Smoke ’em if you Portland

Portland recently launched its “Here for Portland” promotion to bring people back to a downtown that remains economically distressed over a year after the onset of the “racial reckoning” of riots and police defunding.

Baby come back, I can make it good again…

To reassure the revelers, and following an untimely gang-style shooting last week, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced a plan to bring in extra Portland police from outside precincts and FBI agents to patrol downtown. This is of course the same Ted Wheeler who threw in with his more radical peers to condemn federal agents opposing rioters (then, the Mayor said the presence of feds “sharply escalated” the situation and was the cause of violence) on the same streets when they took to attacking the federal courthouse. Needless to say, Trump is long gone and our memory is quite short.

The presence of unmarked federal police cruisers last night was conspicuous, as well as the increased police patrols; Wheeler’s plan was to discourage gangstas–who’ve been noticeably more present and exuberant this summer in the city center–with a very visible police presence.

Last night antifa organized a rally and marched downtown unmolested by police–with mask mandates gone, restaurants open and good weather people are returning to the city at night. Antifa’s group of about fifty blocked traffic, drumming and chanting, ignored by the people eating outside of restaurants and cruising bars; occasionally harsh words were exchanged. Normie tolerance of antifa seems at an ebb.

Last night was also the first night of this, Mayor Wheeler’s carrot and nightstick approach to reclaiming downtown. As if in response, there was a shooting, right around the corner from a mass shooting that prompted Wheeler’s new strategy–that chaos injured seven and killed one, a teenage girl. A local told me yesterday it began when the Golden Dragon strip club closed for the night and the crowd emerged; fighting ensued in the street, probably continuing hostilities began earlier inside the club. The Dragon remains open for business.

Another bar around the corner, Kelly’s Olympian, was the vicinity of last night’s shooting.

Just around the corner another block was taped off. I assumed it was a search for suspects, but later learned there was a second stabbing there–in almost the same exact block as the Golden Dragon shootings that prompted the new strategy. The stabbing happened despite the massive police presence already there to investigate the shooting outside Kelly’s.

Soon our love of Portland will only be able to manifest as grief.

One thought on “Smoke ’em if you Portland

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