Vargas: Portland’s swift response to protesters drawing social media support

By Joe Vargas

In a video that has quickly gone viral, police officers in Portland made news for their response to protesters who were blocking traffic in the downtown area of the city on Wednesday.

In dramatic video, the police department’s mobile field force unit can be seen quickly clearing an intersection.  The fast-moving squad charged protesters in a carefully choreographed movement.

The officers tackled protesters to the ground, then took a defensive posture to open the intersection to busses and vehicles.

Spectators in the crowd can be seen and heard affirming the response. One woman gives the officers a thumbs up while another man yells out, “Take them all down!”

Twitter posts by KPTV reporter Kelly Watts show the demonstrators climbing onto passing cars, blocking a city bus and arguing with a passing motorist.

The video has generated a flurry of comments on social media. Most of the comments appear to support the police department’s response.

In an interview with KATU News Portland Police Chief Mike Marsham said: “It’s the folks who want to stop the trains, stop people from getting their kids from school, getting to their job… I don’t think that’s the right way to do it. I think their message gets lost … If they have a message they want to get out, great, we can help facilitate that, just don’t break the law or inconvenience people to do so.”

What do you think of the response? Please join the conversation on Facebook.