50 Nights Of Anti-Racist Protests And Police Violence In Portland

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Above photo: Militarized police in Oregon, without apparent provocation, though there were approximately 200 to 300 protesters demonstrating, police scattered gas and crowd control munitions throughout Downtown Portland. July 16, 2020. Beth Nakamura/Staff Oregon Live.

Police Use Tear Gas In Violent Response.

In Portland, on July 16, protesters held their 50th straight night of demonstrations against police violence and racism. Oregon Live reportsFederal officers responded to one late-night demonstration downtown by using gas, smoke and impact munitions to press protesters away from two federal buildings.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called on federal officers to leave Portland, but they remain and continue to use aggressive and violent tactics. Brown called the deployment of federal officers “political theater” and a “blatant abuse of power by the federal government.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf traveled to Portland to meet with federal law enforcement officials. Wolf issued a statement condemning the actions of some protesters during the seven weeks of demonstrations and said local and state elected leaders are failing to address the protests. Within hours of his arrival, police violence escalated.

Oregon Live reports, “About 200 protesters marched to an East Burnside precinct where police and sheriff’s deputies work, the latest of many protests during the day. Officers blockaded entrances to the building, and several officers in riot gear stood posted outside. People chanted, ‘Who do you protect? Who do you serve?'” Police claimed they feared the building would be burned down and ordered the crowd to disperse at 10 pm. People remained chanting, “Quit your job.” In response to the order to disperse, the crowd grew to 300 with protesters holding lids lined with tin foil to reflect light back to the police. 

Some people in the crowd also shined flashlights or lasers toward police. Support vans, one supplying snacks and one providing medical care, arrived.

A live stream showed police using tear gas and other weapons.

At the same time, a smaller number of protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse and county jail, which have been at the center of nightly protests. Demonstrators moved to establish an encampment in a park across the street from the federal courthouse. Federal law enforcement responded to these protests with impact weapons and tear gas.

The crowd began to grow and by 11:15 p.m., more than one dozen officers, wearing either blue or camouflage uniforms, were posted near the building entrance. Two dozen more officers soon streamed out of the building to join them. As 11:30 pm approached, officers began firing projectiles into the crowd and advancing toward the protesters.  Protesters pushed back and police set off devices that made loud noises and released gas, smoke, and flashes. By midnight, most federal officers wearing camouflage appeared to have retreated.

Oregon Live reports “at least 18 people were booked into jail Friday morning on accusations often associated with protests, including interfering with officers and disorderly conduct.” Included was  Andrew Jankowski, a freelance journalist, whose arrest was captured on video by another journalist, Nicholas Lee, despite police efforts to prevent him from filming with blinding light pointed at him. Jankowski was arrested despite telling the police he was wearing a press pass and despite a preliminary injunction extended to Oct. 30, barring police from arresting or threatening journalists or legal observers.

The deployment of unmarked federal police who appear to be operating independently of the local authorities is of great concern. If this is allowed to happen in Portland, it can happen anywhere and severely inhibit First Amendment rights to protest.

  • pajarito

    Solidarity with courageous Portland protesters! An unwelcome, occupying force (federal officers) tries to intervene in the local affairs of Portland. Who invited them? Washington invited them. US foreign policy interventionism has come to Portland and US cities near you…this is why protests continue in Portland and elsewhere. Racist intervention.

  • Edward Winslow

    These so-called federal officers are Trump’s version of the Brown Shirt stormtroopers. The Brown Shirts were thugs that the Nazis used to intimidate the public during the rise of facism in Germany.

  • mwildfire

    People are always pointing out that we are too quick to say “Nazi” and “Hitler” and “fascism.” But sending federal agents to Portland to harass and arrest protesters, including press, against the express wishes of Portland’s mayor, Oregon’s governor and senators and ignoring the injunction against arresting press–which shouldn’t need an injunction…sweeping people off the streets wordlessly, without charges…this IS fascism. And we need to be talking about it. Is is because Trump has blustered so he needs to carry through, to impress his base? Is it because they hope to stir up a confrontation with antifa or others on the left? Or is it a test to see what they can get away with, in part to prepare for fall when Trump risks losing an election, and if it’s clear he will he may try “postponing” it, likely using the virus as an excuse. Or all of the above?

  • mwildfire

    And to me this indicates that we need to extend the theme from police abuse of black Americans, not so much to US racism in general, as to US abuse of black and brown– and white–people in other countries. There is no path to a better future without dismantling the US empire and its military.

  • Nylene13

    What right does the President have to send troops to Portland when the Mayor and Governor of Oregon did not ask him to?

    Is the President going to send troops to shut down the offices of the Oregon Mayor and Governor next?
    I think the Mayor and Governor should have those federal troops arrested.

  • mmckinley

    Interview of Chad (where’s Karen?) Wolf on NPR yesterday allowed Chad to claim reason for federal officers (in unmarked cars) was they were needed to protect federal property and personnel from “violent, property-destroying rioters,” because the local authorities weren’t doing their job. Speaking of his unidentified federal secret police arresting “rioters” without charges and taking them to unknown destinations in unmarked cars, he said they were only taking “lawbreakers” who had committed violence and property destruction, and if it turned out they were not the correct targets (???!!!!) and they “got the wrong person” (???!!!) they were released. This is the definition of a police state, complete with secret police.

  • Edward Winslow

    The CIA perfected their “rendition” protocols during W. Bush’s administration. Now Trump and the thugs in the corporate-owned government are bringing the chickens home to roost.

    Meanwhile, large segments of the US population are in open rebellion. Perhaps the worm has finally turned against the illegitimate and illegal government.

  • Elizabeth Adair

    Time to grow up people. My parents as teenagers went to war in WWII. My Mum in the British Army and Dad in the Royal Navy (I am an American Citizen). They fought for the freedoms these punks who are NOT “peaceful protestors” know nothing about. Freedom of Speech is crushed digitally by anyone who dares question the official mainstream narrative (CNN et al all paid for by Big Pharma). Regular folks cannot say that ALL LIVE MATTER – OMG get you knickers in a twist or doctors who disagree with the Covid handling are silenced. Twist and sophistry is what all of the comments here about President Trump and his supporters being brown shirts are. You wouldn’t know a brown shirt if they bit your ass. Georgie Soros the funder behind these so called protests is a billionaire who claims the happiest times of his life were when he was a Nazi collaborator.

    Georgie states openly he is just in the the business of chaos for money.

    Do your own research morons.
    God Bless these special units protecting our cities and taking down this scum who really have low IQs and are traitors.
    Personally I would like to see them tried for treason and hung on the White House lawn.
    Now get all upset in your bat shit crazy libtard way.
    You could try taking iodine to offset the flouride idiocy you call your brain.

    You will not take our country EVER. DID YOU GET IT.
    GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

  • Elizabeth Adair

    Grow up. They are a God send.

  • dreamjoehill

    Stan sent. There. now it’s correct, Miss Piggy..

  • dreamjoehill

    Aww, a rightist afraid of Flouride.

    You idiots pretend to be “rebels’ But you’re T-rumpsucking slime in love with authoritarian oppression and violence.

    Good For You!

  • Elizabeth Adair

    Time to take your head out of your ass. All that shit makes thinking hard.

  • Elizabeth Adair

    If you had an cognitive power to do real research you might discover something. Since your cognitive dissonance is so ingrained I doubt that is possible. Oppression and violence is what is being spewed by the individuals doing the violent protests and the damage and rioting and looting and the harm to innocent people.
    The rule of law and order are the basis of society. Not anarchy.

    Grow up!!

  • Elizabeth Adair

    I volunteer you for the first Bill Gates/Fauci vaccine.

  • dreamjoehill

    Oppression and violence is what police in the US have been doing for decades, and right wing authoritarians like you love it.

    The rule of order is corrupted in the US because there’s one rule for the rich and another for the rest!

    “Grow up!” Sure thing granny. You sound like a repressed school marm.

  • dreamjoehill

    Vulgar toilet insults is all you have, you stupid, pathetic right wing authoritarian.

    What a T-rumpsucker!

  • Elizabeth Adair

    If I spent ten minutes in a room with you and a baseball bat you would be in tatters.
    You are stupid beyond belief.

    These “protests” are funded by George Soros, Nazi collaborator and chaos maker.
    There are many things that need fixing in our society but snotty nosed, ignorant, libtard, brainwashed children don’t have a clue where to begin.
    So go f…. yourself darling until the vaccine comes for you.

  • Elizabeth Adair

    LOL – I volunteer you for the first Gates/Fauci vaccine.
    Yes Orange Man Bad.
    Do your own research.

    You call me Miss Piggy but then say I am using vulgar toilet insults.
    Cognitive dissonance on full display

    Trump will win in 2020 ha ha ha

  • chetdude

    DARN – I wish they hadn’t deleted Elizabeth’s ravings. They aptly demonstrated the “mind set” and prejudice of the Trump loving authoritarian follower crowd.