"The Peelian principles of policing tell us that 'the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.'
"Our own history makes it clear that the Press is the public and the public is the Press, the Press after all being simply members of the public who give (and draw!) attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
"The cops are us. The reporters are us. The protesters are us. The people who choose initiate force are, alas, us. It really is that simple."
I will note (for those convinced that "reporter" is just a guise) that a person holding a camera, a notebook or a smartphone has only got one hand free -- which makes it a hell of a lot harder to shoot fireworks at police, or even to chuck rocks with accuracy.
My focus has been on Press-police interaction and what the First Amendment protects. With attention to the wider conflict most visibly taking place at present in the Pacific Northwest:
Historically, especially in post WW II history, terrorism and street-level violence intended to further a goal is often aimed to do so not as a direct effect but by stimulating a reaction. It is entirely possible that, if there is any goal to the rioting past breaking things and making a mess, the goal is not to burn down a Federal courthouse or police headquarters, but to provoke a harsh and violent reaction from police -- any police at all, local, State or Federal.
If this is so, then playing the game at the surface level is a losing strategy. This is not some 19th-century Napoleonic War set-piece. The only way to win is to embrace and, essentially, co-opt the non-violent elements while discrediting the violent ones. It worked in Indianapolis. I don't know if it can work in Portland; a tipping point may have passed. But what's happening there now hasn't been improving the situation.
P.S. A commenter -- whose comments I have not been publishing for some time now -- has leveled an accusation: "Yet, oddly, you have censored all the comments that disagree with you."
This is untrue on its face, since I have published some comments that disagree. And it demonstrates precisely why this person's comments aren't getting published, since he or she shows a deep lack of comprehension of who is limited and what is protected by the First Amendment: I choose not to publish comments that I find ill-informed, intemperate or invidious. I'm not the government; I can publish or not publish whatever the hell I like.
And so can you.