July 28, 2020
Incoming Multnomah County DA Mike Schmidt will be under the spotlight to see if he can make a difference by providing leadership to quell escalating violence between Federal police and extreme protestors. From water bottles to flash grenades to commercial grade fireworks, and toxic tear gas, more people will be hurt as the protests continue in this manner. Moreover, civil rights are being violated.
“No matter what you call it, pulling people off the street and into an unmarked vehicle without probable cause is a violation of the law, and may even qualify as kidnapping,” said PGP media contact Charles Newlin. “We hope District Attorney Mike Schmidt can help Oregon resolve issues at the bottom of the protests: police accountability and systemic racism built into the system, and investigate Federal overreach.”
President Trump’s order sending in Federal agents dressed in unmarked uniforms to “protect Federal property” in Portland, Oregon seems a pretense for staging cruel political theater and fomenting chaos, all with an eye toward the November election.
Reported in local news, the discovery of a bag filled with 4 magazines of ammunition and two molotov cocktails that was turned over to Portland Police, suggests provocateurs are at work to raise the threat level and help rationalize a strong police response to protesters.
The violent protests in downtown, following peaceful protests earlier in evening, center around the Federal Courthouse and the City of Portland Justice Center.
Protests were triggered by the infamous George Floyd asphyxiation on Memorial Day weekend in Minneapolis; highlighted by Floyd’s murder was the earlier “no knock” warrant shooting of Breana Taylor, which adds to the indignation felt in the Black Lives Matter movement toward police violence.
“Let’s not forget the reason for the protests: unaccountable police brutality; and now we have the president playing to his base by trying to appear tough by sending in Federal thugs only demonstrating further the original problem: unaccountable police brutality,” said Newlin.
But the President may have overplayed his hand evidenced by the strong show of support by a growing network of white professional and civic groups showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
This show of solidarity evokes images of the 1960 civil rights marches that had whites marching with African-Americans alongside Dr. Martin Luther King and recently deceased Representative John Lewis.
Pacific Greens of Oregon extends its condolences to the John Lewis family and remind ourselves that the Black Lives Matter struggle today is the struggle of yesterday, and continues the great social justice work Mr. Lewis and Dr. King gave their lives to advance. We embrace Dr. King’s call for economic equity, social justice and demand full federal enforcement of civil rights, and an end to systemic racism.
“Demanding economic justice, which is the cornerstone for building a post-racist society, was key to Dr. King’s legacy” said Newlin. “Reforming the cops to respect human rights of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, has to be part and parcel of a larger package of reforms that should include reparations.”