After the summer of 2020 saw violence erupting across the country during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests and its counterprotests, Donald Trump’s Department of Justice formally labeled Portland, Seattle, and New York City as “anarchist jurisdictions”. In September, a few months after deploying federal agents to guard the downtown courthouse from protesters, Trump declared that Portland “permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract these criminal activities.”
Along with the label came the threat of pulling federal funding for all three cities in the middle of a pandemic, as well as the deployment of troops to patrol the specific areas where most of the violence had been occurring. When the Mayors of all three cities declined Trump’s initial offer to send in federal troops, Chad Wolf, then the Acting Head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent troops anyway, leading to clashes with locals and reports of protestors being taken away in unmarked cars by officers who displayed no proper identification. Footage of the violence was also a convenient way for the Trump White House to use Portland as a scapegoat during a reelection campaign. Portland has retained its image of a scary vast wasteland that’s constantly on fire, while Seattle still holds on to its rep of holding a grudge against everyone who interferes with its Seattle-ness.
But all of that is changing with the new administration in power. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden issued an executive order repealing several actions implemented by his predecessor, including the removal of the “anarchist jurisdiction” label from those three cities.
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) February 25, 2021
With the negative descriptors removed, the hope in the Pacific Northwest is for a chance to rehab the images the cities cultivated during 2020.
Great to have Apple open for business again. The murals covering the downtown store were donated to Don’t Shoot PDX. Portland looks forward to more businesses reopening soon. https://t.co/J74ZcQ8IwwSee Also
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) February 24, 2021