“When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” Mayor Wheeler, who has remained relatively soft on demonstrators — even
joining them last month — said.
“Don’t think for a moment think that you are if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump — because you absolutely are,” Wheeler
continued, attempting to deter violent protesters by warning of the possibility of unintentionally helping Trump’s reelection campaign.
“You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during this campaign. If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up,” he said.
Wheeler added “city staff could have died last night.”
“I cannot and I will not tolerate that. This is not peaceful protests. This is not advocacy to advance reforms,” he said.
Demonstrators took to the streets again on Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, attacking the East Precinct, destructing security cameras, cracking the building’s glass doors, launching commercial-grade fireworks, and attempting to set the building on fire.
Their actions forced the Portland Police, which has tried to remain “hands-off” throughout the violent protests, to declare a riot:
According to the Portland Police, a truck “associated with the group”
attempted to run over officers as they worked to disperse the crowd. Police arrested and booked at least eight people associated with the August 5-6 violence.
Mayor Wheeler made headlines last month after
joining violent protesters in Portland, only to find himself largely rejected by the crowd:
Last month, Wheeler
accused President Trump, who sent federal agents to help protect areas ravaged by violent protests, of “attacking progressive cities with a classic ‘divide and conquer’ tactics.”
It was just one of a number of false claims that have erupted on the back of the riots.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection