Repression and Resistance: Week in Protest, December 4-10

Cover Photo by Jared Wenzelburger

“Repression and Resistance” is a column from Tribune of the People that highlights rebellions and repression happening in protests across the US each week. If you want us to cover a protest happening in your city, please send us a pitch.

Olympia, WA

Counter-protesters clashed with members of a right wing rally in Washington’s capital last weekend, where one reactionary fired into the crowd injuring one. Police later arrested 27-year-old Christopher Guenzler, who regularly posted racist imagery on his social media like the Confederate battle flag.

Seattle, WA

On Monday, Judge Richard Jones found the Seattle Police Department in violation of an order to stop the indiscriminate use of pepper spray, blast balls, and other chemical munitions against protesters in four recent cases, but found them warranted in four other cases where the projectiles were “more targeted and proportional.”

This judgment aligns with the changing tactics of SPD to separate the most “violent” protesters from the rest, a strategy endorsed by the federal government where the goal is to crush any opposition against injustice. Over the past few months, officers have switched gears from a focus on crowd control to prioritizing ambush-style arrests of single individuals.

A scene from the May Uprising in Seattle (Photo by Ken Lambert)

Portland, OR

On Thursday, protesters erected makeshift barricades to protect a family from eviction in a neighborhood of Portland facing displacement. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who over the summer took an opportunistic photo op “standing” with protesters, has authorized police to use “all lawful means” to carry out what he deems a legal eviction.

Wheeler has also raised the concern that protesters are trying to establish an “autonomous zone” like the CHAZ in Seattle, but the protesters have denied the allegation, which is likely intended to justify excessive police force in getting protesters and the family off the property. Several protesters were arrested this week but as of this posting the blockade continues.

Photo by KOIN 6

Austin, TX

Last Friday, the Drop the Charges coalition held a rally at the Travis county courthouse to celebrate over 100 local charges related to the May Uprising, an International Working Women’s Day march, and the struggle against the Domain on Riverside being dropped. “We know that this is a great celebration, but we are not blindly optimistic,” one speaker said. “We know that the city is clearing their dockets so that they can levy cases against those who are charged with felonies.”

The group led a march around the courthouse chanting, “We won’t stop, stop the marches! Till they drop, drop the charges!”

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