As an African American man, George Floyd, was cruelly choked to death by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2020, America erupted in protest. In the city of Portland, Oregon, these demonstrations are still going on.
Early in July, United States President Donald Trump vowed to combat these protests by sending in heavily armed federal agents to the city. Since then, these federal agents have clashed multiple times with protestors, resulting in scenes so chaotic the city mayor has called it “urban warfare”.
Faced with such a show of force, protestors have employed some innovative tactics. The New York Times reports that citizens “protect themselves with bicycle helmets and umbrellas, while suburbanites bring leaf blowers to dispel tear gas (this works surprisingly well).”
The result is startling videos of protestors advancing upon troops with a wall of umbrellas as a way to protect themselves from pepper spray.
This, of course, leads immediately back to the 2014 Hong Kong protests where citizens protesting against Chinese authorities discovered that umbrellas were a surprisingly good shield against pepper spray and tear gas. In fact, so widespread was the use of umbrellas that the movement itself got dubbed the Umbrella Revolution.
It’s not only umbrellas, though. Leaf blowers are also coming in very handy in order to suck up tear gas.