By Jason Wilson (July 4, 2018)
I have seen a lot of street confrontations in Portland and elsewhere now. The beat downs I saw last Saturday were among the worst I have seen anywhere.
I don’t want to get into league tables of street violence but the street confrontations were more vicious and plentiful than what I saw in Charlottesville (even though they played out over a much shorter period).
What you see in the video is really alarming. (Those sensitive to violence should know that it’s disturbing content) Several people attacking someone prone on the ground, and refusing to stop when asked (and actually attacking the person intervening). Ask cops, paramedics, or prosecutors exactly how dangerous that is.
People traveled from other states to be part of the Patriot Prayer rally. I counted 60+ people in Proud Boys colours. So where does this situation we have ourselves in the PNW end? I hope it doesn’t end with someone dying. That video shows how close we came to that last Saturday.
I have heard (but can’t confirm) that someone was hospitalised with serious head injuries as a result of a beating on Saturday. We’re getting close to the edge.
People outside the region should pay attention to what is happening here. They should factor it in to any discussions they are having about what is going on in this country right now.
Jason Wilson is a journalist for the Guardian US and Australia, living in Portland.