In an interview on Friday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler outlined conditions in which he envisions Portland opening back up for business. When he did that, he tipped his hand. He revealed his intention to allow the riots to go on indefinitely.
Portland has endured almost two straight months of non-stop nightly riots spread out all over town. The Multnomah County Justice Center, in downtown Portland on Southwest 3rd Avenue, has borne the brunt of the violence, with nightly rallies deteriorating into vandalism, arson, and assault. Rioters attempted to take over and burn down the East Precinct building on Northeast 47th Avenue and Burnside Street. Similar scenes have played out at the North Precinct building on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Rioters successfully set fire to the home of the police union, Portland Police Association Hall on North Lombard Avenue.
Contrary to the media spin of peaceful protests, the rioting, damage, arson, and assaults have been widespread throughout the city of Portland.
Of course, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has repeatedly said the violence only started when President Trump sent federal law enforcement officers to the city to protect federal property over the last several days. Wheeler, along with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D-Portland) and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D-Portland), has repeatedly spun the news to blame it all on Trump.
In a Friday interview, Wheeler tipped his hand, revealing that his “plan” to get Portland reopened hinges on the federal law enforcement officers leaving town.
That’s right—Wheeler won’t lift a finger to enforce the law and stop the riots until President Trump withdraws the feds.
The federal forces have only been in Portland for a little over a week, and yet the 50-plus days of rioting are all President Trump’s fault, according to Wheeler. Never mind the lawlessness and destruction allowed to play out on federal property on a nightly basis. That’s none of Trump’s business, apparently. For those who have never witnessed the extent to which Trump Derangement Syndrome can warp one’s critical thinking, city and state leaders in Oregon will give you a graduate-level course in TDS.
So what exactly did Ted Wheeler say?
In an interview with KATU News, Wheeler said that his four-point plan to reopen Portland begins only when President Trump withdraws federal law enforcement officers from the city:
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has announced a four-point plan for how he intends to deal with the continued protests downtown, as federal agents have entered the city in an attempt to quell the demonstrations.
“It is an absolute abuse of federal law enforcement,” Wheeler said in an interview with KATU Friday. “Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city.”
All week we have been asking elected city officials for a plan to get the streets of Portland back open and to stop the violence. On Friday, only the mayor was willing to speak on that, outlining what he thinks needs to happen.
“First we get rid of the feds. Number 2, we contain and de-escalate the situation. Number 3, we clean up downtown. Number 4 we open up for business, that’s the plan,” Wheeler said. [emphasis added]
“First we get rid of the feds.” What happens when Trump gives Wheeler a typical New York response?
You guessed it—nothing. Wheeler hadn’t lifted a finger to stop the riots in Portland before Trump sent in the cavalry. He continues a long tradition of Portland leaders aiding and abetting politically approved lawlessness in the streets. Remember when Portland city councilors marched with Occupy Portland?
Step 2 is also laughable. What had the city done prior to the arrival of the feds to de-escalate? Why did the feds need to come in the first place?
Wheeler engaged in blatant lying later in the interview, claiming that his de-escalation plans had been working until the Bad Orange Man messed everything up:
“This has been an ongoing issue, but I want to also reiterate– over the last few days, before the federal government got here, the Portland Police Bureau had engaged in de-escalation by taking down the fences around the Justice Center. And when there were still people engaging with police, when that escalation started up again, we moved officers back into the building. That didn’t allow for a back and forth.” Wheeler said
“We saw the numbers dwindling and the energy was decreasing and people were moving elsewhere to do other things. Then the feds came in,” he continued.
The removal of the outer perimeter fence at the Justice Center did nothing to keep rioters from destroying property and assaulting officers, while rioters have expanded their operations to other parts of town. Wheeler continues to play to his lily-white liberal base by deflecting all the blame and stoking the flames of TDS. None of this will make the violence stop.
Portland remains a deeply unserious place that continues to elect unserious people to lead.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.