For the past four years we have endured an endless stream of right wing provocateurs who come to Portland looking for trouble. And we have endured it... but not without cost. Summer, which was once characterized by waterfront festivals, is now just the time of the year when the right wing leads mobs to the city. And as a result of these mobs locals have been shot at, had their necks broken, been stabbed to death, been assaulted, the list goes on...
Part of the rage that's directed at us is cultural. Portland is a deep blue dot in a sea of red, and that fact is bitterly resented by many Republicans in the surrounding towns. We're seen as living in their territory, and imposing our values by dragging "their" state blue.
But part of it is structural. Our police force is mostly drawn from those same red areas, and is marked by a culture that resents Portland as much (if not moreso) than the folks out in Washougal and Canby. That creates a remarkably antagonistic relationship with the public. And that culture is no doubt responsible for the indiscriminate use chemical weapons by Portland Police.
It isn't uncommon to see neighborhoods cloaked in tear gas because someone threw a water bottle. A water bottle. For that, entire neighborhoods get gassed. [...]
Right wing groups have rioted at local businesses, used vehicles at weapons, set up sniper's nests in our downtown buildings, used chemical weapons, attacked people with hammers and other weapons, broken necks, killed multiple people... the list goes on and on.
Interestingly, when they do, the cops tend to go on break.
This results in our police only "policing" locals while repeatedly letting outside right wing groups go crazy. And the cops assure us it's a coincidence that, once the right wing leaves the area, they start gassing us. [...]
The disparate policing has been evident for years, and that is why Portland has become a Mecca for far right groups who want to earn their stripes. Everyone knows that the only resistance they'll face is from the locals... and everyone knows the Police will attack those locals. [...]
We feel like we are an occupied city because we are. More angry men begin to see Portland as a way to prove their manhood. And more Portlanders realize the only way we will be safe is if we are in the streets protecting each other from the cops and their far right allies.
It keeps escalating.
Portland is about to be national news again because a man was killed here last night. This means that the entire Republican apparatus is going to activate and opine about what happened and what should be done in a city they've never visited. So here is one local's perspective.