Portland Official as City Burns: ‘There Is a Violent and Tragic History of Oppression in Our County’

PORTLAND, OR - JULY 20: A fire burns around a sign reading I cant breathe during a protest in front of the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 201, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Monday night marked 54 days of protests in Portland following the death of George Floyd in …
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Portland, Oregon, faced another night of violent and destructive riots on Tuesday as rioters moved their attacks to the seat of the county government, including breaching its headquarters and setting a fire inside.

But even as videos posted on social media show ongoing destruction, one county official, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, did not condemn the violence and instead referred to “a violent and tragic history of oppression in our county.”

The fire damaged the Office of Community Involvement.

“This is the heart of our County, where people in our community come to get married, get their passports, and celebrate their cultural traditions and diversity,” Kafoury said in a midnight statement reported by the Oregon Live website.

She said the damaged space is dedicated to people “marginalized by the traditional political process.”

“The lobby where the first same-sex marriage in Oregon took place, and where millions of pieces of personal protective equipment are being distributed to help our community battle COVID-19, was damaged,” Kafoury said.

“I acknowledge that there is grave injustice in our world and there is a violent and tragic history of oppression in our County,” Kafoury said. “I am committed to transformational change.”

But Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese had another description of what is happening in Portland.

“The unprovoked actions by those who engaged in criminal behavior is reprehensible,” Reese said in a statement in the same Oregon Live report. “It is simply violence and serves no legitimate purpose. It does nothing to solve the issues our community faces.”

The ongoing violence in Portland and other cities such as Seattle and Chicago is taking place as the Democratic National Committee holds its virtual 2020 convention, but no one who has spoken over the first two nights of the four-night convention has addressed it.

Andy Ngo, a citizen journalist who has meticulously documented the nightly riots, reported on violent rioters, including a pedophile who was arrested but quickly released.

Ngo’s coverage included the lack of leadership in the city to counter the chaos.

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