Black Lives Matter and Antifa spoke out against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s call to ‘unmask’ violent protesters. Hours after the mayor’s comments, another riot broke out in the city.
“We must stand together as a community against this ongoing criminal intimidation and violence,” Mayor Wheeler said on Friday. “Our job is to unmask them, arrest them, and prosecute them.”
“People know who these criminals are,” Wheeler continued.
A few hours later, violence broke out again in Portland following a social media post calling for demonstrators to “Bloc Up,” — a reference to the Antifa “uniform” of all black clothing, masks, and helmets, Breitbart News reported.
As demonstrators began blocking roadways, smashing windows, painting graffiti, and forcing their way into at least one occupied restaurant, police declared the incident to be a riot and ordered protesters to leave, Fox 12 Portland’s Drew Marine tweeted.
— Drew Marine (@DrewCMarine) April 24, 2021
During Wheeler’s remarks, he extended the city’s state of emergency and directed Portland Police Bureau officials to “arrest people engaged in any crimes,” The Oregonian reported. He supported the police tactics of “kettling” (boxing people in).
Following Friday’s riot, one of many this month alone, Black Lives Matter activists and other “protesters and community leaders” marched on city hall to protest the mayor’s call for action, KGW NBC8 reported.
Protesters said the mayor misused the words they expressed earlier in the week when they drafted an open letter to demonstrators, the local NBC affiliate stated.
“I would appreciate it if people would listen to the words that we say and read the words that we say, absorb the words that we say, think on the words that we say, but stop adding your own lens to it, ” protest speaker Mac Smiff said. “Sometimes you have to be quiet and listen.”
The letter to violent protesters said, in part, that “actions that neither increase solidarity nor broadcast purpose while making the lives of local Black communities more difficult are not acceptable.”