Heroes and villains
As we log on to Twitter and get ready to watch another night of God-knows-what on the streets of Portland, let's identify and acknowledge the leading actors in the drama so far this weekend. Starting with the protesters. Of all the footage I've seen since George Floyd was murdered (Remember Big Floyd? It seems like years ago), the most impressive was this clip, which pretty much sums up the past week in 24 seconds:
[Click here to go to Twitter and see the video. Then come back, please.]
Those are the scared, untrained, badly-out-of-place border patrol stormtroopers racing out of the federal courthouse last night, their tear gas everywhere, and one hotheaded little warrior in a camouflage costume wailing on a peaceful man for the crime of standing in the street and trying to talk to the paramilitary.
The quiet giant who took the blows has been identified, and he tells his story here. His name is Christopher David. He'll be undergoing surgery on his hand this week.
Following close behind in the all-star ranks on the demonstrator side is the young woman who took off all her clothes, except for a hat, and did yoga poses in one of the crosswalks on Taylor Street Friday night. She never said a word. She didn't have to. It stopped the charging police (the local cops this time) in their tracks. Portland Weird at its absolute finest.
The photos are instant icons, which will be appearing everywhere for many years. You know that poster of Bud Clark exposing himself to art? It can retire now. The Oregonian has one of the best versions. It is here.
Honorable mention on the protester team goes to the moms who showed up at the federal courthouse in the early evening yesterday in support of the younger regulars. The women were as peaceful as peaceful could be, but they had the nerve to stand somewhere that the border boys didn't like, and so they all got tear-gassed for their trouble.
What optics. Middle-aged white women, holding hands and chanting, and armed federal jackboots appear and gas them. Is that somehow going to play in the Republicans' favor in the surburbs of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin?
But this isn't about the election any more, is it? It seems like it's more about how Orange Caligula thinks he's going to stay in power after he loses the election. With a private army gassing people in a liberal city.
Anyway, one of the mothers who took some tear gas is Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran. She's hopping mad, as well she should be, and she's not keeping it to herself today.
So let's cast an all-star vote for her and the rest of the moms.
Over on the lawman side, the top prize has got to go to that little clown in the camo uniform who comes stomping out of the courthouse like something out of a Looney Tunes cartoon and beats on Christopher David. He is the perfect symbol of Trump's occupying army: vicious, weak, scared, and in way over his head. That crew is to law enforcement as Trump University is to education.
But right behind him in the no. 2 spot is the Portland police union, which is out there whining again this afternoon about how the bad, bad criminals spray-painted police union headquarters again. Last night, somebody even started a fire in the union office. Now, the union boys say, there should be a moratorium on protests while we talk.
This is the police union that defends the murderer cops, and the Nazi cops. (And I do mean Nazi.) "Stop protesting, kids. Let's have a meeting." And OMG, who do they wheel out to appeal for peace? It's none other than Matt Hennessee! Now, there is a preacher with a checkered past. Those who know his story, too long for here, know what I mean. But trust me, for him to show up at this point in the saga is nothing short of surreal.
I was so glad when the marchers first headed up to the police union office. That's where they need to keep going. Anyway, on the villain side, prize no. 2 goes to the head of the police union, Daryl Turner. With enemies like him, the protesters don't need that many friends.