How Portland 's liberal utopia became the center of a rightwing war in the US
Saturday will see the latest in a long line of far-right gatherings that has plagued the city over the last few years as groups including the Proud Boys descend on the area
This weekend will see the latest in a long line of far-right gatherings that have plagued the city over the last few years. Various groups, including the most visible, the Proud Boys, will descend on the downtown area. Once again they will be met by leftist counter-protesters. And once again, PPB will be under heavy scrutiny for the way in which they police the event.
“I would say Portland has not changed. The impression that people get these days is that everywhere you go in Portland violence is breaking out all over the place. That couldn’t be further from the truth.”
But the Oregon hinterland is deeply conservative, and Portland itself has long been a target for far-right organising. In the 1980s and 1990s, neo-Nazi skinheads converged in the streets, and a gang killed an Ethiopian immigrant, Mulugeta Seraw, in 1988.
Last July, Gibson told conspiracy broadcaster Alex Jones: “Portland is one of the worst cities in this country. It’s full of so much darkness. That’s why I’m so motivated to go there.”
But it is another group which has become increasingly central to Portland’s rightwing protests: the Proud Boys. The “western chauvinist” fraternity, established by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2015, has been involved in street violence throughout the US. Trials are ongoing after an incident in New York City last year where 10 members of the group were caught on video beating anti-fascists at the conclusion of a McInnes speech.
Biggs has been banned from many platforms after issuing threats ahead of the rally. In a Periscope video, he warned anti-fascists, or “antifa”: “Every time you turn your shoulder or your head, you look over, you’re always gonna feel like myself or someone else is gonna be there looking, because that’s what we’re going to do.”
But the right seems not to hear it. In recent weeks, the Texas senator Ted Cruz has sparred with Mayor Wheeler on Twitter, and called for federal investigation into the city’s handling of protests.
Ngo’s assault initiated a firestorm of outrage in conservative media on its way to becoming a global story. It even attracted the attention of Trump, who mentioned Ngo by name in a speech to a social media summit packed with rightwing internet personalities. Trump also tweeted support of a terrorist designation for antifa.
Wheeler, for his part, said it’s not just his or Portland’s problem. “For me, it is so clear that what’s at stake here goes well beyond the question of public safety in one municipality in the United States,” he said.
During the period where the city has become a symbol for the right, PPB has not appeared to develop a consistent policy for policing events.
Emails and texts uncovered in February suggested a warm relationship between Gibson and a PPB lieutenant who commanded the squad that patrols city protests. The Guardian reported on a video which appeared to show PPB officers cutting deals with Gibson on a lieutenant’s instructions. Earlier, a PPB report described far-right protesters as “much more mainstream” than their leftwing antagonists.
Portlanders – and the world – will be wondering if that will be enough.Read more: The Guardian
Here's a crazy idea - how about when the right are having their little congregations people from the left just stay at home that day. The left can have their march a different day. There would be less violence and everyone gets their day in the sun. Portland is a leftist utopia Liberal utopia. Couldn't have said it any better
“Processions, meetings, military parades, lectures, waxwork displays, film shows, telescreen programs all had to be organized; stands had to be erected, effigies built, slogans coined, songs written, rumours circulated, photographs faked.” & you're good at it. this is 100% on the mayor White on white violence? A society too dumb to realize that a coin having two sides is still the same coin.
They started beating up protestors?
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