Never Surrender in Portland, Oregon 

I took these photographs on the night of August 13, 2020.

It was the night that I and a few others got trampled by the charging cops. I took these 4 pictures before my body hit the pavement. I wanted to send these out because they are all story telling images that have come out of the non-stop  resistance against police aggression and brutality that have  plagued America since the beginning of corporate power  against regular everyday people. And, if you happen to be  a person of color in America, you have a spotlight on your  very existence. When George Floyd was executed by a white police officer on May 25, 2020, all hell broke loose.

There is a whole new generation of Americans who have decided  that non-stop resistance is the only way to confront the lethal power structure that is bound and determined to tattoo obedience on their  very souls. That relentless longevity of energy is being acted out in  Portland, Oregon like no other city across this nation. This has really  become a profound awakening of historical precedence. The Black  community only represents 6% of the population in Portland. Most of the demonstrators have been predominately young white people who   are strong supporters of Black Lives Matter. There has been some very effective Black leadership that has guided many of the demonstrations.

I am also seeing a strong white leadership coming to the surface. Not  only are they supporting BLM, but they are also identifying with their  struggle for survival. Many of them are seeing themselves as victims  of a tragic system of violent capitalism that is draining hope in their stressful lives. They are young anti-fascists and anarchists who are sick of the world they have inherited. They have very little respect for the  so-called ” Boomer ” generation, with the likes of Clinton, Bush and Trump.

They see blithering narcissistic monsters who have destroyed their future  with terminal unbridled greed. These young people are going head-on with the police and the power structure they protect. I am going to say this  very slowly: These young people have their entire lives ahead of them, and  they see a grim future, and that is why they are so fucking angry. They are  yelling at the cops to go fuck themselves and the lethal drug injection rules they enforce. These kids are serious, and they stand their ground with great courage. It is amazing how many of them have come up to me and thanked me   for what I said when I confronted the Feds in that video that went viral. They simply identify with me, and that gave them validation. These young people take great  risks every night when they confront the police with their lies. They have such a  mistrust for a political system that suffocates them on a daily bases. They look at the horrifying effects of climate change, war after war, extreme income inequality, and a president who is gutting the EPA, and at the same time is so dangerous that he is killing countless Americans across this country with his lack of leadership involving  the Coronavirus Pandemic.

So, there they are on the front lines every night with their armor on, lined up on the street with their shields side by side. Many of them have been injured by the police, who throw flash-bang grenades, fire so-called non-lethal projectiles that have the potential to kill you, fire tear gas canisters with choking consequences, use pepper spray up close that completely debilitates you, throw people to the ground, often hitting them with batons, and arresting people at random. You got to teach these kids a lesson, let them know who is in charge. And, while this is all going on, the  American Empire of Elders is using our military to kill and steal all over the world.

Corporations can’t make a killing off of peace. And to think, President Donald Trump called these Portland protesters a beehive of terrorism. Keep in mind these kids may not have their whole lives ahead of them. Maybe that’s why they are on the front lines every night.


Mike Hastie served as an Army Medic in Vietnam.