I live in Portland, Oregon, and have attended a few protests/rallies in the time I've been here, but admit I am not a regular attendee. The few times I have gone were to organized rallies that had a planned out route to walk, which then dispersed when they were done.
The last one I went to had a few bad actors in the crowd; individuals who would bash the windows of buildings and actively tag everything they went past. These were mainly buildings of big institutions like Bank of America, Nike, Wells Fargo-- whenever I'd look to see where that broken glass came from, my thoughts were pretty much "Woah! Don't break window-- oh... yeah I guess fuck Bank of America." And when we were done, we'd arrived at the justice center where it felt like there was no plan left, a lot of shouting and tagging had started, along with a few fires-- my wife and I thought "we did our part, this wasn't what we signed up for, let's leave." And that was that.
Afterwards we'd attended (virtually) the city's town hall meetings wherein the police budget was gutted a little bit (not nearly as much as we'd have liked), Jo Ann Hardesty (who's our greatest ally as far as I'm concerned) assured us it was a big step, we trusted her, and have since decided to stay home.
But, as you've seen, the protests continue: people are getting picked up off the streets by non-identified DHS agents, local government has expressed disapproval but it's getting ignored, and fascism is essentially in full effect.
Since then we've asked ourselves "shouldn't we go back out there?" "what if we get arrested?" "people are already getting arrested, and the majority of them are likely people of color." But we wrestle with it, "we're not rich-- we're barely scraping by-- we'd be more helpless if we were arrested and our jobs were taken than if we'd stayed where we are and just donate what we can and volunteer where we can." We attend city hall meetings and add our voice where we can, we volunteer for organizations when possible (mostly stuff through HRC), but anytime we take a break or have a free weekend, there's just this nagging thought of "shouldn't we be doing more?"
Have you wrestled with these thoughts? Why or why don't you join protests? What do you do in place of it?