By Steve Pomper
Portland radicals seem to be diversifying their tactics. If not exactly innovative, they’ve decided to give another crack at establishing an “autonomous zone.” Though no longer an original idea, perhaps it’s a sort of homage to the infamous CHOP/CHAZ in Seattle last summer.
Still, I’m not sure how this could possibly be happening in such a law-and-order city like Portland, Oregon. Especially because the second-worst mayor in America, Ted Wheeler, has drawn a line in the sand, recently decreeing he will not tolerate an autonomous zone in Portland.
The Rose City’s Iron Man took to Twitter (well, that’s what twits do, right?), so we know he means business. BLM and Antifa radicals must quake in their black bloc boots at Wheeler’s ominous warning. “I am authorizing the Portland Police to use all lawful means to end the illegal occupation on North Mississippi Avenue and to hold those violating our community’s laws accountable. There will be no autonomous zone in Portland,” and an unholy chill ran through the mostly-peaceful protesters citywide.
That’s the problem with drawing a line in the sand. It’s sand, and it’s easy to kick away and pretend it was never there. But there’s another problem for America’s second-worst mayor (if you haven’t figured out the worst, it’s New York City’s Bill de Blasio). Number Two’s other problem is he hasn’t left the cops with any lawful means to end the militant’s illegal occupation. Wheeler, the Portland City Council, and even Governor-Empress Kate Brown haven’t left the police with any effective means to end the anarchist insurrection raging in that city.
Did Number Two say he will, “hold those violating our community’s laws accountable?” Since when? How would he know what accountability looks like? He’s allowed, and at times encouraged, BLM and Antifa to riot for most of this year, at one point for over 100 days in a row. And the attack on civil society in Portlandia continues to this day. How can anyone take that unserious man seriously? He was recently re-elected because, if you can imagine, the alternative was even worse. So much for quality candidates.
The evidence shows those radicals are not exactly quaking in their boots at Wheeler’s flaccid threat that carries no political will behind it. The dingy denizens are still hunkering down in their cozy, un-gentrified, stockpiled with weapons RHAZ (Red House Autonomous Zone). Signs outside proclaim things like, “Kill a Cop; Win a Prize.”
The police attempted to remove the trespassers from the property, but the rabble unsurprisingly repelled borders against Portland’s formidable, when not de-clawed by their leaders, cops. That’s what happens when you go hunting wolves and your masters only allow you to use Nerf weapons. Of course, this action comes from a mayor who on the same day also tweeted, “We all agree many of our nation’s systems and structures are fundamentally racist and require significant reform?” Who else is bored with this prolific and obligatory social justice barf?
Oh, do we all agree, Mr. Mayor? Does Number Two have a mouse in his pocket? Who’s we? Oh, wait. Portland’s feckless mayor doesn’t mean we normal Americans who love our country. He made that tiresome statement because the we he thinks he belongs to are the criminals destroying and now illegally occupying a chunk of the once beautiful city of Portland. The same cretins who shouted Wheeler down last summer. What was the Mayor’s thanks for hitting the streets to support the militants? “The Antifa mob … cursed Wheeler and told him to resign.” And, just for good measure, “The Antifa-supporting Mayor got tear-gassed by federal agents as he stood at a fence.”
And just to show you what cops are dealing with in Portland’s criminal injustice system, the PostMillennial reported on the suspects Portland police were allowed to arrest. Andy Ngo and Mia Cathell wrote, “Every person arrested at the growing Red House Autonomous Zone (RHAZ) in Portland had their charges immediately dropped by the progressive district attorney.” The reckless DA, Mike Schmidt, even dropped charges against offenders who’d allegedly committed felonies.
Mentioning Mike Schmidt’s name brings to mind a chuckle. I had to laugh at the joke that greets people who go to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s official website. “The Multnomah County District Attorney is responsible for prosecuting offenders who commit state criminal law violations in Multnomah County.” [bold added] That statement is a joke and so is AG Schmidt. He’s the kind of “prosecutor” who won’t charge felons if he agrees with their politics, but he’d advocate for turning spitting on the sidewalk into a felony, if he had evidence that the spitter was a cop.
Maybe once the RHAZ radicals show up at Number Two’s front door, as happened to Seattle Mayor Jenny “summer-of-love” Durkan, then he’ll finally act to quell the chaos. However, the militants already landed at Number Two’s front door months back. In fact, they even tried to burn the building down. But this is why he’s number two, and Durkan’s only the nation’s third worst mayor (okay, she’s got some stiff competition from Chicago, L.A. and San Francisco). Wheeler, instead of finally acting, just ran away.
To remind folks, this leftist stew has been brewing for decades. The difference is the Left has intensified its tactics and increased its alliance with legacy and social media and is exploiting voting and other technology for its benefit. A sympathetic article, which appeared in The New York Times in September 2020, revealed this ideological alliance as well as the sophisticated nature of Antifa/BLM’s combining of violent and non-violent tactics.
Back in 1999, I was deployed for a solid week to the WTO riots in Seattle. During that turmoil, some anarchists took over an unoccupied house in Downtown Seattle. Seattle’s mayor at the time, the late Paul Schell, may have set the precedent for Wheeler and his leftist mayoral ilk.
Worried more about radical’s “free speech” rights, speech that was often accompanied by violence, Mayor Schell repeatedly failed to act decisively against the destruction and violence. Instead, he often put the city’s police officers in unnecessary danger, as Wheeler is doing today.
Jean Godden, wrote compassionately at Crosscut about Mayor Schell upon his death in 2014. Godden addressed Schell’s response to the 1999 WTO riots, which also could apply to Mayor Wheeler’s Antifa/BLM riot inaction in 2020. “Unfortunately, he [Schell] had not anticipated the risks of giving free reign to anarchists.”
Twenty-one years later, what is Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s excuse?