A neighbor of embattled Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) denounced ongoing violent unrest plaguing the Democrat-run city for over in the last three months, saying the protests and riots have nothing to do with fulfilling the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Speaking to KREM 2 News, Tom Drewes, who lives in Wheeler’s upscale condo building, expressed frustration with protests that have erupted outside the site in recent days. “I think, sadly, this no longer has anything to do with Black Lives Matter and that’s the tragedy of this. I think that message has been co-opted by people with a totally different agenda,” Drewes said.
In addition to Wheeler’s neighbors, even Black Lives Matter organizer Seneca Cayson is angry at the scene outside the mayor’s building, exposing an ever-deepening rift between far-left forces in Portland.
“And I immediately just dropped my head and said, ‘We’ve got to do something different,'” vented Cayson. “So, I personally reached out to [Wheeler’s] office and left a message to say, ‘I’d like to speak because not only do I have my opinions but I have some solutions that I know that I can get across.’”
Wheeler told fellow residents in an email that is searching for a new place to live after protesters repeatedly targeted his building.
The demonstration that began late Monday and extended into Tuesday fell on Wheeler’s 58th birthday and featured shiny golden alphabet balloons that protesters used to spell out an expletive.
They sang on the street outside the mayor’s building, some wearing party hats, and the fire was set with a bundle of newspapers in a store housed on the ground floor of Wheeler’s building. There were no reports of major damage or injuries.
Wheeler, who is also police commissioner, has come under fire for his failure to bring the violence in Oregon’s largest city under control and for heading up a police force that has used tear gas multiple times against demonstrators.
Some also blame the mayor for engaging in a war of words with President Donald Trump instead of focusing on local needs. Trump has put Portland and other Democrat-led cities in the crosshairs of a “law and order” re-election campaign theme — a move that’s escalated tensions in the city and drawn the attention of right-wing Trump supporters.
A supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer was killed Saturday during clashes between dueling protesters. A caravan of Trump supporters, estimated at about 600 cars, encountered Black Lives Matter protesters as they drove through the downtown and skirmishes broke out.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.