After months of bowing to the woke mob and Black Lives Matter-inspired riots, Portland’s Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler struck a new tone and called on residents to help “unmask” the self-described anarchists who are continuing to commit violence in Oregon’s largest city. He has refused to do much about the far-left violence dominating the streets every night but has realized by this point that trying to appease Antifa wouldn’t work.
Mayor Wheeler is asking for the public’s help in putting an end to the city’s ongoing violence that first erupted last spring. He made it clear that he was not asking people to become violent or confrontational, but that if you see anyone engaged in criminal activity and can safely film it, then you should.
“Our job is to unmask them, arrest them, and prosecute them. I want to personally thank neighbors, family, friends, and others who have come forward with vital evidence. People know who these criminals are. They know what they’re up to,” Mayor Wheeler said.
Mayor Wheeler said he would extend the city’s state of emergency through Monday in anticipation of possible rioting in the city. “Tonight, the anarchists have called for more destruction. I’ve directed the police bureau to arrest and engage in illegal activity whenever they can safely do so,” Wheeler adds during a Friday afternoon news conference.
Portland has been dealing with a wave of crime and riots for quite some time now, including some who have committed crimes as members of the far-left Antifa network and as Black Lives Matter activists. He called on BLM leaders to stand up to the mob and even singled out the “self-described anarchist mob” as responsible for the criminal intimidation and growing crime in his city.
Antifa activists even cornered Mayor Wheeler earlier this year to accuse him of gassing them, which they said would “affect them” for the rest of their lives. But Mayor Wheeler has been one of the only mayors in the US to ban the use of tear gas within law enforcement. He told activists that Portland police use pepper spray, not tear gas. Other activists staged a sit-in protest inside the lobby of his condo, punched the mayor while he was eating dinner at a restaurant, and threw objects at him when he showed up at a protest.
Friday night marked the third night of unrest in Portland since the conviction of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, the man who murdered George Floyd. A march in the city’s Northwest District turned into a riot following a social media post calling for demonstrators to “Bloc Up,” which is a reference to the Antifa uniform of all-black clothing, masks, and helmets.
About 75 demonstrators showed up in all-black attire and started blocking roads, destroying windows, and breaking into businesses. There were reports of tagged graffiti, including a TriMet bus shelter that was tagged with the anarchist symbol. They even forced their way into at least one occupied restaurant. Police eventually declared the incident to be a riot and ordered demonstrators to disperse.
Portland rioters even set fire to an Apple store that had recently put up a mural of George Floyd and launched a $100 million initiative to promote racial equality with a focus on “education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform.” They also destroyed the storefronts of Nordstrom, Verizon, Nikes, Starbucks, and banks. All of these companies had pledged millions of dollars to various social justice groups last year.
Eventually, people will realize that the destruction of communities, riots, and anarchy, has nothing to do with Black lives or racial equity. The radical left will claim that capitalism is the “root of all evil” and then loot the storefront of Nikes. Mayor Wheeler let Portland be the home of Antifa and now residents have to pay the price.