Daily Duh

But it Was a Peaceful Protest! The Violence Doesn’t Count!

Peace­ful pro­test­ers (aka riot­ers) in Port­land, Ore., were in for a rude shock last night when they blocked traf­fic, start­ed break­ing win­dows, and assault­ed at least one police offi­cer: The entire crowd was detained, ID’d, frisked, and pho­tographed. Some of them did­n’t coop­er­ate and got them­selves pep­per-sprayed or banged up with impact muni­tions.

Police arrest­ed 13 peace­ful pro­test­ers and con­fis­cat­ed a big pile of weapons: Guns, knives, home­made black­jacks (socks stuffed with grav­el) bear spray, ham­mers, a crow­bar and firearms.

So why did Port­land may­or Ted Wheel­er order police to stand down dur­ing four sol­id months of night­ly riots last year, but not now?

Part of it was that Wheel­er, IMHO, made the clas­sic mis­take: Nev­er go in against a Sicil­ian when death is on the line—no, wait. That’s just a movie.

Last fall, it looked to me as if Wheel­er made the mis­take of think­ing BLM riot­ers would be his friend if he let them engage in their peace­ful protests as much as they want­ed. He fell out of love with that delu­sion pret­ty damned fast when the peace­ful pro­test­ers fol­lowed him to the con­do tow­er where he lived, start­ed smash­ing win­dows and throw­ing burn­ing debris at the build­ing. And sud­den­ly, Wheel­er decid­ed the peace­ful protest was actu­al­ly a riot. So the police stomped on the riot, and Wheel­er moved out.

But I sus­pect this is the main rea­son: Wheel­er’s a Demo­c­rat. So are both of Ore­gon’s Sen­a­tors, four of Ore­gon’s five Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and Ore­gon Gov­er­nor (and the lone Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s dis­trict is the rur­al farm­lands east of the Cas­cades. Go fig­ure).

And now that we’ve got a Demo­c­rat in the White House, Wheel­er appar­ent­ly real­ized he can’t blame any­one who’s not a Demo­c­rat for Port­land’s riots. So There Went the Boom.

Trump would have been well with­in the Exec­u­tive branch’s author­i­ty to send the Nation­al Guard into Port­land last year, whether Wheel­er liked it or not. Makes me won­der what would have hap­pened if he did.


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