Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) warned “far-right groups” to stay away from the city, stating that “intending to intimidate, create fear, commit violence, or spread hate is not welcome here” — However, he has routinely failed to apply the same standard to Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters who have continually inflicted carnage on the city for well over 100 days.
“On Saturday, Sept. 26, a group of far-right extremists and white nationalist groups will be coming to our city,” Wheeler said in a Thursday op-ed after touting Portland as a sanctuary city and beacon of racial justice.
His reference to “far-right extremists” includes the Proud Boys group, although the city reportedly rejected the group’s permit for a noon protest on Saturday, citing coronavirus related concerns.
“They have announced plans to together at Delta Park, the location of the historic Vanport City, which has important historical context. Vanport was created as a temporary housing project to keep Black residents out of Portland,” he continued, noting that the group choosing Delta Park is insulting, whether “intentional or not.”
Wheeler, who has remained remarkably hands-off on the daily violent protests in his city at the hands of Black Lives Matter protesters and Antifa, said some in the right-wing groups “have a record of racism, intolerance, and hate,” which are “not Portland values.”
“They are not welcome. Hate has no home in Portland. Violence has no home in Portland. Anyone intending to intimidate, create fear, commit violence, or spread hate is not welcome here,” he continued.
Notably, Wheeler joined violent protesters in Portland in July but received no accolades from the group, despite his efforts.
The mayor also cited concern for first responders, despite, figuratively, tying their hands in recent weeks after banning the use of tear gas.
“Meanwhile, Oregon’s first responders are stretched to the limit fighting a pandemic since spring and the recent wildfires that raged across our state,” he wrote.
Wheeler did not mention police response to the nightly violent protests, hallmarked by arson, vandalism, and other criminal behavior:
For weeks, fire, police and other public safety agencies have crossed county lines, jurisdictional boundaries, and city limits to keep Oregonians safe from fires that have destroyed entire towns. We have lost hundreds of lives to COVID-19. We don’t yet know how many more Oregonians were killed by the fires. And, we are fighting every day to keep community members employed, housed and safe from the pandemic. The arrival of these groups in our city, along with their organized effort to re-traumatize and inflict fear, particularly on communities of color, puts even more strain on our first responders.
Portland Police declared an unlawful assembly Thursday night after a larger group vandalized the Portland Police Association office, attempting to set its awnings on fire and “hammering the front door of the building, in an attempt to enter the property”:
— Jennifer Dowling (@JenDowlingKoin6) September 24, 2020
— Jennifer Dowling (@JenDowlingKoin6) September 25, 2020
“At 10:25 p.m., a group member was successful in lighting the plywood affixed to the front door of the building on fire,” according to the Portland Police Bureau. Fourteen people were arrested as a result.