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.

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.

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6 Responses:

  1. Dude says:

    It's a trip to read this blog post right after I finished watching this (10min) video:

    Plus, the film covered was co-written by James Cameron, who made the T-1000 of T2 a cop because:

    Cops think all non-cops as less than they are: stupid, weak, and evil. They dehumanize the people they are sworn to protect and desensitize themselves in order to do that job.

  2. yet another nate says:

    Thanks for sharing that, doubt I would have seen it otherwise. As a random Portland resident I applaud Jamie@BritishHistoryPodcast, it's a great summary of what many of us residents want for our city compared to what people who live elsewhere want.

  3. Mildred Bonk says:

    Oregon is bad: stop it if you can.

  4. Dude from Eastern Europe says:

    Putin must be drinking Sovetskoye Shampanskoye right now.

    tl;dr; no idea whom to believe when reading news.

    But on the other hand should I care about the USA?
    I doubt the USA cares about my country. I have so many reasons to doubt - no matter if it's Republican or Democrat president in that funny white building.

    Probably most of the USA population can't find it on the map despite large portion of Hollywood stars have roots in the region it's located in.

    Just look how both parties (alongside the UK) were "guaranteeing integrity" of Ukrainian borders.
    Or how well was Poland "rewarded" for help in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The country that Ruthenian-Polish military leader Tadeusz Kosciuszko helped build.

    Oh geopolitics, you are so funny and so scary at the same time.

  5. Ben Collver says:

    "From a friend in Portland:

    'There's already a lot of lazy reporting about what happened in Portland last night. It was not a "clash of protesters".

    A large group, maybe 200 people, gathered at a mall in a nearby county. They formed a caravan of mostly large, jacked-up trucks, displaying pro-Trump and American flags.

    The people wore various t-shirts, hats, etc supporting Trump but also with fascist and neo-Nazi symbols. Many of the trucks had additional people (usually men) in the beds.

    They were armed with guns, pipes, knives, and other visible weapons. One can reasonably assume there were also concealed weapons. The trucks were also weapons.

    They drove from the mall, toward downtown. All along this path, local LAW ENFORCEMENT (police, sheriffs) FACILITATED their movement, stopping traffic so they could stay together as a caravan. This includes the Portland Police blocking off other traffic on a bridge that leads into downtown.

    Once downtown -- they did NOT go to the area where there have been daily protests for many weeks. No, they drove directly to and through a busy mixed residential/retail area, with people walking to the grocery store, sitting at outside bars, walking their dogs, etc. Yes, some anti-fascist, anti-police brutality protestors came to that area in response to the caravan.

    But this is what the Trumpers did: They indiscriminately assaulted pedestrians in this residential/retail area. They shot them with paintball guns, yelled sexually violent things at women, jumped out of their trucks to physically attack anyone who verbally disagreed with them, brandished their weapons and threatened people. They drove their trucks through groups of people.

    They laughed while they did it.

    Later in the evening, in a different part of downtown, someone was shot and killed. That death will overshadow and cloud the story about the caravan -- which is the part that should chill you to the bone.'"

  6. Rick says:

    Voting for felons has gotten better. I used to do a lot of voter registration at Seattle Hempfest and I registered lots of felons who didn't know that the laws had changed in Washington. There are now only 9 states remaining where felons can lose their right to vote permanently.


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