An anti-police protester, who was attempting to occupy an intersection in Portland, went for a short ride on the hood of a vehicle whose driver refused to stop before spilling onto the pavement.
A short video clip of the incident posted online Thursday shows what appears to be a young male driver being set upon by protesters as he attempted to slowly make his way through the intersection.
As he refuses to stop, protesters begin shouting at him while a few appear to be attempting to strike the driver through his open window.
One protester then hops on the vehicle’s hood, at which point the driver began to accelerate, eventually shedding the protester who falls to the pavement amid shouts as the driver speeds away.
At one point, it appeared as though someone threw an object at the vehicle.
A car just drove thru a crowd of protesters, dragging one on his hood, during a peaceful demonstration in SE #Portland.
— Maranie R. Staab (@MaranieRae) April 30, 2021
Despite the acts of violence directed at the driver, the Twitter user who posted the video, Maranie R. Staab, who describes herself as an “independent” journalist, claimed the intersection protest was a “peaceful demonstration.”
She went on to write: “There seems to be some confusion re: the circumstances here. No one attacked this car. The majority of vehicles (several hundred over the course of approx. 30 minutes) chose to drive around the block rather than confront protesters.
Only this vehicle and several others instead turned and drove into the group.
The man who ended up on the hood of the car was standing there when the car drove into him.
To anyone hung up on the term “peaceful”, I maintain that this was a nonviolent demonstration.
— Maranie R. Staab (@MaranieRae) April 30, 2021
“Only this vehicle and several others instead turned and drove into the group. The man who ended up on the hood of the car was standing there when the car drove into him. To anyone hung up on the term ‘peaceful’, I maintain that this was a nonviolent demonstration,” she added.
Other Twitter users responded that they believed demonstrators were in the wrong for attempting to block someone else from traveling freely.
“Peaceful or not, these people have no right to block people from getting where they need to go. They have no right to infringe of people feeling safe. Intimidation and control is not peaceful,” wrote one.
Peaceful or not, these people have no right to block people from getting where they need to go. They have no right to infringe of people feeling safe. Intimidation and control is not peaceful.
— arya (@aryalove75) April 30, 2021
“Then the driver becoming aggressive in response is justified. Now, if there’s a clip of the driver ramming through a group of protesters unprovoked, that wouldn’t be justified,” wrote another.
Then the driver becoming aggressive in response is justified.
Now, if there’s a clip of the driver ramming through a group of protesters unprovoked, that wouldn’t be justified.
— Jeff S. (@Pro_Libertatis) April 30, 2021
“Yeah they were about as peaceful as the protesters who pulled Reginald Denny out of his truck,” added another user, referencing the man who was infamously dragged out of his vehicle by violent protesters following the Rodney King incident in 1991 and nearly beaten to death.
The incident comes as members of the anarchist group Antifa resume regular violence in Portland after a brief lull following the 2020 election.
Besides attacking police officers, Antifa rioters have lit fires, destroyed storefronts, and attacked bystanders — all of which has led Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese to crack down on demonstrators who commit acts of destruction or violence.
This week, Reese issued a special order lowering jail criteria by authorizing deputies to book suspects into detention who have allegedly engaged in criminal mischief and reckless burning, OregonLive reported Friday. Previously, officers merely issued a citation for such offenses and required people to show up to court; the change was made April 23.
“Once they cross that line and engage in criminal destruction, they are no longer protesters, they are criminals,” Wheeler said Friday during a press conference, in which he asked city residents to help “unmask” black-bloc-clad Antifa protesters who become violent.
After making the same appeal earlier in the week, someone posted a thinly-veiled video threat against Wheeler, which prompted an investigation by the Portland Police Bureau and the FBI.
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