Photo by @SmileItsNathan. Front photo by Noah Berger
Protests continue to swell in Portland, where the desperate, racist ghoul in the White House has dismissed "innocent 'mothers'" as "a scam" - he should know - and hysterically argued, "The 'protesters' are actually anarchists who hate out country." Actually, not. Protesters now include steadfast walls of regular people - moms, dads, veterans, nurses, doctors, teachers - all outraged by, reporting on, and sometimes falling victim to "what our government has unleashed on its own people" - "militarized federal troops shooting indiscriminately into crowds of ordinary people." The unleashing comes under what turns out to be the laughably grandiose, stupefyingly distorted rubric of "Operation Diligent Valor." Also revealed: The operation's valorous goons largely come from the Department of Homeland Security's Rapid Deployment Force, a ragtag group of bullies known as "the robocops of border control" for their famed "culture of cruelty" and racism, flavored with zero accountability. After years of corralling and dehumanizing terrified migrants, offers one chilling observer, they've earned the name #TrumpGestapo: "These are his people." Still, while his people keep blindly, savagely arresting, terrorizing and injuring protesters - including journalists despite a court order to stop doing so - pesky patriots keep demanding their First Amendment right to speak up against injustice. This weekend, Virginia neighbors of Acting-Thug-In-Chief Chad Wolf even went to his pastoral home to declare, "We will not be good Germans. We will not be the people who sat by and watched our neighbors commit these atrocities and said nothing because their kids were home."
Back in Portland, the protests feature joyful scenes of bubbles blowing, drums thumming, thousands of moms waving cell phone lights while chanting, "Black lives matter" and "Hands up, please don't shoo-oot" interspersed with harrowing outbursts of violence by out-of-control soldiers. The Wall of Moms, who often put themselves arm-in-arm between them and other protesters - one describes the sea parting for them when they arrive - have been joined by a Wall of Dads with shields and leaf-blowers, a Wall of Vets - "We are here: America, we got you. From coast to coast," a Wall of Nurses, a Wall of Doctors and the stalwart folks of Riot Ribs, grilling through the teargas. The walls seem more solid than the border wall that may or may not have just been blown down by Hurricane Hanna, and much more humane. They feature impassioned attempts at communicating: A black protester who whips off his shirt - "See? No weapons, just conversation. We need answers" - to a white Vietnam vet and army medic who berates the silent camo line for atrocities like those he saw in war. He gets swiftly, savagely teargassed in the face; so does a cancer nurse trying to help another protester. A medic posted grisly photos after he was shot in the chest; a veteran describes the calm before the storm, then adds, in shocked sorrow, "I was flashbanged by my own country today." Trump is reportedly sending yet more troops to Portland, because piling on grievous error is all he knows. But the resolve in Portland does not bode well for him and his goons. Maureen Healy is a 52-year-old mother and the history chair at Lewis and Clark College, specializing in German history and the rise of fascism, who was shot in the head by troops. In the E.R., "It dawned on me - my government did this to me." She goes on, "What happened to me is nothing...compared to what happens to Black citizens at the hands of law enforcement (every) day...That is why I will continue to march."
"I am knowledgeable about the historical slide by which seemingly vibrant democracies succumbed to authoritarian rule. We are on that slide. - history professor Maureen Healy
Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez
Photo by Noah Berger
Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez
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Fuck these guys. And fuck Trump.pic.twitter.com/WDwOKem2he
— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) July 27, 2020
Here is a video of an arrest last night that has already appeared on Twitter filmed from another angle. The feds hold the arrestee down in the gas, for an interminable period of time. pic.twitter.com/bia17Zsx5a
— sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) July 27, 2020
Singing “hands up please don't shoot me” with phone lights on.
Kind of surreal: pic.twitter.com/NtNzeyQR4c
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) July 24, 2020
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) July 26, 2020