Monday, June 05, 2017

Portland's Weekend

 

Joey Gibson's "Trump Free Speech Rally Portland" was permitted for Terry Schrunk Plaza directly across from Portland's City Hall. To its north is Chapman Square, where the hardcore masked and black-clad antifa were massing as if for an assault. Here police clear them out with flash bangs. That's the bronze statue The Promised Land, commemorating the Oregon Trail, draped in red flags. Chapman Square was originally intended as a women's only park--a safe space.

All week the city had been preparing in tandem with national and international media by framing this all in light of the commuter train stabbing of two good Samaritans by a local lunatic who had turned up at an earlier pro Trump rally draped in a flag and flashing Nazi salutes. He appears to be more crazy than political--and more left than right politically.
Myself I don't understand the logic of the argument, such as it is, that says the existence of a fatal extremist on my side somehow negates all my concerns and objective analysis. But the city indulged itself, at least in the media, and people seem genuinely unable to see the obscenity of political manipulation in all the competing outrage.

Before Chapman Square was cleared, demonstrators had been taunting each other across Madison St for hours. Before this police warned of slingshots in Chapman Park--but the fruit landed here is the only projectile I saw thrown. Looked like a kiwi:

  

There was speculation within the Trump camp that antifa would attack individuals and small groups as they left. Here Trump supporters cheer as antifa are driven out by police.

 


Schrunk Plaza was boxed in on three sides by counter-demonstrations. To the east, in front of the federal building, massed labor activists. This is the view from there:

 

Here I arrive and toward the end stroll through Chapman Park, camp of the antifa, about two hours before scheduled start of the Trump event. Antifa can be heard rallying for action:



Clashes between rivals after the event were rare. There were a few confrontations as demonstrators on both sides hung about after the end of the rally. Here a woman is pepper-sprayed:

 

Black BLM protesters arrive late (of course) and block a street briefly. You can see me getting harassed by a dindu of the political variety and his masked antifa whitefriend. Luckily for me they weren't nuffin (trying to figure out how to retrieve the sound).

 

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