Okay, folks, it’s time for your (S)PM (S)Portland (S)Protest Spam! Or maybe PM Portland Protest ‘Pam, whatever seems actually clever to you. Because I desperate to be seen as clever.
First up? Videos!
Here, have some video taken from about 40-50 feet away from the south end of the fencing on the west (park) side of the courthouse, before the tear gas action:
I told my BFF that I wouldn’t get more than about 10′ closer for this next one. Apparently I lied, and I probably would have gotten closer still, but my body was shaky and there wasn’t enough room for me to get past people without accidentally squashing someone’s foot flat with my crutch. You can mostly see that there are people up front shaking the fencing – the new, much sturdier fencing that folks weren’t able to remove before the demos started tonight – and you can hear the warnings of FPS. If you didn’t see my post of about 10 or 20 minutes ago, this is incredibly unusual behavior. The feds were not giving warnings before Wednesday night, and this is almost certainly because the mayor was here. They didn’t give a shit about us Tuesday night, that’s for sure. And the impression that this was all about going gentle while the famous people were there would seem to be confirmed by the fact that the feds went gonzo with the tear gas after Wheeler and your friendly neighborhood Crip Dyke both left. Although now that I think about it, maybe it was just Wheeler that they cared about.
So here is the second, closer video, for which you will praise me a second time. Also, too! Please give me a third praise if you’re happy I remembered to hold the phone sideways during filming UNLIKE SOME BFFs I COULD NAME, AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, I THINK YOU DO.
In addition to the health concerns, something else that kept me farther back was that there was no where to sit closer by. When the fence was down on previous nights I could sit on these 2-foot tall pylons right by the door, from where I took this photo:
That pile of black fencing is where you find the door that the feds use to come out at the crowd. I was still sitting right there when the tear gas went off. There are no similar places to sit in the middle of the street or immediately across the street, so my shaky ass was sitting on a bench near the vantage point of the first video and by the time we got to the action with the feds coming out and screaming at us about how feloniously unacceptable we were being, the crowd was too dense-packed for a crutch user to break through.
Sorry, folks, maybe a better vantage point on Friday.