February 22 2017 - Local Black Lives Matter organizer Muhiyidin d’Baha leaps across the yellow police tape to snatch the Confederate flag from the hands of a lonely Secessionist demonstrator in Charleston, outside of a lecture being given by Bree Newsome, queen of the Confederate flag snatchers. [video]
Here’s this week’s weekly spread which is very yellow because I haven’t done a yellow spread for months :))
Also thank you for a 100 followers! Like what? It’s only been a week how is this possible. I love you all and thank you for enjoying my content (well I hope you do haha)
Want an exercise to create character designs? We’ve decided to make a challenge just for that! Each day will include a color, an object or animal, and a genre. Use just one of these each day to inspire a character (or more than one!), or try combining all of them! You can even make an ask meme out of this. The point of this challenge is to have fun and push your creative limit! Feel free to tag us #fightartblock so other people can see what you’ve made!
wrist has three words on it, the first three words you’ll hear your soulmate
say. You think the idea of soulmates is just a bunch of junk, but you’re in for
a rude awakening when you meet your soulmate at your new job at the BAU.
Because you worry you will lose your new dream job, you keep the fact that he’s
your soulmate hidden, pretending as if those three words didn’t exist.
A/N: Thank you
all so much for all the positive feedback! It honestly means so much to me!! Here’s
the second chapter!!
You and Rossi drove to the second dump
site, going over possible theories as you navigated the foreign roads of New
York. When you got to the scene you ducked under the yellow crime scene tape
and took in your surroundings. It was a park, so very public. There was a bit
of snow on the ground, though based on the photographs there was more when she
found until the snow thawed.” You commented, “There was a blizzard the night
she was dumped, which covered the body, that probably upset him, which could
explain why there was the short time period between the second and third kills
than the first and second.”
also be deteriorating.” Rossi added, walking around.
“I don’t understand
what message hes trying to send. He takes average middle to upper class women,
holds them for a week, doing god knows what, but it isn’t torture, then stabs
them, then lays them in very public places. They all had contusions on their
head, so blitz attack, the unsub either isn’t very physically big or lacks the
social skills to lure them.”
agrees, giving the scene another once over before going back to the SUV. As you
began driving back to the local precinct, silence took over the car and you
thought that you couldn’t wait for 3 months from now when you’re settled in and
part of the team. Since they act so much like a family, you felt a bit on the
outside. That is, if you last three months and this soulmate situation doesn’t rear
its ugly head. After a bit Rossi laughed, well not so much laughed but moer so
pushed air through his nose in an amused manor.
know that the Bureau keeps record of what’s on all their agents wrists, right?”
He asks, looking at you with an expression you couldn’t quite make out.
know, I remember them taking a photogr- Oh. You heard, didn’t you?” Your stomach
drops as you realize what he was getting at. Of course your superiors would
know what your tattoos said in case there was a conflict of interest on a case
or for identification purposes.
does this mean?” You ask, hands gripping the steering wheel with white
that depends on how you want to handle the situation.”
even a situation in my mind. Or at least I don’t want there to be. I don’t want
a soulmate. I’m happy with my job the way it is and I don’t want to risk it. I’m
my own person, I don’t need another half.” You say with a sign.
just going to let him keep thinking he’s a Glitch?” You can hear the
disappointment and sadness in his voice. Of course, he would be sad for his
friend, they had been working together for years.
“I don’t know.
I just. I don’t want a soulmate.” You say quietly, a guilty feeling settling in
your gut. “Please don’t tell him.”
bound by laws that say we can’t reveal what anyone’s tattoos say, it’s one of the
strictest rules we have in the FBI, so I couldn’t even if I wanted to.” Rossi
says as you pull into the parking lot of the local police station and you let
out a sigh of relief.
you’re back, what did you find?” Hotch asks as you walk in.
Rossi go over all of the things you noticed in detail, explaining your
theories. Spencer was standing in front of a white board, a map taped to it,
mumbling something to himself and then writing it down on the board, and that
guilty feeling started to rise again. Quickly looking away you grabbed the file
for the case.
why don’t you go talk to the victim’s partners, we have them in the interview
rooms, Reid, will you join her?” Hotch asks after a moment.
internally, though you plaster a normal look on your face and nod, waiting for
Reid to finish the geographical profile before you go to the interview rooms.
Glancing at him you kicked yourself, you have to get over the awkward and guilty feelings, you’re going to be working with him for a long time, hopefully, so you
need to get better at acting normally around him, you tell yourself.
my name is Dr. Spencer Reid and this is SSA Y/F/N Y/L/N,” Reid introduced you
both and you shake the fiancée of the first victim’s hand.
went through the motions of questions, did Angela have any enemies, what were
her habits, where was he last, the works. You ignored the nagging feeling that
was pulling you left, which just so happened to be the side of you that Spencer
was sitting on. It was like your body was telling you to reach out and touch him, but you definitely kept your hands to yourself. Though you hate to admit you moved your chair forward and to the left a couple inches, disguising the leftward movement with the forward one. Maybe if you were closer it would get rid of that annoying feeling and you could concentrate more.
“No, no I
don’t think she had any enemies, everyone loved her. God, I loved her. We weren’t
perfect together like everyone else but we loved each other, we made it work.” The
fiancée went on, tears in his eyes. You frowned, what could he mean by that?
for asking this, but what do you mean?” You ask, leaning forward a bit.
and I met in a support group for Glitches.” He clarified.
Spencer nod, and you see Spencer fidget uncomfortably. After that you finish
the interview quickly, moving onto the next the second victims husband. When
you walked in and shook his hand you immediately noticed that his wrist was
bare, and you frowned. Not only was this man a Glitch, he was a Blank. You
envied him. You glanced at Spencer, wondering if he had noticed the pattern
arising as well, but he didn’t seem to look at the man’s wrist at all. As you
Reid was about to dismiss the man after asking all the routine questions you
quickly interrupted to say that you had one more question for him.
“How did you and your wife meet?”
You ask, hoping that this could give you at least some direction.
“We uh, we met at a group for
Glitches.” He said as he held up his wrist you then thanked him for his time
and he left.
“Both of the couples so far met at the
support group, we should ask the others as well.” You say quickly, “It could be
where the unsub is meeting them.”
“I agree, good catch,” Reid says with a small smile, but you
noticed he didn’t make eye contact with you.
Soon enough you found out that out
of the four couples, all were Glitches, all four of the four couples met at support
groups. When you explained this to the team, they immediately called Garcia
asking about all the support groups in the area. Glitches weren’t that common, only
about one per million people, and New York state’s population was just under 20
million people, which meant there were about 20 Glitches in total. Garcia found
two support groups, both in New York City, but dozens of online forums.
Together you came to the conclusion that the unsub may be a Glitch as well,
possibly murdering these people because he was jealous that they were happy
even without a soulmate.
“We should have two of us go
undercover and go to the meetings.” Morgan suggested.
“I agree,” Rossi said next.
“I can go,” Prentiss volunteered
with a shrug.
“Your script isn’t very believable
as a Glitch though, Prentiss, like you said before, it is a pretty common
sentence.” Morgan said with a sign, “Maybe JJ or Y/L/N could go, her is more
“I can go.” Reid said suddenly,
catching everyone’s attention.
“I could do it as well.” JJ gave
Spencer a quick glance.
Luckily the team didn’t have to
wait long because the first support group met that night at a local community
center. JJ and Spencer were fit with wires, and instructed to go in with a
story already set to explain how they were Glitches and that they made a pact
to go to the support group together. Hotch, Prentiss, Rossi, Morgan, and you
all waited outside in two surveillance vans, listening in on the wire. You watch
as your teammates walk into the building, hoping that they would be able to
find something out about the unsub.
“Hi, welcome to GA, Glitches anonymous, you two are
new, what are your names and script so we can get you a name tag?” You heard
someone greet. You stopped your jaw from dropping as your heart beat quickened,
did they mean what you thought they did? Reaching up to tuck hair behind your
ear you notice your hands are shaking. Glancing to your other teammates you
make eye contact with Rossi for a second before you tear your eyes away.
“Excuse me?” JJ asked, Reid staying
“Your script, what’s on your wrist,
in order to build trust, we all write down what’s the first things we heard our
soulmate say to show that we are willing to be vulnerable.” The person obviously
running the support group explains.
“What if you’re a Blank?” JJ asks,
obviously trying to give Spencer and out so that he doesn’t have to say what
his is over the wire.
“Blanks are so rare, we’ve only had
two in the 20 years we’ve been around. A lot of people like to claim their
Blanks so they don’t have to write it down but we also always roll our sleeves
up to keep everything out in the open. So, what are your names and script?”
“Im JJ, mine says ‘you must be’” JJ
conceded, holding her wrist out.
“and you, sir?” You subly tried to
take deep breaths to calm your heart. They were all in the room when you told Garcia
that you love coffee, they would all know immediately.
“Uh, Im Spencer and uh,” He pauses
and coughs uncomfortably, you glance to your teammates, who all look like they
pity him as they listen. He had been working there for about a decade now and
he never revealed what the words on his wrist said. “My script says ‘I love
A/N: thank you! I love writing these. I decided to do another Sherlock one. This hints a slight Sherlock x reader romance but it depends on how you interpret it. Otherwise, romance is not intended.
“Hello, my people!” You called from downstairs. You dragged your suitcase through the door. You had decided to take a holiday and now you had returned to your lodgings at 221B.
“Huzzah,” Sherlock groaned and rolled his eyes. “Y/N is back.”
John chuckled. “You love her really.”
“I don’t love, John.”
“What did I miss?” You asked as you entered the flat, your luggage trailing behind you.
“Nothing much,” John said smiling. He stood up and hugged you.
“Well it’s good to be back.”
“Yes, for some people,” Sherlock muttered.
“What’s that, Sherlock?” You replied and put your hand behind your ear. “Sorry, I couldn’t hear you as I was too busy looking for the fucks I give.” John chuckled. A grin formed on your face. “I’m kidding. I’ve missed you.”
“I suppose I’ve missed you,” Sherlock sighed.
“Awe! Bring it in, Sherly!” You walked over to him and hugged him tightly. This received another eye roll from him.
“Y/N, I don’t think physical contact is necessary.”
“Yes it is!” You hugged him tighter which made him very uncomfortable.
“Yes… Well then…” His phone buzzed. He whipped his head around to the direction of his phone, which was laying on the table, however he couldn’t see the screen from where he was. "John! We have a case!“
"Yep!” You said after you let go of him and phone. “Lestrade just sent you a text. Oh! How fun! I’m coming too!”
“You’ve just got home!” John pointed out.
“But I’ve missed this!” You spun around. “Come on, let’s go!”
The detective, the doctor, and their fabulous friend (this was you of course) arrived at the crime scene like the three musketeers. Sherlock lifted up the yellow tape for John and yourself to go under.
“Morning, you lot,” Lestrade said. “Hello, Y/N. How was the holiday?”
“Good,” You replied with a smile. “Glad to be back though.”
“Oh look!” Donovan announced as she walked up. “The bitch is back!”
“Ah!” A smirk formed upon your face and you turned to face you. “One person I haven’t been looking forward to seeing. Still shagging everyman you find?”
“I don’t sleep with everyone. Ugh! You’re so annoying.”
“Hey, it’s not my fault that you’re a fucking whore.”
“Alright!” Lestade announced as John and Sherlock tried to stifle their laughter. “Calm down.”
“Sorry,” You responded. “I just don’t like this constant inhaling exhaling thing she’s got going on.”
“Right, Y/N!” Lestrade threw his arms up in the air. “I hate to have to do this but you have to leave.”
“I can’t have you arguing with Donovan all the time.”
“My boys are back!” You shouted as you heard the door below shut.
“You need to stop arguing with Sally!” John called as he climbed up the stairs after a successful case. “One day, Lestrade will stop you coming to the crime scenes altogether!”
“‘Sally?’ I didn’t realise we were on a first name basis with her.”
“Shorter than Donovan. Easier to say.” John entered the flat after Sherlock.
“You haven’t even unpacked,” Sherlock noted.
“No,” You replied with a smile. “I guess I’m too eager to jump back into the action.”
I was really trying end this series by Part 30, but I’m not so sure that will happen now, sorry guys.😱
Blood was pumping through your
veins viciously. You tried taking a few deep breaths but it still wasn’t
working. Your head was spinning, you were going absolutely crazy. Baekhyun was
laughing maniacally on the floor behind you. Jongdae’s hands were down a random
woman’s knickers and he wasn’t even trying to hide it, Yixing was staring at
you spitefully and Minseok’s private party for two was just about coming to an
end. Your vision was becoming blurred and you realised it was because you were
“Y/N, don’t stand there you’re
not making it any better for yourself.” Yixing put his glass down in the middle
of the corridor and held his arms out towards you, looking at you through
“Get off of me!” You spat,
pushing him away from you, and accidentally knocking the glass on the floor
You saw Sehun entering from the direction of Chanyeol’s room, he looked sober
so you had assumed that he stayed home tonight instead, he was stood there
leaning against the wall with his hands folded across his chest, smiling smugly
at the scene unraveling in front of him. You stared at him through angry eyes,
the fact that this was satisfying him right now was making you sick, you were just
about to go over there and give him a piece of your own mind when the door
beside you opened.
A lady with long dark hair walked out, heels in her hands and red lipstick
smeared across her face. You looked at her in disgust, taking extra note of the
dark hickeys that were left behind on her neck. She walked past you , looking
down at the floor making her way out of the house, when she was called back,
she stopped in her tracks and spun around looking at the door.
“Melanie. You forgot something
sweetheart.” Minseok popped his half naked body around the corner of the door
dangling a pair of electric pink knickers from his index finger. The woman
laughed shyly quickly running over to Minseok and grabbing her knickers from
his finger, making sure to plant one last sloppy kiss on his lips before
leaving the house entirely. All the while you were seething with anger and
jealousy. Your breathing was becoming progressively louder and violent. You
lifted your head up slightly to look at Minseok, a tear escaping your eye. But
he returned your gaze with a blank stare. You stood there staring at each other in silence for a few seconds. He then graced you with a cocky smiled and disappeared behind his door, locking it from the inside.
“I hate you Minseok, I fucking
hate you!” You screamed banging on his door, you had never been so angry in your
“What did you expect? It’s Kim
Minseok.” Yixing scoffed, walking away slowly to the living room.
You stood there standing at the door, panting. You couldn’t take it anymore;
you had it up to here with this house and everyone in it. Baekhyun was right;
you couldn’t trust anyone in this house. Right now every last one of them made
So you ran. You made a dash for the front door and you ran as far away as you
could from that hell hole of a house. Baekhyun and Yixing were too intoxicated
to catch you anyway; Minseok was probably too busy dreaming about what a fun
night he had. Jongdae’s tongue was too far down some ladies throat to even
recognise you were missing and Sehun probably didn’t care. If he did chase you,
he’d kill you and honestly right now that sounded like bliss, so yes you were
praying that Sehun had gone to retrieve a gun in order to hunt you down. But
for now you would just keep on running as far as your legs could take you.
Your legs had apparently ended up
taking you home, to your apartment. You buzzed yourself into the main building
pressing the codes on the keypad and carefully walking down to your flat, but
when you reached there was a yellow tape stuck across your door.
Police Line Do Not Cross
You smiled to yourself for a
moment. So this did mean that they were looking for you. People cared about
your absence. But you frowned again, knowing that you couldn’t go in, that
would only complicate things and you’d have to explain where you had been. You
hadn’t thought too far ahead to lie about that sort of thing yet. But you so
desperately wanted to see your family too. The inner-conflict was stirring
about in your chest, but you decided to leave before you would be seen. Maybe
you would reach out another time, when you thought out a ‘legitimate’ believable
You exited the apartment building
and carried on down a long dark street. You were cold and wet and regretting
what you had done now, maybe you acted too rash, but you couldn’t go back, not
now, not ever. And why would you anyway, they treated you like trash. It was
hell in that house, your best friend apparently wanted to be your lover and the
man that you were starting to become interested in had just had sex with
another woman, so where exactly did that leave you on the map.
Your stomach began to rumble deeply, it was just at this point you had realised
how hungry you were. You were also scared and alone, but there was nothing you
could do about it. Turning left, you began to cross the road to the other side
of the pavement; you weren’t really sure where you were now the area didn’t
You heard a car in the distance slowly driving up behind you; you thought
nothing of it, until you recognised the headlights were not moving anymore, the
car was stationary. Confused and scared you turned around to look at whom it
was, but you couldn’t see properly as the lights were shining bright into your
eyes. You could just about make out a car door opening, but nobody was coming
Your heart beat began to quicken as you took one step back. Two steps. Three
You spun around facing the opposite direction of the car, running as fast as
you could, panting heavily, the engine of the car began to rev and it was
chasing you further down the road.
But then you crashed into a tall gate, it was a dead end.
You were going to have to climb it, you concluded. Wasting no time you put your
foot in the gap and began climbing as quickly as you could, the headlights of
the car were still on you but the individual wasn’t attempting to follow you up
the gate. You had just about reached the top, you were going to be okay. When
all of a sudden you felt a painful force, causing you to involuntarily let go
of the gate and hold your stomach, you tumbled 8 feet down to the ground
landing on your back, screaming in agony you, pulled your hands away from your
stomach and brought them up to your face, to see them covered in blood.
You had been shot.
“Sorry pumpkin, did I hurt you?”
You heard a voice chuckle; footsteps were scraping across gravel approaching
you. The voice sounded eerily familiar. But before you could even think about whom
it belonged to a sack was being placed over your head and liquid being poured
into your mouth. You were becoming drowsy and you couldn’t tell whether it was
because of what had been poured into your mouth or if you were dying, but your
vision had eventually blacked.
He rushed down to the kitchen
where Kyungsoo, Junmyeon and a now drunken Chanyeol were sat.
“Why are you drinking so much, what happened to you?” Sehun, frowned at
Chanyeol, pulling the glass away from his lips and banging it down on the
table. He hated seeing the boys drunk, especially when he wasn’t drunk himself,
as the youngest he felt as though if he was in check the rest of the house
should also be in check.
Junmyeon rolled his eyes, standing up from his chair and walking towards the
exit. “I better go clean everyone up. I’m sure Baekhyun’s a bloody mess, I can
hear him from here.” He took a bottle of water that was sitting on the side and
left the room.
Sehun turned his attention towards the two remaining men in the room.
“So… slight issue. Y/N, she ran
out of this house. I have no idea where she went.”
“Hmm?” Kyungsoo lifted his head
from his hands that where crossed over the table.
“Yeah I was going to run after her,
but then Yixing passed out on some broken glass and I had to clean all of that
up. Do we tell Junmyeon, what do we do? Chanyeol are you even listening?”
Sehun grunted, poking him in the forehead with his index finger. Eliciting a
deep growl from the depths of Chanyeol’s stomach, he was so drunk he wasn’t
able to properly understand what Sehun had said.
“Why would she run away? Surely
she’ll be coming back soon.” Kyungsoo raised his brow at Sehun, who was shrugging
“I think she left because of this
whole Minseok shit that Yixing was talking about. I know she’s been getting
close to Minseok lately.” He rolled his eyes, still not keen on the fact that
she was becoming attached to the person he was closest to in this house. “I
doubt they’ve had sex, I don’t think Minseok would rush into something like that, not
if she isn’t a whore, but maybe it’s possible that they’ve kissed. By the way
Yixing’s going on about it all, I suspect he tried it on with her too. You know
what Yixing is like when it comes to romance Soo, so what do we do?”
Kyungsoo drummed his fingers against the kitchen counter momentarily, looking
from the exit back to Sehun.
“Let’s go, we’ll send Junmyeon a
text.” He stood up from his seat, following Sehun out of the building.
You woke up by the sensation of
ice cold water being thrown over you. You jolted upright but fell flat on your
back again at the searing pain of the gunshot wound in your abdomen. You looked
down at your stomach. You were stitched up, but your body was shaking violently
due to the cold water being thrown on you and the intense pain you were
experiencing. You also noticed that you were bound by rope and were left in
only your bra and knickers. You tried to shake yourself free of the ropes, but
it was no use. Instead you just began coughing up blood and some type of black
liquid, your eyes widened at the sight, what was going on.
“You took your damn time to wake
up.” That eerily familiar voice said again, looming over you and revealing his
You opened your mouth to speak,
beg, plead. But instead you were being burnt with a hot metal rod that was
being pressed against your gunshot wound; he then poured a bowl full of ice
cold water above the burn. You screamed out in pain, the extremes of the
sensations that you were feeling right now almost causing you to pass out.
“What a coincidence, that we
bumped into each other on this lovely night?” He smiled down at you smugly. You
could hear his heeled boots tapping impatiently on the floor and it felt as
though it was increasing the pain that your body was feeling.
“I have no proof but I know you’re
the one that killed the professor.” His face changed, into something much
darker and sinister then before, sending more shivers down your spine than the icy
water had. “And you see, now you’re paying for what you’ve done; only I’m
giving you an option. I’ll give you a chance to get out of here alive if you
tell me everything I would like to know.”
You tried freeing yourself from
the ropes again but failed for the second time. Coughing again, you covered
your mouth with your hand, looking at it and seeing blood and the black
substance. As if reading your mind Red answered your unspoken question.
“It’s black cyanide. I’ve
poisoned you and I won’t give you the antidote until you give me the
information I need. If I were you I’d hurry along, you don’t have much time.”
He smiled at you in the most demonic way.
“So tell me, Kai. He’s secretly working for Genesis isn’t he? He’s double
crossed me hasn’t he?”
You kept your mouth shut, your
eyes darting backwards and forwards, you weren’t Jongin’s biggest fan right
now, but you were not going to rat him out either, so many innocent people
depended on the work that Genesis were doing and Jongin was one of the main
reasons as to why the boys had been successful in their raids and ‘missions’
“No.” You managed through gritted
“So we’re going to do this the
hard way? Fine…” He sighed sarcastically walking to the opposite side of the
room that you were laying in. “In here, now!” You heard him shout, suddenly a
door opened silently and a tall, slim man came running in. His eyes were sharp
and his nose was long. He ran up beside you pouring some ice water on your
body, making you scream out in pain again, your body was slowly beginning to
fit and you were crying hysterically. He was looking at you worriedly and
biting his lip anxiously as he kneeled down beside where you were laying.
You began shifting against the ropes again, but to no avail only resulting in
vomiting of blood and cyanide again.
“Stop moving.” The man whispered
in your ear, only loud enough for you to hear. “The poison spreads faster when
you move, you’ll shut down quicker, so keep still.”
You frowned why was he telling you this. You looked over at Red, who was busy
doing something in the far corner of the room, turning your attention back to
the man you frowned at him again.
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Listen I’m trying to help you.
By all means if you want to die in the most painful way possible, carry on
wriggling about. I’m trying to get you out of here so do as I say, you’re lucky
I’m the one that’s on duty.”
“Who the fuck are you?!” You
hissed, looking up at Red to make sure he wasn’t listening or watching. “How
can I trust you, I don’t know who the heck you are.”
“You do know me, at least you’ve
heard of me and I know you Y/N. Now shut up and do as I say.”
“No, who the fuck are you.” You
were not having another man trick you again, you put trust into a household of
nine men who had let you down, it wasn’t going to happen again.
He rolled his eyes, looking down
the bridge of his nose directly in your eyes.
It is important to know the political and physical geography of today’s events.
First, there were five distinct groups.
The Trump supporters were based in Terry Schrunk Plaza. They tended to wear flags, fatigues and red Trump hats. A handful of minorities were present.
Surrounding them were four different groups.
A peace group began their protests outside Portland City Hall. The diversity in this crowd ranged from different ethnicities, to clothing, to age (young children and their parents, teenagers, millennial, boomers, and a group of 80+ year olds who have been part of Portland protests for decades.) By 11:30, when I arrived, City Hall walkway and the sidewalk in front were packed, making it difficult to walk along the sidewalk. The crowd shortly was filling one of the lanes of traffic along 4th avenue. A number of religious and ethnic community leaders gave speeches. Chanting and loudspeakers were directed towards the small group of Trump supporters who came to the west end of the park with signs and flags. This was, by far, the largest of the anti-Trump groups.
On the east side of Schrunk Plaza a group made up of Union members and an older crowd with a megaphone taunted the Trump supporters closer to the stage in the plaza. The chanting was robust from both sides.
And in Chapman Park there were two groups, though at times difficult to distinguish between them. The color of the day was black. Some were covered head to toe. Others wore t-shirts with slogans attacking both the Trump administration and the Portland police. There were a number in the park who were there to protest the Trump rally and call for peace. And then there were those itching for a fight: Angry at Trump, his supporters, the media, and the Portland Police. Perhaps especially the Portland Police.
The largest area with direct contact between the opposing protestors was between SW 4th and SW. 3rd on Madison. That is where the largest conflict occurred. It made sense this was the area that police heavily patrolled. A concentrated line of police in riot gear spaced just a few feet apart, three to five feet off the sidewalk. At times one lane of the street included patrol cars or vans with running boards and handles on the outside that acted as transport for twelve or more police. One lane was always open to cars on SW 4th, 3rd, and Madison. That made it easy for police and security teams from at least three of the groups to ask, (Yes, “Ask”, This is Portland) people to stay out of the street. Those in Chapman Square, Schrunk Plaza, and along Madison Street had either a barrier of police in riot gear or yellow police incident tape to show them where the demarcation lines were.
Perhaps the most obvious part about the Portland police presence was whom they were watching. The anti-Trump demonstrators outnumbered the Trump rally by estimates of 20:1. And the police approach was clearly that Trump supporters were considered in danger. Police stood facing Chapman sometimes shoulder to shoulder. To the east and west of Shrunk Plaza they were not as concentrated, 8-10 officers with one or two facing the Trump supporters. The rest focused on the peace group at City Hall or the union chanters at the Federal building.
That focus was commented on constantly. Along with those comments was a memory of the action several weeks ago when buses were ready to transport Trump marchers back to the starting point when they marched through a multi-ethnic neighborhood chanting anti-immigrant slogans. No riot police presence was evident then, so police are seen as protecting Trump supporters while aggressively agitating those against the Trump administration.
About 30 minutes before the scheduled end of the Trump rally things began to change significantly.
I stood at the Northwest corner of SW 4th and Madison starting around noon. I could see straight down the line of the police facing Chapman Square. I could also see the peace groups gathered at City Hall and the small contingent of Trump supporters in constant shouting. I could see into Chapman Square itself only a few feet. Lots of black clad people concentrated in the SW corner of the square, making it hard to see much in the center.
It was a busy corner.
For a time, there was almost a joyous atmosphere to the crowd. But it was not without its tension.
At one point, as I was talking to a friend, a group of Trump supporters carrying various flags and paraphernalia came through the crowd outside City Hall. They made it a point to shoulder their way pushing people. When they got across the street, one of them had his red hat knocked off of his head. It fell to the ground and a heavyset black clad fellow in his 20’s grabbed the hat and started to walk away with it. My friend intervened and told him, “We don’t do that,” effectively de-escalating the incident and sending the anti-Trump guy across the street to Chapman Square and the Trump supporter on his way north on 4th.
A white truck circled the blocks several times. It seemed to want someone to get agitated as it constantly sped up to trap people in crosswalks.
A number of individual incidents took place with police isolating people for a time and searching bags, taking away poles, and then releasing them.
Then the scene got intense around 3:20.
Scores more police arrived with insignia from several agencies. A loudspeaker announced the “Because of Criminal activity, people need to move to the center of Chapman Square.” Something had happened. We could not see what that was from the corner next to the Portland Building.
Standing where I was, NOT in Chapman Square, across the street, I figured I’d be able to watch the situation. But that was not to be.
As I stood there, I was suddenly pushed by a Police officer with a baton telling me that I had to move. I said, “the announcement said people in the Square. I am not in the Square. And I am observing as an elected official.” (I had my little magnetic nametag on my right side of my shirt.)
His response was to say, “Hello Lew. We’ve met. But you still need to leave this area.”
So I started walking north along 4th watching the Square.
It became clear that more was going on there. Within a few minutes several large reports rang out. Smoke of some form was evident. Angry voices rang out across the park. I could see batons being swung. I could not see whether people or objects were being hit. I called to one of the activists I saw in the center of the square to come my direction. He was helping a woman who was clearly disoriented and upset. They came under the chain that surrounds the park and into the sidewalk and street, yelling at the police for what was likely tear gas or pepper spray of come kind.
What sounded like a series of pellets being fired could be heard.
The next announcement said that police had been assaulted and that the gathering had been declared illegal.
Eventually the line of police stopped a few feet in from Main Street while still in Chapman Square.
By that time I’d seen a number of water bottles and rocks thrown at the police. I did not see who threw them. But they landed near the front of the police line.
A new announcement said Lonsdale Square had also seen criminal activity and that it too must be cleared.
I started walking that way. At one point a group of folks threw several newspaper vending machines into the center of the street. Then came several orange cones.
Remembering the fire that was started at the May Day march, I walked directly over to the growing pile and stood there for a while. A masked friend from the crowd yelled at me to watch out because tear gas weapons were pointed at me in the center of the street. I decided to stand there a while to see if anything more would take place. Nothing did.
I left to go closer to the stand off line.
There a few individuals were yelling at police. One attempted to get others to join him at the front of the line. It was only marginally successful.
But something had changed.
The large group of black clad people gathered to march north along 4th.
The police line dispersed and moved back to the Madison Street location.
I looked down 4th to see the group chanting and heading towards Morrison, possibly Burnside, with Police in pursuit.
(Note that because 4th and 3rd avenues had been blocked, the peace groups at City Hall and the Federal building were separated from the smaller groups in Chapman Square. I wonder how they would have handled the pushing and shoving. Some folks had simply sat down in Chapman Square, only to be moved forcibly with batons.)
By this time the Trump rally was officially over.
It was clear from looking across the street that those in Schrunk Plaza were agitated and looking to the police for directions out of there. Those directions had a small number walking out the SE exit and up Jefferson Street.
I walked up to City Hall. (Hearing along the way from ACLU legal observers that flash and tear gas canisters had been used around 4th and Morrison and that the group had been surrounded and everyone arrested.)
At City Hall the numbers had diminished somewhat, but the enthusiasm had not. Chants were still going.
I do not believe the group at City Hall knew that the Trump rally had ended until police started letting a larger number of folks out of the Plaza on the west side.
Anti-Trump demonstrators formed a gauntlet for them to go through for a time on the corner of Jefferson and 4th. There were a few punches thrown before police broke up that gauntlet. Only to see another one form half a block down. And then still another skirmish in the next block. That seemed to be the case along a path that went several blocks south and then doubled back on 5th avenue to the Portland building.
By the time I got to Madison again, a pepper spray incident had taken place involving the police. Demonstrators were treating several people, including a photographer.
As I left down town I unsuccessfully tried to find the larger group that had moved north. Helicopters were circling. I did not find them. But I saw both brief skirmishes and measured conversations taking place throughout the downtown.
Take a ways:
If the message was that Portlanders reject the Trump agenda, that came through loud and clear.
Were the Black clad folks heading into the streets to create more problems? Possibly.
Did Portland police give clear directions? No.
Was the strategy simply to move the more volatile elements away from each other before the end of the Trump rally? Well, that worked.
I’ve been told that at least one brick was thrown at police prior to the closing of Chapman Square. That would likely be grounds for some action. Was it over reaction?
Did the isolation approach work for the five rally groups? The peaceful groups continued to make their views clear. At what cost to future demonstrations? I know one former state senator who lost a great deal of respect for the Portland police after being manhandled and tear gassed while standing in what she had been told was a safe place to be.
I have not seen the media coverage beyond one article that spent ¾ of the time talking with and about the Trump supporters. I get it. The huge numbers of people protesting them were there because of them. And I think it was also likely that the reporter had not met or talked with that group before. I’d also say that the reporter decided to lump all of the protestors in one easy meme rather than understand the differences and how that played out on the streets and parks downtown. And of course the adrenaline spikes when there is action. Understanding the deeper issues or differences takes time for broadcast news and greater history and awareness for print. These days’ reporters are given neither time nor support for providing context.
Finally. It, frankly, could have been a lot worse.
Lew Frederick, Oregon State Senator (via Facebook)
The only sound heard was the motor of the car, the gears shifting accordingly as street lights passed just a pace slower than your heartbeat. You were thankful you weren’t driving, you were so cold and shock-still you couldn’t even see the road. He tittered, making your heart skip remembering Jerome was beside you. Not because of some kidnapping or as a partner in crime, but because you saved him. You saw Theo grabbing the knife. It was instinct. You saw someone in danger and you didn’t think who it was before wrapping your arms around his chest as Theo raised his hand, and you yanked Jerome out of the way. The whole room blinked, everything paused to take in what happened.
A cold hand, one of delicate fingers ran down your cheek as Jerome started up a great laugh. Barbara pulled in from the back seat close to you, “You’re alright Kitten.” She kept petting longingly as Jerome’s victorious laughter shook through the car. “I told you, underneath it all, you’re one of us. You’ve always been one of us.”