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More From Portland

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July 20, 2020 4:34 p.m.

This TPM Reader who we’ll keep anon even for initials gives what I think is helpful context for the larger situation in Portland …

As a resident who lives 10 blocks from the conflict zone and has long involvement with some of the actors involved I share observations regarding contextual dimensions of current turmoil:

Recent confrontations in downtown Portland and intervention by federal agents capture our attention but obscure broader, extended tensions that shape immediate developments. There have been a series of fatal encounters between Portland police and our minority communities, and these overlie an array of violent responses to people who are mentally ill. These stretch over several years so the George Floyd murder and similar events came not as shocks but as a renewed provocation. This accounts for the persistence and commitment of many Portland protestors. Ironically Portland police and demonstrators have in many respects work out informal “rules of engagement”to reduce property damage, injuries, and arrests only to have federal forces provoke renewed violence, presumably in their effort to dominate the streets.

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