The protesters were fired up as a result of the recent police shootings and deaths of Aaron Campbell, Jack Collins and long term case of James P. Chasse, which have not helped tensions between the police and communities. Sam Adams, Mayor of Portland recently appointed a new police chief, Mike Reese, to try and tidy things up within the city. The police union however is refusing to hold public meetings with members of the communities here in Portland.
The black block was very vocal at all times with chants such as, "What do we want? JUSTICE. When do we want it? NOW!" and "No cops, no KKK, no fascist USA," interspersed with, "No justice, no peace, fuck the police." Members of the public responded by either agreeing with the demonstration or walking up to the police and thanking them for the job they do.
Although the protest was not organised through the relevant authorities the police let the demonstrators have their freedom - apart from blocking the pedestrian crossings when the walk signs were off and keeping people on the sidewalk. They were covertly recording from an unmarked white truck and also brought in marked surveillance at one point. On the other hand, Rose City Copwatch were there to monitor the police as legal observers should anything get out of control.
One window was smashed at a building behind Pettygrove Park. Shortly after this there was an outburst of brutality from the police at 4th and SW Market street as protesters would not get on the sidewalk. One arrest was made.
The march snaked it's way past the City of Portland Police Bureau at 1221 SW 4th avenue and also on 111 NW 2nd Avenue, with the police blockading the entrances with their in the same method they implemented to protect the City Hall.
At SW 1st and Burnside the police stopped the bloc from going over the Burnside Bridge and at one point Officer Clark threw his fist at a protester. There was a brief backlash and the cops used their bikes to forcefully clear people from the street even though they blocked it off in a way that there was little room to manoeuvre.
The tactics of the black bloc and things that shout may seem aggressive or offensive to members of the public, but the issues at stake here for the local communities in terms of safety are huge. More interesting is the fact that the protesters seem to taunt the police and as has been evident at certain times, the police will snap out of control.
For more photos please visit http://www.demotix.com/news/360973/protest-against-police-portland