Portland protesters jump the shark
I couldn't resist peeking in on The Portland Protests last night. What I saw convinced me that the meaningful phase of the protest movement in this town is over, at least for now.
The demonstrator crowd had assembled at the police East Precinct, which is out at Southeast 106th and Stark. The place was boarded up, and so the protesters proceeded to tear off the boards. They had just spray painted over the lens of a security camera. Then they lit one of their signature "taunting" fires and tried using rocks and a mallet to smash through the glass door of the precinct house.
The Portland police, along with some state troopers, eventually chased them. Tear gas was used. A few arrests were made. The police DJ From Hell gave it his angriest voice.
Neighbors got involved. Some were sympathetic, but not all. One woman came out her front door wearing a Nazi armband. In addition to some verbal assaults, she apparently got a rock through her window. Some of the neighbors were bewildered and couldn't figure out what was happening. One wondered aloud if the tear gas would hurt her chickens.
I couldn't watch much. This version of Police vs. Protesters was like a playground slap fight between two of the dumber kids in the school. Nothing that happens on a night like this will matter in the long run.
At this point, I have no idea what the protesters' goals are. This particular group certainly isn't like the diverse crowds who came to the downtown squares a couple of weekends ago.
I admire people who are willing to go to jail for their beliefs. The last couple of nights, the protesters have earned my deepest admiration.