Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Occupiers are Leaving Portland

Federal Officers Downtown Portland

These last few weeks have been interesting.

...Funny. It's 2020, and I just said "these last few weeks have been interesting".

Anyways, it's been interesting, these last few weeks, seeing a lot of people who are nowhere near Portland, talk about what's been happening in Portland. Towards the beginning of July, Federal agents were sent with riot gear to quell the uprising of militant anarchists and Antifa terrorists who had taken control of Portland, and were destroying the city... 

Only, for me and my wife, as well as many other people around the area, our own eyes told us a different story. We've been all over Portland, both sides of the river, and have yet to find evidence of militant anarchists or terrorists destroying the city. The courthouse in downtown Portland has been heavily graffitied. Images of the graffitied courthouse are what news outlets like to tout as "Portland being destroyed". Anybody unfamiliar with the area, would not necessarily realize that these are images of one building, not a city.

For perspective, here's the city of Portland vs where the courthouse is.

A few days before the 4th of July, shortly after the Feds began arriving, there was a night where shit essentially hit the fan. There was a clash between protestors and Feds, in which some individuals began shooting fireworks at the agents. This lead to the agents taking refuge in the courthouse, inside which a fire was ignited by the fireworks. This is the incident news sources refer to repeatedly, in reporting on the "riots  in Portland". A funny thing that I discovered, was that news sites which prefer to spread the narrative of "Portland under siege by militarized anarchists" liked to word this as "launching explosives", "arson", or "fire-bombing", instead of "4th of July fireworks obviously purchased in Vancouver, because the ones sold in Oregon barely do anything".

Protests have been underway in Downtown Portland, ever since George Floyd's murder. Prior to the Feds arriving, protests had dwindled down to 100 or so people. Since the arrival of the Feds, protests had sprung up to thousands of people, including mom groups, dad groups, grandpa groups, teacher groups, lawyer groups, and veteran groups. Each night, the protest plays out like a big dance party in front of the courthouse, with music and barbeque, until the troops begin launching tear gas canisters into the crowds. People with homemade shields try to volley the tear gas away from the crowds, while dads with leaf blowers blow the gas, quite successfully, back toward the troops. This occurs until the Feds and police emerge from the gas clouds, and begin to push the protestors back. According to OPB, even some of the Federal Officers were admitting that their actions were only escalating violence amongst the crowds.

It can be frustrating seeing know-it-alls all over social media talking about something contrary to what I'm actually seeing. But where it gets particularly "funny" is when people who aren't even in the state  of Oregon try to argue with me about what's happening in Portland. Always with that sarcastic political tone, "And, I suppose the courthouse set itself on fire?" If they were to ask me respectfully to explain it, I would explain it. But if they hold the attitude that what they read on the Internet from their arm chair is more valid than what I've actually experienced, I typically respond, "I read somewhere that they blew off my left arm". To them, what I'm watching in my back yard is just another topic for squabble between the left and the right, just another political game to play.

Trump, from the opposite coast, has even claimed that the moms and dads groups are really anarchists pretending to be moms and dads.

A group of militant anarchists

The part that particularly gets to me, is the attempt to discredit the veterans. Some people speculate that they must be phony, and others call them disgraces. The same people who love to use veterans as political fodder to serve their purposes, claiming to honor and respect veterans, will throw veterans under the bus the minute they no longer serve their political bias.

All that said, no matter what people outside of Portland are saying, or how right they believe themselves to be, Oregon's leadership has finally managed to get rid of the Feds.

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