Cops step up the protest arrests
The Portland police version of last night's demonstration at Southeast Precinct in Laurelhurst is out, and it reveals what seem to be some new tactics by the police in responding to the nightly protests. The police didn't let the protesters block the street, and they arrested more people than ever.
The press release lists 29 people arrested and charged. There reportedly was also at least one person taken into custody and released on the spot after a half hour or so, and so that would make 30. The reports I saw estimated the crowd at 150, and if that's correct, then one out of every five people at the protest was arrested.
Of course, when you look at the charges, you see that few, of any, are of the kind that are going to actually be pressed. But more catch-and-release seems to be the order of the day.
And no more letting the protesters use vehicles to block off the protest areas:
There were several vehicles that were supporting the marchers by blocking vehicular traffic. The drivers were warned by officers to move their vehicles. When they did not, the drivers were arrested and the vehicles towed.
Will this new program be repeated? Will it cause the protests to peter out? Will it make them bigger? How will it work when the right-wingers with the long guns show up? All interesting questions.