Monday night a fire flashed in the night next to the Portland Police Association Building as 300 protesters milled about it protesting police violence against Black and brown Americans. Then, another fire flared at the back of the building and reflected the fires of injustice that burned within the protesters. The fires were quickly extinguished but not before dozens of police arrived on the scene and Donald Trump nabbed the incident to hurl threats of “anarchists.”
Monday’s march was the 89th straight day of protest in Portland, Oregon. It followed a passerby taping white Wisconsin police shooting Jacob Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back. Blake will live but is currently paralyzed from the waist down. Three of the man’s children were sitting in his car as the police shot their father.
Trump showed his authoritarian side as he tweet-threatened Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. He warned:
‘We again request Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown), the Governor of Oregon, and Mayor @TedWheeler of Portland, to call up the National Guard like should have been done 3 months ago…’
Ironically, POTUS tweeted “stop calling these anarchists” after seeding the nation with fears of “anarchists and agitators.” The agitation he has sown took root among the fertile grounds of his followers’ worry and sprang into full-blown fright. Trump continued:
‘…They must stop calling these anarchists and agitators “peaceful protestors”. Come back into the real world! The Federal Government is ready to end this problem immediately upon your request.’
One of the protesters spray-painted the building according to Oregon Live. Another scaled the building and unfurled a banner from the roof. The electricity was shut off. Apparently, someone had poured accelerant onto the fire, speeding it along. The police told the crowd to disperse and declared the group an “unlawful assembly.” The individuals started moving away, leaving over 100 protesters standing across the street from the building. The officers released tear gas into the crowd and. then arrested 25 individuals.
That was when the police declared the protest an “extreme life safety concerns.” Then they removed the barricades that had been halting cars from entering the area. Perplexed drivers found themselves driving between police aiming crowd control weapons across the street and shouting protesters. The protesters were throwing water bottles over the cars at the police and flashed lasers into their eyes.
The officers arrested the individuals “on suspicion of charges including interfering with a peace officer, rioting and disorderly conduct.”
By midnight, the police left in a cloud of tear gas aimed at the crowd.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt had committed earlier in August to not go after demonstrators who interfered with the police or committed acts of disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, harassment, or leaving the scene.
The caveat Schmidt made contingent was that the individuals could not threaten or force another person, commit theft, or “deliberate” property damage. Rioting was not enough on its own to result in arrests.
One of the 25 arrested individuals was apparently carrying a concealed weapon. Some of the others had weapons:
‘[Ii]ncluding an electronic control weapon, baton, dagger, and multiple knives.’
Saturday night police arrested another 23 individuals. The FBI will help identify those who were part of or observed the crimes. Police could not arrest or use force on journalists if they did not leave. This was in response to a lawsuit.
Twitter world went nuts over Trump’s threat to Portland, Oregon. Check out what Americans thought about that below:
We need a LEADER in Washington, not a RULER. #BidenHarris2020
— Aaron (not Feld) 🐣🐥🦆🌹 (@AMP503) August 25, 2020
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