It feels like a lull. Lower-looking turnout on the east (well, north), lack of direction downtown, and even the fringe that I occupy felt decidedly calm.

I hope Eastside’s turnout at Jefferson High was due to the weather. It was warm af, and there’s not a lot of shade at Jefferson, where they started and ended. Good march, though, centered on the Skidmore I-5 overpass, where Kendra James (say her name) was killed by Portland Police while trying to leave a traffic stop. Powerful place to tell that story.

Downtown had a similar course to last night, but with less fire all around. Similar anti-Rev Hall sentiments, similar infighting about compliance with cops, similar disagreement about whether to occupy or march, similar cop/protester contention over the blocking of traffic on SW 3rd. An amicus brief was allegedly found yesterday, claiming that it’s not illegal for protesters to block traffic, but I haven’t investigated that claim.

Interestingly, protesters seemed more willing to comply with police than with Black megaphoners. Even come midnight, when PPB declared the parks to be closed, people crammed onto the sidewalk for the final standoff. This really isn’t a good sign.

In general, there was a pervasive and general lack of surety about what to do. Everybody kinda looking for somebody to follow. Cory Elia described one such period around 4th and Main as feeling like a block party (bloc party? Lol). This has been a common feeling in the deepest lulls before big escalations. So we’re fairly on course for the typical cycle we’ve seen. I’d say maybe another day or two of this before another weird, sinister night. Crowds in this state are the easiest to hijack.

Both Tuck Woodstock and Lesley McLam finally caught sight of the guy with a rifle that PPB has been claiming to have seen for the past few nights, with Lesley snagging a photo. White guy, no mask, bright orange shirt. Another Twitter user claims to have seen him on the night of PKAZ, in bright blue plaid. The bright colors strike me as odd choices for a protest. Especially if you’ve got a rifle on your back. Like you’re specifically trying to get noticed. It certainly made people uncomfortable.

The most organized action of the evening was a period where protesters would creep into the street until the cops issued their warning about being in it, then they jump back to the sidewalk before doing it all again. This worked like twice before three vans of riot cops came and blocked the street to keep the protesters out of it. Eventually those cops backed off and drove away, and many of the protesters wandered off to pioneer square while a handful remained. The reporters noted more infighting in both places.

These last couple nights are revealing a dynamic I don’t think I’ve ever seen and don’t think I would have ever thought of. It’s like a sort of conflict that is actually deescalating. It’s a weird kind of deescalation. One born of resentment and avoidance rather than patience and understanding. And instead of being wholesome and unifying, it’s just… lonely and sad.

Just one more topic I’ve got a lot of thinking to do on.

Wannabe gonzo from the passenger cabin of an ’85 Toyota Van. We're all swine here. (He/her/they) (@captsodapocket)