Meet the Youth ‘Liberation Front’ behind Portland protests

The Seattle Times:

Shortly before 1 a.m. on July 5, as protesters braced for more long hours on the streets in Oregon’s largest city, the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front took to Twitter with a stern declaration.

Be like water, keep moving.

If you see someone smashing windows, shut the (expletive) up.

Walk, don’t run. Hold the front and back lines.

Well after protests against police have faded in many American cities, the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front has emerged in Portland as a persistent militant voice, using social media to promote rallies, and offering tactical advice and commentary on gatherings that often have ended in confrontations with the police and arrests.

The conduct they champion has ignited a bitter debate about the direction these protests have taken in an ongoing drama that plays out nightly in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center and later in largely empty streets defined by block after block of boarded-up buildings. The core of downtown — in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and the demonstrations — appears drained of much of the vitality that has long helped to define this Northwest city.

For the Youth Liberation Front’s anonymous leaders, these protests are part of the revolution. They are resolutely anti-capitalist and anti-fascist, and express disdain for those who work for reform within what they view as a failing political system.

In a podcast interview last October, three of their leaders, one of whom identified himself as still in high school, said they were spurred to activism over a range of issues that included climate change, law enforcement misconduct and the rise of right-wing hate groups.

EDITOR’S NOTE – You can probably add “fatherless homes” to their list of complaints.

Read more at The Seattle Times


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