Oregon Public Broadcasting reports Wednesday that black members of Portland’s Black Lives Matter movement are tired of their anti-racism demonstrations being hijacked by the mostly white “Antifa” anarchists and are working to separate the two movements as protests continue.
“Tensions between Black activists fighting for racial justice and anti-establishment protesters have bubbled beneath the surface for months,” the outlet says, noting that many of the anti-racism protests, now in their sixth month, began as peaceful demonstrations but became violent after nightfall, when anarchist groups, who organized on social media, appeared.
The riots, which made national headlines, tainted the Black Lives Matter protests, activists say, and confused commentators who often assumed the violence developed from the demonstrations. Instead, they say, the unrest was wholly separate — and now they want the groups to disentangle.
“This week marks six months since Floyd’s death, and protests continue in Portland,” OPB reports. “But now, activists in the city are divided as to whether they are still fighting in a racial justice movement centered on Black lives, or if an unfocused, anti-establishment fight against capitalism and state power has usurped the initial cause that brought thousands of Portlanders into the streets.”
BLM activists also contend that the largely white “Antifa” group is “privileged,” noting that many of those arrested during the protests are middle- or upper-class, are quickly free on bail, and often escape prosecution — luxuries not often afforded to people of color who tangle with the same justice system. (Read more from “BLM Activists Want to Separate From ‘White’ Antifa” HERE)