PDX Protest, Day 77 — A Spot o’ News to Fill the Void
The direct-action protests of the past week have all been guided by formally announced events through social media. And so last night, when no such event was announced, no such action happened, and it was a very, very quiet night. Nearly all my journalists stayed home to rest up for the weekend, and what small presence made it downtown reported speeches on the front steps of JC and that’s it, really. less than a hundred people. Even those few basically citizen reporters gave up after an hour or two.
I had planned on writing about some of the broader narrative evolution over the course of these protests, but it’s ending up being a very ungainly effort that needs more than a day’s worth of stream-of-consciousness to cover thoroughly. So instead, I’m just going to leave you with a quick bit of news before nipping off to go camping for the hundred-degree weekend, after which maybe I’ll wander the coast for a few days to write with more focus. We’ll see.
Anyway, the news.
The new DA, Mike Schmidt, has announced that he’s not going to be prosecuting like 90% of the protest arrestees.
Also, Oregon State Police no longer had troopers involved in Portland protest defense. Apparently the plan Gov. Brown cut with the feds only called for two weeks of OSP involvement, and with that expired, OSP has said they wish to allocate resources to areas where crimes will be prosecuted, in a clear jab at DA Schmidt.
Which means that we’re back to dealing with nothing but PPB and MCSO.
The city is revising its ban on coordination between federal and local police, allowing communication to occur between locals and “city-based” federal police. This includes, at the very least, the Federal Protective Service officers who were already assigned to the courthouse before all the protesting started. The Oregonian also reports that this includes state US Marshalls Service employees. How these are considered to be “city-based” is beyond me.
It kinda sounds like this is meant to remedy a communication deficiency that occurred while OSP was in command, since I guess they were federalized as USMS deputies for their two-week stay, but I don’t know how it accomplishes that when it is only taking effect now, when OSP is leaving and presumably no longer federalized.
I don’t know. I want more details, but doing research on my phone is the worst, and wifi tethering has suddenly stopped working at any kind of usable speed for completely unknown reasons.
Oh well. Never claimed to be good at this shit.
See you next week.