The Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, finally joined a chorus of officials early this past week in the condemning of recent “anarchist” violence in the Portland downtown area and demanded an end to the protests and violence that have been rocking the city since last May.
The admission and demands come after an increase in violence being centered around a federal courthouse and close by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center. These are the very same buildings that were targeted this past summer when Wheeler expressed his solidarity with the protesters marching through town.
“For nearly nine months protesters have called for police reform and an end to systemic racism in Portland, which has become a key city in the country’s racial reckoning,” The Associated Press stated. “While officials say many events have been peaceful, there continues to be small groups smashing windows of businesses, threatening community members, and assaulting police.”
“The community is sick and tired of people engaging in criminal destruction and violence and doing it under the guise of some noble cause.” -Ted Wheeler
“The people who work here support the voices of racial and social justice and will not be intimidated from doing our jobs by the ugly graffiti or broken windows,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon added, the Associated Press reported. “We do not confuse the voices of the many with the shouts of the few who hope to hold our city hostage by petty crime and violence.”
Police officials have also joined those who are demanding an end to the violence.
“I want to be clear that this was not a protest group,” Portland’s assistant police chief said in a statement. “This was a group of people who have come to believe that they are entitled to damage other people’s property, threaten community members, and assault police officers.”
Some city officials have started noting that the violence has been committed by “anarchists,’ but they didn’t go so far as to use the term “Antifa,” which is a term that referees to self-described “anti-Fascist” groups.
“The misguided and miseducated anarchists reject civility and instead intentionally create mayhem through criminally destructive behavior tearing up our city. This must stop,” a former state senator — the first black woman elected to the post — demanded. “I say to them today, ‘Stop you are not helping, you are hurting Black people.’”
This is not the first time things have gotten very out of control in this area. Back in January just after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, federal agents were forced to intervene when protesters started a destructive riot outside the city’s Democratic Party Headquarters.