After nearly 60 straight nights of violence, business owners in Portland are sick and tired of riots. But as their stores go under, the coastal media treats the rioters to glowing coverage and city authorities do nothing.
Riots are driving Portland’s small businesses under, but mainstream media wants to sell you a different story 26 Jul, 2020 21:19
After nearly 60 straight nights of violence, business owners in Portland are sick and tired of riots. But as their stores go under, the coastal media treats the rioters to glowing coverage and city authorities do nothing. Portland is a liberal stronghold, and as ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests fizzle out around the country, anger remains at boiling point in the Oregonian city. The protests there have not been all banner-waving and slogan-chanting affairs though. Instead, droves of ‘Antifa’ types have laid siege to the city’s Justice Center for almost 2 months, tearing down barricades, lobbing fireworks, setting fires and stabbing each other. ALSO ON RT.COMPolice declare riot in Portland after protesters pull down courthouse fence (VIDEOS) Most of those involved in the riots would probably say they’re fighting police brutality or fascism, or something of the sort, but besides those injured in that fight there are other victims of the unrest - local business owners have repeatedly complained about the riots to the local media. In articles published every few days, these store owners, barmen and restaurateurs describe how the riots have driven them to the brink of bankruptcy. One clothing store manager told Oregon Live on Saturday that within days of coronavirus restrictions being lifted, he reopened his family’s store, only to watch rioters trash the premises in late May, days after the killing of George Floyd kicked off the season of unrest. Other business owners told the news site that the city’s usually vibrant downtown is “desolate,” with tourism down and even locals giving the city center a wide berth. One bar owner shut down his watering hole in early July, after closing out one day with only $18.75 in sales.
The Washington Post’s story ends as the brave blower walks into the maelstrom like a doomed war hero of old. But when the sun rises and the smoke clears, it’ll be regular Portlanders sweeping away the trash, scrubbing the graffiti, and living with the consequences of an activist movement that many say has long forgotten why it started. These citizens may be left on their own for some time by both state and federal officials, if the experience elsewhere is anything to go by. After authorities in Minneapolis ordered their police to stand down and allow rioters to trash the city in May, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz asked the Trump administration for up to half a billion dollars in aid money. The request was denied, and residents of the riot-stricken city were left to patch up their looted, broken and burned businesses as best they could.
By DON ILERFor the News-Register Early Tuesday morning, I drove the Line 15 bus through downtown Portland. The smell of explosives and tear gas hung in the air, stinging ...
ler: Feds fight freedom with fire in ‘Little Beirut’
By DON ILER For the News-Register
Early Tuesday morning, I drove the Line 15 bus through downtown Portland. The smell of explosives and tear gas hung in the air, stinging my nostrils through my facemask. The road supervisor was at the stop at S.W. Fifth and Salmon removing a temporary closure sign. He leaned in my window, “I think there’s still some debris in the street, but it looks OK down there. Have fun driving through a Third World country.”
Yellow tear gas dust, black marks from exploded ordnance covered the streets around the graffiti-laden Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse. People milled around Riot Ribs, the free food pop-up in the park, and trash and debris were strewn in the streets.
Just another day in “Little Beirut,” a nickname given to Portland by former President George H.W. Bush.
Portland has felt like a dystopian fantasy the past week. President Trump deployed federal law enforcement officers to the city, against the wishes of local officials, to supposedly protect federal property. Since their arrival, they have shot a man in the face, assaulted protestors, snatched people off the streets, throwing them into unmarked vans, and shot off countless canisters of tear gas. Their arrival only increased the size of protests, which had begun to run their course after months of unrest.
Last Friday, my wife and I joined the protest at the Justice Center. We listened to speeches, hip-hop performers, danced a little and walked around. We stood in the park, across the street from the Federal Office, when federal agents dressed in military uniforms, gas masks and body armor suddenly stormed out of the building. “Go home!” we shouted, and “We don’t want you here!” Someone shouted, “Traitors!” I yelled, “Go back to Alabama!”
Just as quickly as they appeared, and without provocation, the shooting started. Flash bang grenades exploded. The agents pepper sprayed protestors in the face and charged with batons across the street. Tear gas canisters were hurled at the crowd. I heard the pitter-patter of rubber bullets shooting. I coughed from the gas and tears streamed down my wife’s face as we backed away from the cloud. As suddenly as they appeared, they left, like it had all been a show at a totalitarian carnival.
I was furious. How could a country I served for in the Marines trample our rights to peaceful assembly and free speech?
We returned Saturday night. The crowd was even larger, skewing somewhat older and more diverse. We chanted and marched in front of the courthouse. Again, suddenly and without warning, agents appeared from the courthouse and ran up Main Street. They shot off flash bangs, tear gas, rubber bullets. Mothers linked arms and stood in the street. The agents dispatched by the president attacked them with pepper spray, hit them, pushed them to the ground. My wife yanked at my arm to pull me away from the fracas. A veteran wearing a Navy sweatshirt and hat — the soon to be famous “Captain Portland” — stood there with his hands up. The feds repeatedly hit him with their batons and sprayed him with pepper spray.
After what I had witnessed Friday night, it didn’t shock me. “They don’t care you’re a veteran,” I said to my wife, “they don’t care; doesn’t he know they don’t care?” We walked away coughing from the gas, terrified we would be batoned next as they stormed up the street. We passed the burned-out plinth of the elk statue, my wife unable to see until we flushed her eyes with water.
The federal agents don’t care who we are as a city or a state. They disregard our constitutional rights as Americans or Oregonians. They aren’t here to serve or protect us. They don’t care if you’re a mom, a veteran, a taxpayer, a good person, a citizen or not. They are here to inflict fear and damage. I’m not sure where it’s going, but from what I saw last weekend, no one seems safe and it could get worse. Maybe it’s too late, maybe it won’t matter, but I am out there protesting because I have to act now before it is too late for our democracy.
On Friday, after the tear gas was shot and the crowd was backing away from the gas, I walked into the street toward the agents by myself. I yelled in rage at them. I was so angry as a veteran seeing my city turned into a war zone by my own government. Why did I serve to protect and defend the Constitution, my country, my home, my freedoms, if it is just going to end up like this, in a cloud of bullets and gas, with screaming and pain on American soil perpetrated by Americans?
I am so angry.
I will be back out in the streets until they are gone. Otherwise, this will continue to resemble some Third World banana republic run by a tyrant.
Somewhat unrelated, but more independents and people who lean libertarian are waking up to the evils of liberal and communist policies, and the destruction and poverty that they have caused in American states;