You know, whenever I write about Portland, it’s never to talk about lovely summer weather in the Oregon metropolis, or how the Trailblazers are doing, or whether the Thermals might reunite. No, it’s almost always about a demonstration that turned into a riot.
This time, at least, there was a stuffed bear. That’s a good thing, right? Except for the fact that the bear suffered a gruesome fate with a guillotine adorned with a burning American flag. This wasn’t quite as peaceful as, say, those Grateful Dead T-shirts with those dancing bears on it, alas.
“Many participants in the march carried hardened shields, helmets, armor, gas masks, and wore all black clothing,” the news release read.
“At least one participant targeted the Portland Police Air Support Unit airplane with a green laser. This is extremely dangerous and could cause disorientation for the pilot, in addition to permanent eye damage.”
This was at the Justice Center in downtown Portland, where antifa protesters clashed with alt-right groups earlier Saturday.
WARNING: The following social media posts contain graphic imagery that some viewers will find offensive or disturbing.
Mass antifa vs. right-wing brawl at the Justice Center in downtown Portland. Numerous conservative groups held a pro-police rally but it was crashed by #antifa, who threw eggs, rocks, feces & urine. Both sides pepper sprayed each other for more than an hour. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/M7SQy2N1lD
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 22, 2020
This is one of those situations where no one wins unless there are mass arrests on both sides. Alas, this is Portland, so of course there won’t be.
Also, unless you’re strong of stomach, you might want to skip this part.
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 22, 2020
The Portland Police Bureau raises a decent question here: Whose job was this in antifa?
Is this like a hazing ritual? I mean, not to be too juvenile here, but what must this involve? “All right, listen, pledge: We’ve got a routine for noobs. Here are some balloons and here’s a bathroom. Now, you’re probably wondering why we’ve forced you to imbibe nothing but okra and coffee for the last two days…”
Sigh. All right. So anyhow, there was a pro-police rally at the Justice Center and an anti-Marxist demonstration at Terry Schrunk Plaza. This would ordinarily sound like a good thing, except these demonstrations were organized by far-right groups, according to The Oregonian, including the Proud Boys. And of course, to oppose them, we had antifa and groups such as the Democratic Socialists of America and Popular Mobilization showing up in opposition.
According to KGW-TV, Portland police had issues breaking up scuffles involving groups from both the far-left and far-right during the afternoon. By the evening, the news release from Portland police seemed to indicate left-wing groups were the bigger issue, particularly given the assaults on the police.
“It was apparent that the march intended to proceed to the Penumbra Kelly Building at 4735 East Burnside Street,” the news release said.
“That has been the target of rioters on multiple occasions over the past few months, including assaults on officers, commercial grade fireworks detonated, fires set, threats to burn down the building, and vandalism. That recent history, coupled with the posture of the crowd, prompted the Incident Commander to prevent the marchers access to the Kelly Building.
“Portland police officers were stationed ahead of the march and prevented the participants from crossing over Interstate 84. As officers were getting set up on the Northeast 47th Avenue overpass, four vehicles approached the officers and refused orders to move.
“The officers had to set up their line right in front of the cars. So to prevent the danger presented by the vehicles, a sergeant deflated two tires on one of the vehicles. The other vehicles then complied with orders to leave.”
Other demonstrators were a bit more persistent:
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) August 23, 2020
“Someone rolled a mock guillotine with a stuffed bear into the street. The bear and multiple U.S. flags were burned. Paint balloons were launched at officers, as well as green lasers,” the news release read.
“The sound truck asked the group to stay peaceful or it would be declared an unlawful assembly. Almost immediately eggs and paintballs landed in the area of the officers. Due to this criminal behavior, the gathering at the Penumbra Kelly Building was declared an unlawful assembly at 11:41 p.m. All persons were told to immediately leave to the west. Failure to leave to the west may subject them to arrest, citation, or crowd control agents, including but not limited to tear gas and/or impact weapons. Few, if any, heeded the warning.”
Thus, a riot was declared — after flag desecration, balloons filled with unmentionable materials, and other fun stuff.
Before Saturday’s situation, KATU-TV reports, there had been over 80 straight days of protests and at least 13 riot situations declared by Portland police.
That’s clearly going to continue — and we’re going to see more disgusting situations than this.
In short, nobody’s going to be talking about the beautiful summer weather there for quite some time, mostly because nobody can pay attention to the weather when you have people, quite literally, flinging poo.
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