[WSMDiscuss] Portland sees peaceful night of protests following withdrawal of federal troops (Chris McGreal, The Guardian)

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Fri Jul 31 17:21:16 CEST 2020

Friday, July 31, 2020

Viruses in movement…, The US in movement…, Racism in movement…, Resistance in movement…, Politics in movement…, Ideas in movement…

[The US is aflame, its people afire….  Said cautiously, this withdrawal - and return of peace - is great news for the people !  A big victory !

[But what implications this withdrawal has though, for the other US cities that Trump has declared he is sending his troops into (Albuquerque, Chicago, Cleveland, and others…), is not clear from this article anyway.  Some political observers in the US have written elsewhere that it has ‘become clear’ to Trump’s supporters that this action of his – along with others he is currently taking – is backfiring badly, and only strengthening the anger - and movements – in the country against him.  Any comments, anyone – and especially those close to the ground ? :

Portland sees peaceful night of protests following withdrawal of federal troops

Thursday night’s protest passed off without major incident or intervention by the police in the absence of federal officers

Chris McGreal <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/chrismcgreal> in Portland

Friday, July 31, 2020

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/31/portland-protests-latest-peaceful-night-federal-troops-withdrawal?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/31/portland-protests-latest-peaceful-night-federal-troops-withdrawal?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other>

Protesters gather in Portland, Oregon, Thursday, July 30 2020. Photograph: Amy Harris/Rex/Shutterstock 

The withdrawal of federal agents <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/30/federal-agents-portland-oregon-trump-troops> from frontline policing of demonstrations in downtown Portland significantly reduced tensions in the city overnight.

Protesters in support of Black Lives Matter once again rallied <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/29/portland-protests-trump-blm-covid-19-economy> near the federal courthouse that became a flashpoint, and the scene of nightly battles amid the swirl of tear gas, after Donald Trump dispatched agents to end what he called anarchy in the city after weeks of demonstrations.

But in the absence of the federal officers, Thursday night’s protest passed off without major incident or intervention by the police.

On Wednesday, Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, agreed with the White House <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/29/trump-administration-portland-protests-federal-agents> that the state police would take over responsibility for guarding the courthouse after weeks of escalating protests. She said that “Trump’s troops” were behaving like an occupying army <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/27/portland-protests-trump-federal-agents-seattle-anti-racism> in Portland and provoking unrest with heavy-handed tactics <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/27/attorney-general-defends-federal-agents-portland-william-barr>.

In contrast, the state troopers did not intervene even when the scale of the protest on Thursday night passed the point, as demonstrators shook the fence around the courthouse, at which in early demonstrations the federal agents generally fired tear gas, stun grenades and baton rounds.

People attend a protest against racial inequality and police violence in Portland, Oregon, Thursday, July 30 2020. Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

In the absence of confrontation, and with the state police remaining largely unseen inside the courthouse, tensions quickly eased. Without the federal forces to draw attention, protest organisers kept the focus on Black Lives Matters and reform of the Portland <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/portland> police.

Some in the crowd worked to avoid trouble by stopping demonstrators from lighting fires and shooting fireworks at the courthouse as they had done on previous nights.
Dan Thomas, an African American man, stood in the street shouting at people not to cause a confrontation with the state police.

“Attacking the federal building is not Black Lives Matter. Leave it alone. You’re playing into Trump’s hands,” he said.

One woman shouted: “Stupid ass white people only here for their own reasons”.

Despite the concerns of many in the crowd that the Trump administration would not fulfil the agreement to pull back the federal officers, none were seen on the streets.
Trump tweeted that the agents would remain in Portland until Brown brings the protests led by “anarchists and agitators” under control.

“If she can’t do it, the Federal Government will do it for her. We will not be leaving until there is safety!” Trump wrote.

Brown and Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, said the state and city police forces would seek to deescalate protests rather than confront demonstrators.

Wheeler, said that the city’s police, state troopers and county sheriff’s office had agreed not to use tear gas except where there was a threat to life or of serious injury.
“The federal officers are using CS gas broadly, indiscriminately and nightly,” he said. “That is why it is escalating the behaviour we’re seeing on the streets rather than deescalating it, and that’s why this must come to an end.”

Wheeler apologised for the Portland police using tear gas in late May and June to break up Black Lives Matter protests.

“It should never have happened,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Portland police cleared the two parks in front of the courthouse and county jail that served as a staging ground for the protests. Officers then sealed the parks off and marked them as closed. But that appeared strangely provocative and difficult to enforce.

When a few protesters tore down the yellow police tape, and began chanting: “Whose park? Our park?”, the Portland city officers quietly left the park and were not seen again for the rest of the evening.

Federal officers to pull out of Portland in a major reversal for Trump administration

Oregon’s governor says local police will guard the courthouse as the president says the pullout will not begin until the city is secure

Chris McGreal <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/chrismcgreal> in Portland

Thursday, July 30 2020

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/29/trump-administration-portland-protests-federal-agents?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other <https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/29/trump-administration-portland-protests-federal-agents?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other>

Jai Sen

Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net> &  <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>jsen at uottawa.ca <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>
Now based in Ottawa, Canada, on unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) and in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325)

https://movementsofmovements.net/ <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?  (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
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