Police and fascists are murdering us in the streets.
Building on the success of our effort to raise the funds to distribute dozens of full-face military grade gas masks to protect protesters in Portland, we want to address the next major threat: cops and racists shooting protestors. Our goal is to buy hundreds of ballistic vests to distribute to medics, journalists, organizers, and others on the front lines of the protests in Portland. Every dollar we raise will be used to buy more vests. Let's get life saving gear on as many people as possible!
As we say in Portland—who protects us?
We protect us.
In short, this is harm reduction. This might very well save lives.
After 90+ days of protests since the Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd, the temperature contiunues to rise in Portland. Every kind of police agency from local to federal has participated in attacking, brutalizing, tear-gassing, pepper-spraying, and shooting impact muntions at protestors. Police are routinely armed with rifles and live ammuntion; on several occasions, officers have pulled out their sidearms and pointed them at protestors.
Photo description: federal police agent with live ammunition side arm aimed at Portland protestors in front of the federal courthouse. Credit: Mathiew Lewis Rolland
To make matters worse, Portland is under attack by fascists, white supremacists, nationalists, and militias, mostly from out of town. They always have guns. They're not shy about pulling them out, pointing them at protestors, and firing live rounds.
Video of far-right assailants firing live rounds from their cars while leaving a Portland parking garage on August 15, 2020 can be viewed in this this tweet.
Protestors have been shot and killed in Kenosha, Austin, Louisville, Vallejo, Seattle… the list goes on and on. We have to expect more gun violence and prepare by protecting members of our community, especially those most vulnerable to racist violence.
Photo description: (photo on the left) far-right provocateur brandishing a revolver in the commotion of a crowd street protest. (photo on the right) man cosplaying as a cop, holding an American flag on a pole in his left hand, while his right hand is on his sidearm in its hip holster. He has another gun holstered on his chest. Credit: @raskut
The ballistic vests will go to Portland medics, organizers, front-liners, and members of the Portland press corps, with priority given to BIPOC folks.
Who are we? We're locals who have been providing material support for people at the Portland protests. We raised $9,235.12 in a previous self-defense gear fund. We sourced, bought, and distributed several dozen gas masks, leaf blowers, umbrellas, and other self-defense items. Every penny we raised went directly into buying gear. We have no overhead, no fees, no salaries. This is a completely volunteer effort.
Photo description: several gas masks and gas mask filters laying on a table, which were bought with donations and distributed to protesters in Portland.
Photo description: six (of ten) leaf blowers bought from donations and distributed to protesters in Portland.
Ballistics vests, or "bulletproof vests,"significantly increase a person's chances of surviving getting shot. We plan to buy a combination of 3A vests and carrier vests with steel or ceramic plates.
Photo description: autonomous anonymous Portland protesters created a new Elk statue and placed it in the location of the former Elk statue which was removed after weeks of protests.
As soon as we raise enough money for our first order to qualify for the bulk discount, we'll make a purchase. We'll follow that up with more orders as more donations come in—and keep it up as long as we get donations.
There may be some delay because the supply chain of ballistics vests is strained right now, just as it is for gas masks. The best time to have done this would have been a month ago. The next best time is now.
We have sourced the vests with an armor company. We've already worked out the ordering/delivery logistics and arranged a bulk order discount. We're ready to place the first order as soon as we raise enough donations.
We're counting on you to help us save lives.
We protect us.
Header photo credit, left side: Maranie Rae
- Shayela Hassan