A Portland resident who is black and lives downtown a block away from the Justice Center thought the nightly protests had been completely peaceful. Then he attended one and had a rude awakening.
Gabe Johnson, a 48-year-old black man who served in the Marines, now says that Portland police should use any means necessary, including force, to sweep the riots off the streets and end the nightly violence.
In an interview with PJ Media, Johnson said he considers himself a patriotic American, and that the United States flag should be a symbol of unity for all Americans. He laments how some have turned it into a symbol of racism and division, especially in Portland.
Last Saturday night and into Sunday morning, Johnson says he was in bed trying to sleep, but the noise kept him awake. He counted 82 explosions disturbing his sleep. Then, with his air conditioning running and bringing in air from outside through the vents, he was suddenly immersed in tear gas from the street below. That’s when he decided to take action.
“You know, so I literally stood up and just yelled,” Johnson said in the interview. “‘Oh my God,’ I actually yelled. ‘Oh my effing God.’ It was just like somebody has to do something. I don’t know what that something is. I didn’t at that time, but I knew something had to be done and I figured I would just sleep on it.”
The next day he went down around noon to the ongoing protests in front of the Justice Center to hang a couple of American flags on the fence and start a dialogue with some of the protesters.
“When I woke up in the morning,” Johnson said, “it was clear as day, almost like it was just planted in my head. This is what you’re going to do. Hopefully we can start a conversation. Here we are now we are starting this conversation. But I can tell you the experience was eye-opening. I did not believe what I used to call the rhetoric about antifa. I was thinking that maybe they’re just, you know, some punk kids or whatever it was, some righteous anger in there. I quickly found out that that’s not the case.”
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