PDX Protest — Day 13
Day thirteenish. Alsmost certainly off by at least a day this point. Or maybe a week.
City hall held the city budget hearing yesterday. Over a thousand people signed up to give testimony. Even if it were as little as one minute per speaker, that would be over 16 hours of testimony. Pretty sure that’s not what happened, so I’m pretty sure not everyone got to speak.
Far and away the one thing most asked for? Defunding the police. If you’re in any way surprised by that, you have not been paying any attention really at all.
Rev hall marched to Unthank Park last night, up near Mississipi. We’ll probably see a lot of there rallies in Northern neighborhoods, since that’s where all the black communities used to be.
Again, fucking thousands. Doesn’t seem that crew has lost any steam whatsoever.
Mercury editorial will claim that it was another calm night downtown. Mercury editorial’s assessment seems entirely based on whether or not cops used teargas. It was definitely rowdier than the past coulple, and that, along with increased peripheral vehicular noise, make me think the accelerationists are filtering back in.
Kazoos were handed out. Seems a dumb thing in a pandemic. At most nefarious, they could have been dosed with covid by an infected coughing on them. That’s a pretty ridiculous thought, though. At most nefarious, maybe it was an attempt to get people’s masks down. Can’t play a kazoo in a mask. Didn’t hear any reports of anyone actually playing them, though.
Template resignation letters were handed out for people to fold into paper airplanes. Invalidating af. Imaginne what it feels like to have people jeering at you, night after night, for two weeks now, that your life’s work of (what you believe to be) service to your community makes you a monster. I saw one video clip around a week ago of an officer just across the Fence, shouting at a couple of protesters, just this side of what sounded like tears. “You’re telling me I can’t be a police officer, but I’ve wanted to be a police officer since I was a little KID!”
It broke my damn heart.
Biggest upset was the fence around the courthouse getting torn down and reassembles around a nearby intersection, declaring it an “autonomous zone” in a cheap imitation of Seattle. Within an hour it was all but abandoned as people returned to the Justice Center Fence. Some more panels of the fence got thrown over the Fence, and they even managed to knock a few panels of Fence down.
It’s all just so damn childish, and it’s distracting media attention from the hundreds of people on the westside who ARE peaceful and AREN’T interested in wrecking shit (…yet. Still worried about the power of mobthink and radicalization — reporters say there was very little chanting at all last night), and, more importantly, distracting from the really fucking cool outreach and generational work happening at these thousands-strong rallies across the river.
Kids. Of whatever age. I love you. You're not helping. You are, in fact, in the way. Sure, there's nothing justifiably illegal about fence rattling, but it's also not accomplishing a goddamn thing. What can we do to help you see that? How can we get you back to pushing this heavy-ass cart uphill alongside us instead of having a dance party on top of it?
I feel this fucking bitterness creeping into me. And I know its poison. I feel it eroding my compassion. Rotting my capacity for empathy.
And fucking who knows, maybe that's by design, too. This exceedingly temporary autonomous zone is a goddamn mockery of Cap Hill, and probably delegitimizes the Seattle effort in the minds of the middle masses seeing it all from home. (And yeah, that includes me.)
As always, like in any good infiltration psyop, I genuinely can't tell what is hostile engineering and what is just emergent idiocy.
The cops, for their part, relied again on pepper balls and/or rubber bullets. (There seems to be some uncertainty now about which it has been.) A few flashbangs came out once or twice. It's mainly, I think, been in reaction to people trying to cross the Fence.
Crowd had dispersed, by its own volition by 2 am. No gas.
Five bucks says that fencing is back around the courthouse by tonight.
Three bucks says it's already there.