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                                                                                                                 *trigger warning: police violence

Portland and Oregon State Police are assaulting and arresting journalists, medics and ACLU legal observers and it is happening in the shadows of Portland neighborhoods.

Much of the national media left Portland when the story of Federal officers clashing with protesters waned.

But the story isn’t over.

It has just shifted and the lack of extensive reporting is dangerous to those on the ground and the public who are not receiving information about what is happening in an American city. 

What just a few weeks ago was a nightly protest in one location—the Federal Courthouse—has now evolved into something that resembles urban warfare. Most recently protesters gather at different locations outside of the city center, often at local precincts or the Police Union building. 

The group is smaller but still significant in number. Contrary to some reporting, the group of protesters often includes mother and fathers, Veterans, school teachers and others from the community. 

Police respond to protesters with gas, "less lethal" munitions and physical force, pushing them, as well as the Press and legal observers, into the surrounding neighborhood. It is there in the streets and on the sidewalks that police are picking people off and arresting them; it is difficult to tell whether it is indiscriminate or targeted. In either case, it is unlawful and has become a nightly occurrence. The later into the night, the more law enforcement seems to act with impunity. 

Not once have I seen any attempt at de-escalation. Law enforcement arrives prepared to brutalize and arrest. 

These images and short video are from the last week. The video depicts the arrest of one young man; (Matthew) was retreating from police with a large crowd of protesters and was pulled from the sidewalk, thrown into the street, pepper sprayed in the face and arrested. 

As a member of the Press I have and continue to be teargassed, assaulted and prevented from doing my job on a nightly basis. Having worked in literal war zones, I've never experienced what I and other journalists are facing in Portland, Oregon. In war there are generally rules of engagement; here the Portland Police and the Oregon State Police are acting with near impunity against protesters, Press and legal observers. 

Numerous journalists have been arrested, a medic was arrested and a legal observer with the ACLU was arrested. All were clearly marked, credentialed and in no way interfering with law enforcement.

Much of the National media has moved on and so every night it is myself and a contingent of other independent journalists and live streamers who spend from late evening to early morning working to photograph and video the use of teargas, "less-lethal" munitions and other abuses of power. This footage is being shared with the ACLU and on social media in an effort to provide people with the ground truth and to hold power to account. 

August 8, 2020 // Portland, Oregon
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Copyright ©2020, Maranie R. Staab, All rights reserved.
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