Police aren’t going to break up a battle like that because there is a chance they could actually get hurt. It always happens like that. During the LA riots in ’92, Daryl Gates’ LAPD, one of the largest and best-trained police forces in the world, simply walked off the job. The same thing happened during the melee in Charlottesville a few years ago. Ditto the civil unrest during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There was a lot of that during the uprisings last year as well.
By Justin Yau, Williamette Week
Hundreds crowded Tom McCall Waterfront Park on Sunday afternoon for a worship concert held by a traveling evangelical Christian singer and activist named Sean Feucht. The event, guarded by right-wing militants, soon devolved into a street battle between political factions, as Portland police failed to intercede.
As part of Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” tour around the states, the largely unmasked crowd of hundreds sang, waved prayer flags, cried, laughed and jumped up and down to alternating bouts of praise-and-worship music and preaching.
It was the second such worship event on the Willamette riverfront in Portland this weekend. The first one on Saturday saw left-wing counterprotesters disrupt the event with smoke canisters and destroy sound equipment.
But during the Sunday afternoon event, over 40 uniformed men armed with batons and helmets stood on the outskirts as security to prevent the same thing from happening for a second day in a row.
On the outskirts of the crowd, a handful of right-wing and left-wing militant protesters stood off against each other, but it didn’t escalate to violence. The religious event went off without interruption, aside from occasional yelling between the two groups, most of which was drowned out by the loud music. In fact, the two groups both deescalated each other enough to have conversations.