John Lewis called it “a big deal”. The current president of the United States calls it “anarchy” and “agitation”. These words have been used to describe peaceful protests, which is what Lewis, who died at the age of 80 On Friday, he fought to protect and encourage throughout his life as a prolific civil rights activist and congressman.

Lewis was a Freedom Rider who supported psychology and the peaceful protests act in the United States together with Martin Luther King and, consequently, was arrested and beaten on about 50 occasions during his youth. On March 7, 1965 he drove to silent and slow crowd at the entrance of the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama, to protest against the voting rights of blacks in America, which eventually resulted from it in unprovoked violence against them– tear gas was launched, demonstrators were beaten in the head with batons, men and women were kicked on the sidewalk – by state soldiers. Today it is called “Bloody Sunday” and the disturbing images of that dark moment in American history seem disturbing similar to those of a new generation peacefully fighting against a “president of law and order” who tries to silence them with a literal iron punch .

The same weekend as Lewis died, protests over equal rights and against police brutality went on all over the country, but particularly in Portland, Oregon. While the groups protested peacefully there in the past 50 days since the assassination of George Floyd, the weekend saw the movement hit a breaking point. While the state and city mainly encouraged and supported the protesters, the president decides to speak. Last month, POTUS signed an executive order that allows federal troops to be dispatched to a state without state permission. The troops descended on the city of Portland and proceeded to throw tear gas and bomb shots into civilian, stationary crowds, running against them and beating them and throwing them in vans not marked to be arrested. On Saturday, a group of about 30 mothers he joined his arms and formed a human barrier between the troops and the demonstrators, a video of which went viral where they heard themselves singing: “The feds stay away! Moms are here! “

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