Portland protesters gassed by federal officers on advance through city streets, park Monday – oregonlive.com:

Several people who attended Monday night’s demonstrations called for protesters to stop focusing on the federal courthouse.

But that would defeat their purpose.


Myke Tavarres, a former NFL player from Lake Oswego who often speaks at the demonstrations, rallied the crowd. He asked people to leave the federal courthouse alone, because targeting it would not deter federal officials.

“Burning that building down does not help Black people,” Tavarres said.

True, but this isn’t about Black people anymore. 

Tavarres closed out the rally by leading chants of “Black lives matter!” and encouraging people to go home for the night.

People remained at the courthouse next door.

I mean, points to Tavarres for trying. 

You can read the rest of the events of the evening, but it’s basically the federal officers issuing multiple warnings, putting out fires, before finally declaring an unlawful assembly because of fires, fireworks, thrown bottles, and property damage. 

Three points:

1. Protestors, vandals, and anarchists are giving Trump exactly what he wants: A law and order theme for the election. I don’t think this will work, but when people feel threatened they gravitate toward security, and Trump fashions himself a law and order president. (Biden has wisely stayed out of this fray.)

2. Violence robs movements of moral legitimacy. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the late, great John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma only to be beaten by waiting Alabama State Troopers. Scenes of this Bloody Sunday attack led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and crystalized opposition throughout the nation to the racist policies and politicians who disenfranchised Blacks in the South. It is hard to determine if today’s protestors did not learn King’s lessons, never studied them, disagree with them, or don’t care. 

3. It is increasingly obvious to outside observers that confrontation in Portland can be avoided by protesting somewhere—anywhere—other that the federal courthouse and doing so non-violently. It’s also clear that confrontation is what these protestors want.