Portland. OR. The local cops in Portland are getting desperate. Arresting people isn’t having the desired chilling effect they were hoping for, partially because the DA isn’t willing to prosecute a bunch of cases he knows will get thrown out, and partially because people aren’t staying home on their best behavior after getting arrested. They come back night after night and keep fighting.
Last night the cops blocked the march a few blocks after it started, before it got to it’s destination and before anything ‘illegal’ happened. Fair enough… Laws that restrict them or protect protesters never mattered to them before, so no big surprise there. They went on to throw smoke canisters into the crowd, chase everyone around for hours, most people they caught they roughed up and threw back to the ground, slashed tires of supporters and also random cars who happened to drive by at the wrong time, pepper spray people, attack press and NLG, and generally relive their glory days as high school football jocks picking on and attacking whoever they decide they don’t like.
Their strategy has shifted away from ‘scare protesters away through fear of being caught up in the legal system,’ and is moving towards a more desperate ’cause as much physical damage and injuries to protesters and their supporters as possible.’ Maybe they’ve calculated that this will erode their support even more and don’t care, or maybe they’re just sadistic and want to unleash. One thing is for sure though: their orders have changed and they’re getting off on their newfound strategy of injuring people until they feel like they’re in charge again.
If the last 2+ months are any indicator, their ill fated attempts to feel in charge will be just another fleeting moment, as protests have grown in strength and resolve nightly. As their strategies shift, ours will evolve and we’ll continue take our new understanding of the way they operate and keep finding new and better ways to outflank them and become more effective.
If last night is a reminder about anything, it’s that we can’t be rigid and formulaic in our tactics. One of our biggest strengths is our fluidity.
As the saying goes, “Be water.”
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