I'm astonished at how people who should know better are getting worked up about the "mass protests" on US streets at present. They're not "mass" protests at all - just very vocal, very noisy, and sometimes very violent. Multiple news reports about the Portland riots, which are currently the most violent that the media is covering, indicate that there are about 2,000 protesters on the street every night - many of them from elsewhere, as is Antifa's and BLM's habit. 2,000 protesters, out of an estimated Portland population (according to Wikipedia) of 654,741 in 2019, equates to 0.3% of the city's residents. That's less than one-third of one percent. Hardly a "mass" protest, is it? I'm pretty sure similar proportions apply to most other cities plagued with mob violence at present.
There's also the physical area covered by the riots and protests. I understand that in Portland, it's no more than ten city blocks - rather less than one square mile - and usually less than that. The city covers a land area of 133.42 square miles, making the "protest area", once again, a lot less than 1% of the total. So much for "big".
Of course, you wouldn't know that from the news media coverage. As always with the Fourth Estate, "If it bleeds, it leads". They make money out of covering crimes and incidents that grab and hold reader/viewer attention. They're making a great deal of money out of coverage of these incidents, so they're going to emphasize and re-emphasize them, irrespective of whether or not they deserve such extensive coverage. Besides, it fits their political narrative.
It's obvious that the rioters are very organized and very determined. They've established production lines for shields; they're bringing molotov cocktails, high-powered lasers and other potentially highly injurious weapons to protests; and they're also bringing portable power tools to attack barriers and other defenses erected to keep them out. These aren't "protests". They're organized mayhem. There's nothing spontaneous at all about them.
The organizers and hard-liners, of course, are relatively few in number compared to the "useful idiots" who march alongside them. There are an astonishing number of "useful idiots". Watch video of arrests being made and you hear screams and cries of "Why are you doing this to me?", "I've done nothing wrong!" and "Let go of her! She's innocent!". Just one example: "I'm not sure why this is happening!". (I'm sure. So, I daresay, are most of us.)
The late Garrett Foster, shot and killed during a riot in Austin, Texas on Saturday night, was hardly a model for peaceful protest, either. Consider his comment on injured Federal officers:
Note also this brief video interview with him, apparently filmed earlier on the same evening that he was shot.
If I see anyone in a riot approaching me with an AK-47 - or any firearm - I'm going to take immediate action to ensure my safety. Depending on the circumstances, I place no limits on that action, up to and including the fullest extent that the law allows. I'm very grateful I'm living in Texas, where the law generally understands and codifies our right to self-defense - as the late Mr. Foster seemingly found out to his cost. (Austin police have already released the shooter from custody, a very clear sign that - at least so far in the investigation - they've found no evidence that he committed any crime. If there'd been any doubt about that, he wouldn't have been released.)
Memes about Mr. Foster's death are already spreading, on both sides of the Internet's political divide. For example:
So far, forces on the other side of the political divide from the rioters haven't made much of a showing - largely, I think, because they're much more law-abiding in general. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that they've taken note of everything described above; and I have reason to know, from information received from many sources, that they're organizing in their turn. I suspect that, one of these days, they're going to be just as visible on our streets . . . and Antifa and BLM are not going to be happy about it. The late Mr. Foster may be a harbinger of what's to come.