It has been more than a week since a man was shot and killed in a downtown Portland protest, but since then the violence surrounding the protests has not abated. On Saturday evening, during the riots declared, police-reported that people were carrying daggers, knives, and shields. Police also fired tear gas for the first time in weeks.
Professors at Portland State University said last week’s shooting led to a new phase of protests, which will likely result in more violence before a solution is found. “We are at a point, probably a tipping point towards more violence,” said Ronald Lowe, professor of criminal justice and former police chief. “There are people protesting for days, 100 days, and you see the frustration and violence increase. When that happens, both sides rise earlier, so to speak.”
“Both parties are incredibly frustrated,” he said, “but when it gets like that, that’s where the frustration starts.” “You have to do something different from what we have done in the past.” There’s more temporary fireworks, self-protection, and then you see the police deploying riot gear and equipment, ”Lowe said. “It looks like if there isn’t a major change it will only get worse before it gets better.
Sociologist Randy Plazak says this increase in violence signifies a change in the message, tone, and story of the protest. “The real fight for the dominant message is to take a step back from all of this. There is a fear that we are embarking on something more violent,” Blazak said.
His proposal to prevent further violence is addressed neither to the police nor to the demonstrators, it is addressed to elected officials.
“Until we have a serious solution to this problem, I think it will continue and be tense and scary for a lot of people,” Blazak said.
Source: Katu News