Tag Archives: Portland protests

Portland is hurting … and so am I

It hurts me terribly to watch the city of my birth going through what is occurring at this moment.

Portland, Ore., has become the scene of a terrible, heavy-handed and tyrannical response from some sort of secret security force that is rounding up protestors and taking them … oh, somewhere.

The Oregon attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, saying that the secretive security force is violating the civil rights of those who are protesting peacefully.

At issue, of course, has been the response to the death of George Floyd, the man who died at the hands of police of Minneapolis, Minn. Portland became one of the cities where protestors rose up in a “defund the police” movement.

In recent days, though, the situation has gotten out of hand. Security forces wearing unidentified uniforms have been collecting protestors, throwing them into motor vehicles and taking them to undisclosed locations; the protestors then are released.

It’s a bizarre, frightening and dangerous response from the federal government. Donald Trump has referred to the protestors as “anarchists” and hurled assorted other epithets at them.

Why does this trouble me so much? Well, for starters Portland in many ways no longer resembles the once-sleepy city where I spent the first 34 years of my life … minus a couple of years I was away serving in the U.S. Army.

I got married there. We brought our sons into this world in Portland. We moved away in 1984 to pursue my journalism career in Texas. My family and I have been back many times over the years and I have watched my hometown become a cosmopolitan, vibrant, busy and socially conscious city.

Now this has occurred. We have the president of the United States declaring his intention to “dominate” the streets to make sure the “anarchists” no longer protest. Really? This is happening in the city of my birth?

Watching this kind of jack-booted tyranny erupting in Portland simply hurts my heart.

Protests turn violent … to the shame of many


I guess none of us should be surprised.

Protesters angry at the result of the 2016 presidential election hit the streets to march, chant and display signs.

Then it turned violent. My attention tonight is turning to my hometown of Portland, Ore., where the police and the mayor are blaming the violent turn on those who have “infiltrated” the city, criminals who are inciting the violence and damage.

I am horrified, mortified and embarrassed by what is occurring in the city of my birth and where I spent the first 34 years of my life.


I get that many Americans didn’t want Donald J. Trump elected president of the United States. Count me as one who is unhappy with the result.

But for crying out loud, man, why in the world does that unhappiness have to turn to destruction of property and personal bodily injury?

As I’ve noted before on this blog, marching in the streets ain’t my style. It’s not how I roll. I prefer to register my protest using this venue; I’ll sit at my desk at home, fire up my computer and gripe until I run out of strength in my fingers.

This idea of marchers turning destructive and violent, though, is inconsistent with so-called American values. Indeed, when one thinks of my hometown, one thinks usually of coffee shops, craft beer, the world’s largest used-bookstore, a bustling downtown district, Mount Hood, a lovely riverfront and tall timber.

One shouldn’t think of Portland — or any city in America — as a place prone to violent protest over a free and fair election.