Another night of dodgeball

There was another "clash" at the immigration jail in the SoWhat District of Portland last night between the usual 100 or so "protesters" and some of the federal troops that have been occupying Portland since early summer. It was basically a replay of Saturday night, as far as I could see on social media. The crowd antagonized the feds, the feds "bull rushed" the demonstrators at high speed a few times, a handful of people were arrested, and the Portland police did not appear to be involved.

There were a few notable differences, however. I didn't see the heavy smoke and tear gas that the feds usually use. But what I could see was that the feds were being particularly brutal in making arrests. Several protesters were banged up pretty badly in the course of being captured and subdued. And the troops seemed to be singling out those who heckled them the most pointedly. At one point, an ambulance was called, presumably for an arrestee, but the ambulance left empty.

Also of interest, a neighbor of the facility threw at least a couple of glass bottles off his or her apartment balcony, first at the protesters and later at the Homeland Security riot cops. The bottles didn't hit their targets, but this is not the first time that an angry resident of a nearby building has thrown objects down from an upper story at the protesters or police.

Since the immigration facility is in fact a jail, I understand the processing of the arrests was done there. Federal charges for all, I suspect: if nothing else, the crime of "civil disorder."

In other protest news, the statue of Harvey Scott was toppled in Mount Tabor Park yesterday. Scott was the editor of the Oregonian as early as the 1860's. He was also a lawyer, and opposed to women being able to vote. Mount Scott is named after him, but I suspect that will change in time. The statue had stood on Tabor since 1933.

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  1. In a previous post I took a lighthearted shot at editors everywhere in connection with the Harvey Scott statue. This morning I found myself wincing a little when I thought about my Portland Tribune editor Roger Anthony who died last year. He was the editor who hired me from the ranks of freelance comedy writers and gave me my own column. I had never sold a column before to anyone so it was quite a leap of faith. I'd like to think I delivered for him in return and I worked under a very simple rule: If he didn't like what I had sent him, it was gone immediately. I'd start again from scratch with no back talk. Sure, I bristled internally sometimes but that was the arrangement and I stuck by it. He would also work way harder than I deserved to get some of my columns into shape. He even put one on the front page. I appreciated that but what I really liked was when I'd call to see if the latest version had passed the test. If it had, he'd often just take the phone and say "Ka-ching." The job paid great - $375 per column twice a week - on top of my freelance money from other gigs. At one point I was getting paid by the movie business, newspapers, TV and radio and for a former banquet waiter it was pretty fat. Once I was caught in a cold rainstorm waiting for the bus downtown coming from one of my rare visits to the Tribune offices. It suddenly dawned on me that I didn't have to freeze - I was loaded. I walked over to the Gap and bought a coat for $275 bucks. The other fond memory was when I was on the bus and the guy sitting next to me was reading my column without knowing I was there. All in all it was a magical era with its own frustrations of course, but I can't fault how Roger treated me. So that joke about Harvey Scott was aimed at every editor but Roger. May he rest in peace.

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