Portland, Oregon has (in recent history) had a very active army of protesters. Their purposes and messages are usually distorted by their chaotic antics, and at times are outright incoherent.
Anarchists and mobsters usually join the public foray, instigating the unlawful destruction of property and creating dangerous situations for well meaning and law abiding protesters, business owners and employees, and police and emergency personnel.
PROTESTERS, PLEASE BEWARE!
I do NOT want the following tragedies to transpire, however will you hear the following warning?
Please, beware of the possible outcomes of your actions. You are entering an atmosphere in our community when playing with fire just might end up burning you. I do NOT want these things to happen, so please do not erroneously interpret my warning as a threat, or a wish list, or a veiled call for people to revolt against the revolters.
So far, your demonstrations and associated actions have been mostly tolerated by the general public. However, the toleration of SOME citizens is wearing very thin, and they themselves are on the borderline of becoming criminal in their reactions to you. Your destruction of property, your blocking of roads, and even your in-your-face screaming at non-protesters may be met with deadly force.
The next few roads and freeways that you block as a mob tactic, there may be one or two drivers who might genuinely feel their own lives are endangered enough by the surrounding mod to prompt them to plow right through your arm-in-arm road blocks. You may be hurt, maimed, or even killed!
Even if you are convinced in your own mind that you would “never hurt anyone,” your actions are communicating a very different message. Other citizens do not have the privilege of reading your mind and knowing your heart; all they are able to do is look at the mob that is surrounding them with signs on wooden 2×4’s, facial expressions of anger, voices that are loud and incoherent when raised with 100 other voices at the same time, and seeing reports of buildings and vehicles being destroyed.
If you feel the need to demonstrate and protest, then do so with intelligence and common sense, not with mob-sense. If you feel you need to lay your life on the line in order to take a stand, then give your life daily to the productive service of your community and your country. If you insist on using the mob-tactic to announce your message incoherently, don’t be surprised when your friend who is arm-in-arm with you gets run over by a car.
Protesters, please… BE SAFE, and police yourselves. If anarchists hijack your demonstration, find the police and point them toward those who are creating trouble. If the mob gets out of hand, leave! Better to live another day. If your friend gets crazy, be the calming influence for them. You just might save their life!