OSU students respond to Portland protests

Protests last Thursday and Friday turned towards violent rioting with police intervention. Students at OSU reacted to these protests. 

Ellie Magnuson Multimedia Contributor

Anti-Trump protests continued with full force last Thursday and continued last Friday in Portland.  After consecutive nights of protesting, the Portland Police Department publicly declared a “riot” due to protest brutality on Thursday.   

Peaceful protests of nearly 4000 people turned violent Thursday night at around 5 p.m., according to CNN, when the situation evolved to include “extensive criminal and dangerous behavior”.

“‘Anarchists’ in the crowd threw objects at officers, vandalized local businesses and damaged cars,” CNN said.

As Friday night progressed, the rioters spread out and caused police to take action; police in riot gear took over a downtown street until after 8 p.m. By 10 p.m., police deployed rubber bullets, tear gas and flash grenades and warned protesters they would be arrested if they continued the riot.

“I saw the riot first hand. Streets were blocked off by the police and SWAT team.  I was with my friends in downtown Portland; we were trying our hardest to avoid the large crowds, but no matter how hard we tried, we still got caught up in the riots,” Tangonan said. “It was honestly all so much to take in mentally; it was definitely a different and slightly scary experience.”

The devolution of the protest-turned-riot has started to take a toll on the residents of Portland as well as Oregon State University students, including Lauren Tangonan, a biology pre-medical freshman at OSU.

“While growing up, I have always traveled to Portland. When I visited Portland this past weekend, it wasn’t the Portland that I knew. It seemed as if it was a totally different town due to all of the riots,” Tangonan said.

Brigitta McVicker, a senior in accounting at OSU, expressed that she finds it “disappointing that people feel the need to disrupt the whole city, when chances are, the people’s day they’re ruining are on their side.”

According to Sebastian Rodriguez, the difference between Corvallis and Portland, such as population size and political ideologies, may work towards creating riots. Rodriguez, a psychology freshman at OSU, believes that continuous riots in Portland are a result of shock and disbelief.

“The place you live or the organization you are part of has a population of people who react a certain way, good or bad. That brings on a certain reputation to the rest of the population,” Rodriguez said. “It is very unfortunate to see that this is the response.”

Corvallis experienced its share of protesting as well, with peace rally taking place on the OSU campus. However, these protests remained non-violent and did not become riots.

For some students, rioting may not be as effective as non-violent protest, according to McVicker.

“I feel like the rioters should channel their passion into something more productive, or perhaps make a statement in a state that was a significant factor in our country’s election, like Florida,” McVicker said.

Although rioting has affected students on campus, Rodriques urges cooperation across party lines.

“This is the progression of how our system works,” Rodriguez said.“However different our opinions may be, this is not the end of the world and we must come together as nation.”

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