What I have seen this weekend has been deplorable tactics used in the streets of what many call their hometown. We are experiencing this nationwide. Those meant to serve and protect are quite simply doing the opposite.
I filmed and streamed as much as I possibly could until my arms were sore this past weekend. I saw 75% of these rallies and protests remain peaceful. 25% was caused and started due to police actions. What I saw sickened me to the core. Flashbangs hurled at people. Gas canisters were thrown directly at people and then into traffic so cars could not see where to drive. Rubber bullets flying through crowds no aimed at the ground. No, they were aimed at us. The LRADD was pulled out and for those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s basically a sonic dog-whistle for humans that can rupture eardrums. Finally the use of kettling and ill accurate information. We were blockaded in. Nowhere to run and yet they keep telling us to leave, and every direction there was a swat truck waiting to open fire on us.
On Thursday I saw a dumpster on fire. It was inside a fence in a lot with nothing in it. There were only wooden pallets in it and burning. This burned for 2 hours before the cops were bored and declared an unlawful assembly. Of course, people saw the fire and decided to throw stuff in, its already burning why not. The cops geared up. I walked down the street where all this was and began to open fire with rubber bullets. No firetrucks to be seen. Then the gas canisters came out. Finally the LRADD and thankfully I was not in the direct path of this because even in a side path my brain was ringing until Saturday afternoon. I saw one arrest Thursday. it was a black man peacefully walking through downtown. No ID check just pat down cuffed up.
*I feel this is key to mention here. On Thursday and Friday, the officers were up at the fence speaking humanizing with us. Saturday they were all huddled in the corner waiting for a war they were going to start.
Friday I filmed amazing and beautiful speeches. Songs thousands supporting this peaceful movement. As that came to a close I walked to the Justice Center along with many others. It was peaceful. I spoke with many cops asking questions like “Do you feel racism is an issue in your department” as well as “Do you live in Portland” and “Are you from Portland”. The nicest officer I spoke with was from Alaska who settled in here after starting a family. The protest remained peaceful until they started announcing “This is the Portland police bureau please refrain from touching the fence or throwing projectiles over it.” Now this made a lot of people angry as nothing had been thrown. Things like “we paid for this fence” were shouted. After a couple of hours and these announcements and a still mostly peaceful protest maybe 10 things thrown over the fence, they open fire. They started with gas canisters and filled that whole park with gas. They did a warning announcement consisting of “this is now declared unlawful assembly please leave or we will have to use crowd control devices” however as 99% of peaceful most felt they weren’t doing anything wrong.
I would like to remind our readers that gas is illegal in warfare thanks to the Geneva Convention. However is NOT federally illegal if a group is declared a riot.
They started chasing us down arresting as many as they could. Flashbangs were thrown every which way into traffic no aiming at all. I got out and safe as fast as I could after watching fireworks thrown at swat trucks and flashbangs were thrown back.
Saturday. Saturday was different. Everyone was riled up from the night before. A bigger crowd than Friday. PEACEFUL but fired up. The cops were all back in their corners waiting. Waiting for us to antagonize so they could open fire. They were even filming us to prove they had a right to use the tactics they use. I caught footage of everything thrown over the fence. Even animal feed. Yes, this was done as a joke and meaningless, and who is pig feed going to hurt. They declared unlawful assembly 30 minutes before they deployed gas canister. They had shotten a few rubber bullets at this point. THIS WAS STILL A MOSTLY PEACEFUL CROWD. This is where the kettling became huge. “Go south to leave the area”. Well, South 40+ cops were waiting for people. As soon as the canisters came out cop lights and sirens were coming at us from all sides. “Stay together Stand Tight” was being chanted as we retreated. They pushed us down 4th ave but continued to follow us and fire gas canisters into traffic. As this point, with everyone running I chose to run away no one was turn off my film as soon as I met up with a couple who said: “you’re alone we don’t want you arrested come with us and we can keep you safe while you figure out a ride”.
Now of course I had driven myself but there was a BLOCKADE in front of my car. Now tell me, how are you supposed to leave an area if there’s a blockade every direction waiting to open fire.
I film these things so the rest of the world is with us. I film these acts of peace, of antagonization, and of police brutality because I believe with my white privilege it is my job to do so. These are war tactics being used on our streets. On our own people.
“Serve and Protect”
Our Country at War
By S.S. Slaughter
S.S. Slaughter is a contributing author, you can submit your own article today!