As far as I can tell, my Back the Blue friends have moved on to greener pastures, and are now concentrating their efforts in Salem. It doesn’t look like they’ve been meeting in downtown Portland recently, and they haven’t returned my calls and texts.
It’s just as well for me; it’s no fun standing in the cold and rain for two hours, and my cough hasn’t yet completely disappeared. But this means my only source of information, for the goings on in Portland, is “The News.”
It seems the usual trouble-makers were at it again on New Year’s Eve, smashing windows and otherwise making life even more miserable for our long-suffering business-owners.
This time, the historically spineless Mayor Ted Wheeler has been talking tough. From The Hill:
Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) condemned antifa and anarchists following a night of riots in the city on New Year’s Eve.
Speaking at a press conference on New Year’s Day, the mayor said protesters caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage by breaking windows, starting fires and spray-painting property in downtown Portland late Thursday evening, local CBS affiliate KOIN reported.
Wheeler asked during his press conference, “Why would a group of largely white, young and some middle-age men destroy the livelihood of others who are struggling to get by?”
According to law enforcement, some protesters allegedly used Molotov cocktails Thursday night, causing thousands of dollars in damage to properties around the downtown area…
“My good faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical antifa and anarchists,” Wheeler said. “In response, it will be necessary to use additional tools and to push the limits of the tools we already have to bring the criminal destruction and violence to an end.”
Wheeler committed to three counterapproaches for handling violent protesters in the city, including asking federal, state, county and local law enforcement “to convene to deal with anarchist violence as soon as possible.”
He also called on the state legislature to increase penalties for repeat offenders, adding that he believes people who are convicted of criminal destruction should be “required to meet with those whose businesses they damaged.”
The Portland mayor’s comments mark a drastic change in tone from his remarks throughout 2020, when demonstrators ravaged a nearby courthouse for more than 100 nights, partially prompted by outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May.
It’s about time, but my respect-ometer will only move past zero, for Mayor Wheeler, when the police actually start cracking some skulls, and prosecutors actually start meting out long sentences to the hoodlums.
At the end of the article, the reporter points out that Wheeler had previously refused offers of Federal help from President Trump. It’s possible that Wheeler actually desired such Federal aid in quelling the riots, but was fearful of associating himself with President Trump prior to his own election. Now that Wheeler has won the election, and he will not have to worry about President Trump much longer, he’s free to seek Federal aid in the near future.
If Wheeler follows through with his tough talk, and allows the police to do their jobs, then he will suffer a lot of push-back from the Far-Left. Let’s hope he’s able to ignore it, and work toward making Portland pleasant again.
For what it’s worth, my suggestion is that, along with stiff sentences for rioters, they also be forced to clean up BLM graffiti, repair damaged streets, and work for the small businesses they damaged as community service.