselves with Communists and claim not to believe in the concept of private property, shouldn’t worry about “stolen” items, and from those who chastised Vajko, whose comrades agitate to defund and disband police departments nationwide, for contacting police out of concern for his van.
“We redistributed it to those in more need than you,” one Twitter user fired back.
The “snack van” is already a topic of interest to Federal and state investigators, according to reports. Earlier in September, the Daily Mail reported that Vajko and his “snack van” had been detained in Portland, but also in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C., at Black Lives Matter protests in those cities — protests that eventually turned destructive and, in some cases, violent.
When confronted, Vajko insists that he’s providing snacks and water to demonstrators, but police in Washington, D.C., at least, used Vajko’s presence at protests there to initiate an investigation into whether national organizations were funding certain agitators’ travel to protest “hot spots.”
“[D.C.’s police chief] did not mention Vajko by name, but he and Mayor Muriel Bowsers both said the city was investigating whether or not funded groups traveled to the city to create havoc over the weekend,” the Daily Mail reported.
“There was a reckless driving arrest that received a lot of attention,” the chief said. “There was a van that was driving recklessly, potentially could have hit pedestrians and officers in the area. The driver was taken into custody. That vehicle was a van, it was registered on the west coast in Washington state. We have intelligence to suggest that van was also at some of the violence we saw in Portland, Oregon, and some of the violent activity we saw in Kenosha.”
“One of the things that we’re certainly going to do it if it is an organized, funded attempt to create violence in our city, we’re going to do everything we can to get to the bottom of it,” he added. “I think there’s a potential that it could be the case… it could be domestic terrorism,’ he said, talking more generally about the protests and unrest.”
The Post Millennial also reports that protesters have expressed concern about Vajko, accusing him, recently, of being aggressive with some of his fellow female demonstrators.
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