Video footage out of Portland might lead one to conclude that the entire city is embroiled in one sprawling melee. However, aside from a two block area that resembles war torn Sarajevo, it’s business as usual for the rest of the city as peace and calm reign. Break free of the tear gas, and your senses are welcomed by the scent of fresh baked scones. Turn away from the fires and blinding lights, and have your eyes dazzled by the sight of colorful flowers and festive balloons decorating the shops. In some areas of Portland, the streets even echo with laughter. Does anybody remember laughter?
Such was the scene as rioters and federal agents took time off from pummeling each other to go grab coffee and doughnuts in Portland Tuesday. Witnesses described the gathering as “spirited” as the group mostly swapped war stories from their weeks-long stand-off.
“The doughnuts are on Uncle Sam,” said an unmarked, unidentified federal agent as he passed out treats to the delight of agents and rioters. “Take all you want. The federal coffee and doughnut budget has no ‘holes’ in it,” the agent quipped to a chorus of sarcastic chuckles and groans.
According to witnesses, the group “joked” and “clowned around” as they mockingly recreated scenes from the previous night’s clash. One moment that seemed to elicit howls of laughter from the group saw a federal agent put a rioter in a headlock and smash doughnuts on his face.
Some onlookers questioned whether the opposing sides of such a bitter and important struggle should be carrying on like friends and colleagues.
“Aw shucks, we can’t be sore at each other 24/7,” said one masked anarchist. “Anyhoo, this isn’t our first go around. We’ve faced off against some of these guys dozens of times. After a while, you begin to form bonds and friendships. I’ve been invited to their homes for dinner. I’ve met their families.”
The feeling was mutual on the law enforcement side.
“Hey we just want these kids to be safe,” said one agent. “So we help them out. We check out their helmets, body armor and shields, and make sure all their equipment is functioning properly. Also, after a night of screaming and chaos, it’s important to get together like this and decompress, play cards and chill for a bit. Who said civil unrest has to be a total drag?”
After about an hour of camaraderie and spirited horseplay, the lead agent dismissed the group for the day. “Go home, get some rest and report to the staging area at 2100 hours. Let’s give ‘em a show tonight. The world is watching people. They’re sitting in their quiet living rooms looking to us to show them a path toward peace and justice. So come prepared to fuck shit up.”