Updated: Mar 13
Last night a mob spray-painted grafitti, smashed windows, and set fires at the Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse in downtown Portland in what will do doubt be described in some quarters as a largely peaceful protest marred by police violence against demonstrators.
A demonstration reportedly began around 8:30 p.m. after the fence surrounding the courthouse since last summer was taken down.
Shortly after 9 p.m., independent journalists tweeted images of smashed windows, burning flags and walls of the courthouse spray-painted with graffiti. A KGW photographer witnessed federal officers using tear gas and projectiles to control the crowd. (KGW, Crowd becomes destructive)
I do not like the use of tear gas and projectiles for crowd control any more than anyone else, but have yet to see someone propose an alternative other than allowing the mob to rampage at will.
It is interesting how often these largely peaceful protests take place under cover of darkness. One might wonder why that is.
More direct action, in other words, disruption, property destruction, violence, is reportedly on tap for the weekend.
This is not protest. It accomplishes nothing to address injustice. It only makes the task more difficult.
Even more disheartening is the silence of liberals and progressives who cannot bring themselves to stand against this garbage. I would far rather be writing about the film festival, the poet Anna Akhmatova, whose biography I am presently reading, or writing my own poems. Conscience and intellect compel me to speak, however ineffectual this may be.
Jennifer Dowling, KOIN 6 News Staff, Elise Haas, Protest erupts outside Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, KOIN 6 News, March 11, 2021, updated March 12
KGW Staff, Crowd becomes destructive outside federal courthouse in downtown Portland; officers deploy tear gas, KGW8 News, March 11, 2021