Portland Police Mischaracterize Thursday Night Protest
The November 10th peaceful anti-Trump rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square was followed by a march across the Hawthorne Bridge to Lloyd Center. There were also some who splintered off in other directions. Thousands participated in a peaceful exercise of political opposition to the Führer to be, Mr. Grab-them-by-the-pussy. Among the demonstrators was a handful of so-called anarchists who engaged in acts of graffiti and property damage, which the Police and much of the media called “violence”.
Based on the actions a few, the Police termed Thursday’s protest a “riot”. This was not a riot. Such exaggeration is very harmful to the quickly growing movement dedicated to fighting the racism, hate, and nationalistic xenophobia that Trump’s election is fueling. Actions of property destruction and violence are, of course, disavowed and discouraged by Portland’s Resistance
The unfortunate mischaracterization of an overwhelmingly peaceful demonstration will serve to deter many people from participating in the future, which is exactly why the Police are quick to use such loaded language. So valuable is this tactic to discouraging activism, the Nixon administration would have the FBI send agent provocateurs to incite violence in anti-war protests. These dirty tricks were well documented in later released reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and through lawsuits. The government’s “counter intelligence program”, called COINTELPRO, involved a many criminal acts by authorities, including breaking into political groups’ headquarters, intercepting mail, spying, encouraging employers to fire activists, and other disruption of legal political activity.
Portland Resistance launched a campaign to raise funds to help repair the damage done to small and local businesses and issued the statement, “Our movement is not an Anti-Trump movement. It is a movement of love. We have realized that due to Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric and dangerous policies that we need to organize in our city right now to make sure that we are a beacon of light in a dark time.” The effort has already raised tens of thousands of dollars to help with repairs.