Rocks off for the riot cops; Antifa meets Pro-fa
The train wreck known as the Portland Protests continued last night at the sheriff's office/police precinct at 47th and East Burnside. It was the usual stuff, only it seems a little worse each time.
A couple of hundred protesters stood in front of the building for a couple of hours. The police DJ From Hell warned them repeatedly to stay off the property. After a while, the kids got bored, and one went and spray-painted graffiti on the boarded-up building. Others in the crowd played with the traffic cones blocking the driveway. Then a group of protesters formed a phalanx of wooden shields, over the line and onto the property. At that point, dozens of Portland riot cops came storming onto the scene, smashing the phalanx and chasing everyone down Burnside Street for many blocks.
Was there anything new to be seen? Two things jumped out at me as I watched some of it on Twitter. First, the cops have been ramping up the violence a little each night. Last night, they were obviously getting their jollies banging the protesters around. The charge into the phalanx was remarkable in its all-out physicality.
The cops started with a big smoke cloud, and then they charged into the shields full-tilt, like the kind of kickoff play that's being banned in football because it causes so much brain damage. Sergio Olmos, a reporter who ought to get some sort of prize for his coverage of these showdowns, caught it on video here. Check it out – scroll to the video labeled "Police jump into protestor shields, then start swinging." Still shots don't really capture it.