Filed under: Editorials, Featured, Repression, The State
Statement from Popular Mobilization in Portland, Oregon about the escalation of police and State violence that this weekend led to one demonstrator being critically injured after being shot in the head with an impact munition.
Since the horrific murder of George Floyd, protests have erupted across the country. For 45 days straight (at the time of this writing), Portlanders have risen up against police violence and demanded abolition and accountability. Throughout these protests, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and federal officers have escalated their campaign of violence and repression to silence those speaking out about their brutality.
To note: some federal officers are carrying assault rifles pic.twitter.com/jTClWJPGXf
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) July 12, 2020
The PPB has embarked on a public relations offensive, seeking to drive wedges between “good” and “bad” protesters by putting out statements about how Portlanders should properly protest against them. Despite the emphasis on “peaceful” protests, the police stood shoulder to shoulder with DHS and other federal agents assaulting large crowds – tear-gassing and beating journalists, legal observers, medics, and other community members. This further demonstrates why we are out in the streets in the first place.
PPB went to great lengths to distance themselves from the feds amidst their PR offensive, but copious video / photo evidence make it abundantly clear…
— PopMob (Popular Mobilization) (@PopMobPDX) July 12, 2020
Concentrated police violence most recently culminated in officers shooting 26-year-old Donavan LaBella in the head with an impact munition. He suffered critical injuries and is in serious condition at a local Portland hospital. This brutality happens far too frequently and took place the same night federal officers charged and beat a group of medics tending to a patient. The senseless authoritarian violence from the PPB and federal officers is not a coincidence; it clearly reflects the rhetoric of Trump and his administration. It reflects the complicity of Ted Wheeler and supposedly “independent” police review boards. It reflects the white supremacist history of US empire.
“Power to the people!” pic.twitter.com/lO4qi4yZtf
— PNW Youth Liberation Front (@PNWYLF) July 12, 2020
But as Portland and so many other cities have brilliantly demonstrated, we are resilient. We will not back down and we are here for the long haul. We will continue to fight beside the most marginalized members of our community. We will continue to amplify the voices of those most impacted. We will continue to support complete liberation for all. Because none of us are free until all of us are free.
To that end, tonight, as in the month and a half of resistance preceding, Portland is united behind a simple truth: BLACK LIVES MATTER!