By| Been Written
Contributing Writer| Telegraph Local
“We formed because we see the rise of fascism and hate in America and our voices are too strong to be silent. We believe students and youth have the strongest voice and when we organize and resist we can make huge changes, locally and nationally.” – Pacific Northwest (PNW) Youth Liberation Front.
Although the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Youth Liberation Front are not seen as the only group considered to be contributing to the violence in Portland, the secretive group recently made headline news after being credited for bringing weeks of massive unrest to the Portland, Oregon area, according to reports from Fox News and Seattle Times.
Who, or rather what is the (PNW) Youth Liberation Front?
According to their Facebook About page: “We’re a network of students dedicated to empowering our peers to use their voices to make change and challenge inequality and corruption in the government”
Oregon Live portrays them as “A mysterious group that has emerged at the heart of recent protests in Portland might not be an organization, as much as a platform.”
What do they believe in?
Their website mentions “Being an autonomous network means we hold no single ideology, instead we stand together in solidarity with the general principals of mutual aid, direct action, solidarity, anti-fascism, anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism, anti-authoritarianism, queer and trans liberation, black and brown liberation, and anti-xenophobia, just to name a few.”
Nightly episodes of violence have been reported in Portland for at least the last six weeks in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in May, as well as the current Black Lives Matter movement.
Many people believe that the violence and protesting actually have nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, but that groups like the Youth Liberation Front are taking full advantage of the chaos to promote their own means.
Black community leaders in the city recently pulled together to denounce the ever-increasing violence. According to The Seattle Times, the group was quoted as saying: “I know whoever was behind this thinks they were doing it — or perhaps are trying to have us think they were doing it — in the names of Black Lives Matter,” said Tony Hopson, president of Self Enhancement Inc., an organization that assists youth in poverty. “We know that it was just the opposite. Not only was it not about Black Lives Matter. It was against Black Lives Matter.”
It was the latest incident, a particularly violent attack involving a federal officer being struck in the head and shoulder with a large hammer last Friday, that prompted Portland mayor Ted Wheeler to once again appeal for calm.
The mayor tweeted “A person was seriously injured in Portland last night. This should not have happened. I spoke with US Attorney Bill Williams about the injuries and learned that the U.S. Marshals Service will be conducting a full investigation.”