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Thomas Gallatin / August 27, 2021

Portland: A City Descending Into Anarchy

The city’s leftist leadership refuses to enforce the Rule of Law, and lawlessness ensues.

A social cancer has been steadily metastasizing in the leftist-run city of Portland, Oregon. That cancer is lawlessness wrapped in the garb of political protest. Two groups hellbent on a fight recently clashed in violent confrontations near a city park. Those groups were the far-left antifa and the far-right Proud Boys.

Violence predictably erupted when antifa crossed over to confront the protesting Proud Boys. Law enforcement was nowhere to be seen. And that lack of a presence of law enforcement was in fact intentional. This comes after months of rioting primarily instigated by leftist groups like antifa and Black Lives Matter, all while the Portland Police Department has been rendered nearly powerless by the city’s leftist leaders. Inept Democrat Mayor Ted Wheeler asserted that the “violence was contained to the groups of people who chose to engage in violence toward each other.” He then ridiculously added, “The community at large was not harmed and the broader public was protected. Property damage was minimal.” Wow.

Wheeler’s message is, We’re okay with anarchy. Furthermore, his assertion that it has little impact upon the city at large is absurd. Over the last year alone, as this nearly daily rioting has been allowed to continue virtually unchecked by law enforcement, violent crime in the Rose City has spiked. The number of homicides in Portland so far this year is 61; the total number of homicides in 2019 was 32.

Police morale in the city has tanked, as Wheeler has essentially handcuffed officers’ ability to enforce the law. Responding to the woke demands of BLM following the death of George Floyd, city leaders cut the police budget by some $25 million. On top of the budget cut, the department has lost 150 officers to either resignations or retirements. So, lacking manpower and the authority necessary to properly enforce the law, an apparently exasperated Police Chief Chuck Lovell recently told residents of Portland they “should not expect to see police officers standing in the middle of the crowd trying to keep people apart.”

It’s clear that Portland’s elected leaders have no real interest in taking the necessary actions to stop this growing lawlessness from spreading. Wheeler has his head in the sand believing that this response to lawlessness will contain the growing anarchy.

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