Portland Mayor: Antifa NYE Protests Leave Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Damage

Portland Police Bureau officials report no arrests as more than 100 Antifa vandals struck multiple businesses in different parts of the city. (Photos: Portland Police Bureau)
File Photos: Portland Police Bureau

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Antifa rioters left tens of thousands of dollars in damage to businesses during their New Year’s Eve rampage. The mayor called for more enforcement and penalties after admitting the failures of his previous appeasement policies.

Mayor Wheeler said “violent Antifa and anarchists” “rampaged through downtown Portland causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage with spray painting, window breaking, fires and fireworks,” KOIN CBS6 reported. “It is hard for me to accept that there are some people who are just bent on destruction.”

During his New Year’s Day press conference, Wheeler admitted the failure of his policies in dealing with Antifa and called for federal and state law enforcement assistance, Breitbart News reported.

“My good-faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical Antifa and anarchists,” Wheeler said in a New Year’s Day press conference. “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.”

“It’s time to push back harder against those who are set on destroying our community and to take more risks in fighting lawlessness,” the Portland mayor continued.

The mayor’s remarks follow violent attacks by Antifa on Portland Police Bureau officers and destruction of businesses in the downtown district on New Year’s Eve.

The attacks by Antifa rioters left severe damage to two Starbucks coffee shops “along with the Portland Wine Company, Ben Bridge Jewelers, Pandora Jewelers, Chase Bank and the Pacific Building, among other businesses,” KOIN CBS6 stated.

While the New Year’s Eve Antifa rampage left tens of thousands of dollars in damage, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

As far back as June, the Portland Business Alliance claimed $23 million in damages and lost revenue due to the persistent rioting in the city, KGW NBC8 stated.

Despite the early warning signs, Mayor Wheeler, in the midst of a re-election run0ff against a self-proclaimed Antifa member and in the shadow of the presidential election, continued his policies of appeasing Antifa and allowing lawlessness and anarchy in the streets of his city. He even went so far as chastising police officers attempting to enforce the law, Breitbart’s Hannah Bleau reported.

In September, Wheeler disciplined police officers while ignoring the deadly violence occurring in the city, Breitbart’s coverage by Penny Starr continued. He eventually ordered police to stop using tear gas against protesters.

Similarly, Oregon Governor Kate Brown appeased Antifa rioters by refusing to activate the state’s National Guard saying they were not needed or trained, Ian Hanchett reported. Yet, almost immediately after the November presidential election and mayoral runoff, Brown suddenly reversed herself and deployed National Guard troops to Portland.

More recently, Mayor Wheeler apologized to Antifa occupiers of a house under foreclosure. The mayor apologized for calling the three-block encampment of the house an “autonomous zone” and for police could use “all lawful means” to end their occupation of the house under a court-ordered eviction.

Despite the obvious precedent of appeasement and surrender to the anarchists, Wheeler argued, “Nobody should take this as an invitation to do it anywhere else. The end result could turn out very differently.”

Wheeler’s appeasement of Antifa did not even stop when rioters protested outside his Pearl District condo and attempted to set fires outside and inside the residential tower, Joel Pollak reported.

Instead of increasing law enforcement and cracking down on Antifa, Wheeler’s solution was to move out of the building.

Wheeler now says he wants stiffer penalties for those who commit repeated acts of rioting and vandalism.

“It’s time to push back harder against those who are set on destroying our community and to take more risks in fighting lawlessness,” the Portland mayor continued.

He then called upon federal, state, county, and local law enforcement partners to work with him to develop “clear plans to address anarchist violence.” He also asked the Oregon Legislature to increase the penalties for people who engage in repeated acts of criminal destruction and vandalism.

The mayor’s three-part solution to the months of rampage concludes with, “I believe people convicted of criminal destruction be required to meet with those whose businesses they damaged and be required to do public service.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s Sunday-morning talk show, What’s Your Point? Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Parler @BobPrice, and Facebook.

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