Self-Destructive Ideologies Clash in Portland, Everyone Loses
by Wade Garrett
This article first appeared in The Havok Journal on 24 August, 2019. It’s a shame that this violence and lawlessness continues to intensify in such a beautiful and vibrant city.
It’s a sad day for America whenever civil discourse becomes so uncivil it must be arbitrated by a police presence so massive it essentially shuts down all discourse. That’s what happened in Portland, Oregon, on August 17, 2019. The cops prevented violence from erupting between far-right and far-left antagonists. They prevented discourse of any kind. Although that might have been for the best, considering Antifa wanted a fight.
First off, I live in Portland. Just a few blocks from where the protests went down. To be clear, the vast majority of the city wasn’t affected by the protests at all. The police kept everything confined to about a four-block area, perhaps the size of three football fields. Not a big area in a metropolis of some two million people. And I’m not bemoaning the lack of violence, though there were a handful of incidents that could have easily spiraled out of control without the police presence.
I’m saying it’s a pitiful commentary on the state of our republic. Two opposing views can’t be in the same breathing space without heavily armed moderators available for the debate. And, maybe more importantly, I think it’s horrific when these kinds of protests are an intentional attack on our economy.
Two of the organizers of the rightist protest, Joe Biggs and Enrique Tarrio said in a press release, “The gathering was never about bringing carnage or violence to the City of Portland, it was about financially crippling the progressive hotbed until they take action against Antifa and showcasing the power of peaceful political action.”
Hey, Biggs and Tarrio. I live in this progressive hotbed. You know what that means? It means we have fully legal weed. I can go buy a joint or a gummy anytime I want and get legally stoned. And we have the hottest strippers in the country due to our freedom of expression laws. And Portland’s restaurants cater to everyone from paleo to vegan. Our beer? Better than yours. This is what you want to “financially cripple?” Fuck you.
It took more than seven hundred officers from federal, state and local agencies to prevent about three hundred rightists from fighting with around nine hundred far-left extremists. The city of Portland said it spent $2M to ensure peace, and that doesn’t include what the state and federal government spent.
According to local Oregon media, the protests cost downtown Portland businesses over $3M in lost revenue. Although that figure will certainly rise as the lack of sales receipts become tallied. Most bars, restaurants and convenience stores closed in downtown Portland for the protest. This means a lot of service industry workers who are probably living really close to the poverty line missed a shift, putting them one step closer to being homeless. Trust me, you don’t want to live on the streets of Portland unless you want to get stabbed or fight a junkie who hasn’t had a needle in two days. There’s a reason they call it “stabtown“.
I’m all about free speech, my friends. But if your protest or counter-protest screws with my money, you can go fuck yourself. I don’t care what your cause is.
I can sum up what happened in Portland on August 17th pretty succinctly. The far-right successfully baited the far-left, and cost the city of Portland a lot of money. Antifa showed up in force. They showed their true colors by attacking any rightist protester they could access. Check out this footage of Antifa attacking buses carrying rightist protesters. No rightist attacked anyone, as far as I can tell. Portland is bracing for promised monthly protests from the far-right, which are clearly designed to attack the local economy.
There is no question Antifa is an ideological movement that encourages domestic terrorism. And there are absolutely a few real domestic terrorists hiding behind those masks. While there is no Antifa hierarchy or true organization, there are numerous people who advocate Antifa ideology who have conducted terrorist acts. Two examples are Ruby Montoya and Jennifer Reznicek who attacked oil pipelines in the Midwest.
That said, there are now elements of the far-right deliberately attacking a US city economically. Are we able to put down our swords? And mace? And hammers? And bats? And milkshakes? Probably not.
This vicious, spiraling circle of protest and counter-protest is becoming the new normal in America. It will lead to nothing more than a heavier police presence in all aspects of our lives. If there are domestic terrorists among these groups/movements, and there most certainly are, the feds will not stop. And it gives the feds an excuse to chip away at everyone’s civil rights. Neither side wants more cops looking into their activities. Even while they conduct activities that force the police to look into their activities.
Both the far-left and far-right are inherently self-destructive. I can only hope they self-destruct before they include the rest of America in their vortex.