The demonstrations that swept the United States following the death of George Floyd on May 25 have simmered down in many parts of the country. Portland, however, is an exception. Here, the demonstrations have two parts.
During the day, people march around the city and listen to speakers talk about systemic racism and the need to defund or abolish law enforcement. By sundown, these generally peaceful protests end up at the Multnomah County Justice Center in the Downtown Portland neighborhood. It's here that the demonstrations transform into violent riots, and it's here that both Antifa and BLM have skirmished every night since the beginning of the civil unrest. (Related: Portland rioters attempt to create new autonomous zone.)
The large crowds of banner-waving protesters are replaced by smaller groups of organized and dedicated rioters, who vandalize the Justice Center and other nearby buildings and attack law enforcement by throwing rocks, sending fireworks and launching other improvised projectiles like frozen water bottles.
In response to the city's inability to contain these nightly disruptions to law and order, the Trump administration has sent in federal agents, whose heavy-handed tactics have drawn widespread condemnation from elected officials both in Portland and in the state of Oregon.
Listen to this episode of the Health Ranger Report, a podcast by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, as he talks about the valuable lessons Americans can get from the nearly two months of rioting initiated by the Black Lives Matter domestic terrorist movement.
These federal agents needed to enter the city and take over protecting lives and property because even the leaders of Portland and Oregon have done little to curb the violence. These elected officials have instead tried to satisfy the desires of the Black Lives Matter movement. One way they tried to do this was to slash the PPB's budget by more than $15 million. However, this did little to stop the demonstrations from continuing, as the cut falls short of the demand for a budget reduction of no less than $50 million.
Instead of intensifying their commitment to stamping out rioters and looters, Portland officials have been united in their desire to see federal agents leave Portland immediately.
“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat. The governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, another Democrat, agreed with Wheeler's remarks.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said that their agents will not leave because “violent anarchists” have attacked and injured federal personnel and damaged federal buildings in Portland.
“Instead of addressing violent criminals in their communities, local and state leaders are instead focusing on placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community,” Wolf said in a statement.
Wheeler has said that he has a four-point plan for dealing with the demonstrations. However, this plan hinges on getting federal agents to leave Portland.
“First we get rid of the feds,” said Wheeler during an interview with KATU on Friday. “Number two, we contain and de-escalate the situation. Number three, we clean up downtown. Number four, we open up for business. That's the plan.”
This plan, however, fails to answer precisely how he will prevent the violent demonstrations from reoccurring without federal agents, especially when the Portland Police Bureau have stated that it is unsustainable to expect them to keep fighting the rioters every night.
Instead of stopping Antifa or the Black Lives Matter movement, the united calls for federal agents to leave the city may be weakening the Trump administration's attempt to effectively deal with the escalating violence. If federal agents leave the city, the people of Portland will be left to fend for themselves.