Nearly a year after “anarchist” violence began raging in Portland, Oregon, the Washington Post reported Tuesday that the “social justice” movement inspiring the often-destructive demonstrations is “splintered” and bickering over purposes and methods.
Portland’s homicide and gun violence rates have skyrocketed, as The Daily Wire reported on Monday, and the city’s minority residents are pressing back on the “social justice” movement, blaming the black-clad anarchists for forgetting the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement that launched last year in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Now, the Washington Post said, the movement itself is in disarray, torn apart by disagreement over methods and concerns about whether the movement should prioritize defunding and dismantling the police force given that violent crime is on the rise and minority communities are most affected by the spike.
“After months of social-justice activism that made Portland a vivid, sometimes violent focal point for a nation debating the same issues around police accountability and reform, the movement here has splintered into bickering groups, at odds over tactics, goals, and an overall direction for how to make the city safer, with the police force still at the debate’s bitter center,” the outlet reported.
After a year of nightly riots, which peaked over the summer when self-described “anarchists” targeted downtown federal buildings, including a federal courthouse, Portland’s downtown is a burned-out shell.
“Portland’s once-vibrant downtown, the heart of a world-class food scene, is still marred by boarded-up windows and closed businesses, the aftermath of a year of pandemic and fear of random assault and vandalism often committed under the name of the police reform movement,” the Washington Post noted on Tuesday.
“The rising gun violence, and for a time the downtown demonstrations, have stressed the police department and put it largely on its back foot, as a response unit rather than a force with resources to prevent crime,” the outlet added. “As one measure, police response time to emergency calls has more than doubled over the past eight years, to more than 40 minutes of wait-time before a call is even fielded by emergency dispatchers.”
Most residents now favor expanding the police department, not contracting it, and the nightly fires are not helping the matter.
The situation is now so bad that Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler came out recently and condemned the “anarchist” violence that he largely tolerated throughout the final year of the Trump administration.
“For nearly nine months protesters have called for police reform and an end to systemic racism in Portland, which has become a key city in the country’s racial reckoning,” The Associated Press reported last month. “While officials say many events have been peaceful, there continues to be small groups smashing windows of businesses, threatening community members, and assaulting police.”
“The community is sick and tired of people engaging in criminal destruction and violence and doing it under the guise of some noble cause,” Wheeler told a press conference.
“Portland has always had this great tradition of protest,” Wheeler added more recently. “But the anarchists that joined into the demonstration really co-opted what had been a nonviolent message in favor of change. And now that group has gotten much smaller, but also much more blatant in the damage they are causing and the targets they are picking.”
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