Protests Continue Against the Fascist Crackdown in Portland



Moms, wearing helmets, linking arms chanted: “Feds stay clear, moms are here.” They weren’t backing down. (Photo: Mark Graves)

This week, in an ominous escalation of fascism, the Trump/Pence regime sent federal agents from multiple agencies to storm the streets of Portland, Oregon, and crush ongoing protests. But protesters in Portland are continuing to take to the streets, going up against tear gas, flash bangs, and vicious attacks. And there have been protests by people around the country who are outraged at Trump’s fascist pigs in Portland.

On Friday night, July 17, people in Portland took to the streets again. Hundreds, including city officials and religious forces, gathered for a vigil outside the downtown Justice Center, near the courthouse. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that across the street, dozens of other protesters dismantled the chain link fence around a recently closed city park. After protesters entered the park, federal agents came out of a building next door and used impact munitions, stun grenades, and tear gas to clear the area. Just before midnight, federal officers then deployed tear gas after some protesters placed dismantled fencing in front of plywood doors covering the entrance of the federal courthouse. The Portland cops declared the gathering unlawful and then joined the federal pigs in advancing on protesters to clear the streets, arresting several people.

Saturday night marked the 52nd continuous day of protests in Portland since the police murdered George Floyd. In the face of days and days of violent fascist attacks by the federal agents and cops, people aren’t getting intimidated, aren’t backing down at all. In fact, protesters are even more determinedly continuing their defiant actions in the streets, with broader forces supporting the protests and speaking out against the government’s repression.

The Friday night protests ended with the feds and cops attacking and arresting people in the early morning hours of Saturday. And then in the face of all this, people came back with even more force on Saturday night. According to news reports, some protesters broke into the Portland Police Association building, set it on fire and started dumpster fires. It was reported that people also took fencing that had been placed around the federal courthouse and made it into barricades. There were tense standoffs between the pigs and protesters. The cops declared the gathering a “riot,” threatening arrests and the use of “crowd control munitions.” When people refused to leave, the pigs moved in, clearing the downtown area, deploying tear gas and flash bang canisters, and arresting several people. Protesters also gathered at the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct where there were reports of people throwing rocks and paint-filled balloons. According to one news report, a video shows cops hurling a flash bang canister, then apparently a tear gas canister at a group of mothers who had come out to demonstrate against police brutality. The video shows the women, wearing helmets, linking arms while chanting, “Feds stay clear, moms are here.” They weren’t backing down.

Also on Saturday, July 18, in Salt Lake City, Utah, people protested at the state capitol and the governor’s mansion to demand a stop to police brutality—according to one news report, there were counter-protesters, some armed, waving American and pro-police “blue lives matter” flags. There have been several such protests in Utah in the last month or so. The ACLU of Utah released a statement Saturday condemning “militarized, state-sanctioned police violence” and calling out the local police for infringing on people’s First Amendment rights.

Refuse Fascism had put out a call for people around the country to protest the fascist federal crackdown in Portland. The following are reports from these protests. Refuse Fascism is planning more protests against the fascist crackdown in Portland so stay tuned.

Friday night protests ended with the feds and cops attacking and arresting people in the early morning hours of Saturday. (Photo: Doug Brown, ACLU/Oregon)

Hundreds, including city officials and religious forces, gathered for a vigil outside the downtown Justice Center, near the courthouse. (Photo: Twitter)

Salt Lake City, Utah, people protested “state-sanctioned police violence” at the state capitol, July 18. (Photo: Yukai Peng_DeseretNews)

New York City

People marched as they stretched the bright orange Refuse Fascism banner across the whole street. They went from Union Square to City Hall, chanting, “Trump, Pence Out Now,” “No Cops No KKK, No Fascist USA,” “No Fascist Police State, November Is Too Late.” And the Revolution Club led the chant “What do we need to get outta this mess? Revolution, Nothing Less!” At the rally, Travis Morales addressed the crowd saying, “You’re walking down the street, you’ve been to a protest. You’re going home then some black van pulls up and four or five guys in camouflage fatigues jump out. They don’t have any identification, you don’t know who they are. And they grab you and they throw you in the back of that van and take you somewhere. And start interrogating you. Let me ask you something, what is different between that and what they did to people in Nazi Germany?” Emma Kaplan from Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club said, “Trump sending in these federal agents. It is a test run of what’s to come. And if they are allowed to get away with this in Portland, they will be bringing it to other cities.”

San Francisco

People rallied in front of the Federal Building. One woman said, “It is time to make time. We have to find a way to get in the way! We have to find a way to make good trouble. We have to find a way to stop what is happening now.... Every day this regime does something to take away our rights, to strip our children of their future...” Another speaker said, “When we talk about driving out this regime, which is a central guiding principle of Refuse Fascism, we have looked around the world and have seen this happen over and over again—hundreds of thousands, millions have gathered in the streets and determined mass nonviolent protests have driven out hated tyrants. It can happen here and it must happen here.”

Los Angeles

People marched through the streets and rallied in front of City Hall. There was a speak-out where different people got up to talk about the horrors of what is happening under Trump, including what the fascist federal police are doing in Portland. And people took the pledge saying, “In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America. We will stay in the streets, we will bring others with us, and not stop until our demands are met. Trump/Pence Out Now!” A member of the Revolution Club addressed the crowd saying, “There is no guarantee where any of this is gonna go. But there is not going to be a normal we’re going back to and there is a possibility that we could wrench out of this a struggle to put an end to the system that gave rise to Donald Trump, to put an end to the system that needs terror by police, how it enforces white supremacy, how it enforces relations of exploitation and exploitation, how it divides people and pits them against each other...”



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