Portland Mayor Teargassed By Federal Militants
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tried to have a dialogue with some of his constituents during the Portland protests last night. Wheeler donned a mask and walked into the middle of the fray, hoping to engage with the protesters and listen to what they had to say.
It didn’t go very well for him.
Wheeler, who has served as Portland’s Mayor since 2017, is among many Oregon lawmakers who have made it clear these federal officers are not welcome in the city. Both the Oregon ACLU and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum have already brought lawsuits against the Trump Administration for unlawful occupation and arrests, among other transgressions. Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf has said the officers are staying put.
The Black Lives Matter protests have been taking place nightly in Portland for the last 56 days, and crowd size had been dwindling until the federal officers started harassing protestors. As details began to emerge of Portlanders being arrested without cause and thrown into the backs of unmarked minivans, Portlanders from all walks of life joined the fray. Most famously, the “Wall of Moms” has gained international attention for creating a human barrier between the Feds and the protesters. Protesters have accused the federal officers of harassment, but because they’re unidentified and the Trump Administration isn’t providing any details as to their identities, pressing charges may be a fruitless pursuit.
Mayor Wheeler was immediately set upon by angry marchers, who yelled profanity, threats, and even chanted “F— Ted Wheeler!” as the Mayor continued to try to make his voice heard. Yet even as he was being heckled, Wheeler pressed on, insisting he was one of them and would stand with them no matter what. “The reason I am here tonight is to stand with you,” Wheeler told the crowd. “If they’re launching the tear gas against you, they’re launching the tear gas against me.”
Federal officers did indeed launch tear gas, not only spraying the Mayor but those around him as well. Wheeler stayed with the crowd for about three hours; less than an hour after he departed, the Portland Police Bureau declared there was a riot at the site and threatened to use tear gas to disperse the crowd. However, Portland officers never did utilize tear gas and made no arrests.
Donald Trump is sending similar officers to every major city helmed by a Democratic mayor. The Feds are already on the ground in Kansas City and Washington, DC.