It Took Six Months Of Rioting, Millions In Property Damage For Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler To Escalate Law Enforcement Efforts Against Antifa

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by Kaylee Greenlee, The Daily Caller:

  • Portland’s Mayor recently recognized “Antifa” and “anarchists” are a problem in the city months after consecutive protests and rioting.
  • At least $4 million in physical damage was done to businesses downtown during the first month of protests, according to the Portland Business Alliance.
  • The riots cost downtown Portland another $18 million in revenue, according to the PBA.

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It took six months of rioting and millions of dollars in property damage for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to order increase law enforcement action against Antifa.

Several businesses were damaged during riots on New Year’s Eve including two Starbucks shops, a Chase Bank, a Pandora Jewelers, a Ben Bridge Jewelers, and multiple local businesses, such as the Portland Wine Company and an office space, according to the Portland Police Bureau. The riots led to three arrests.

“My good faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical Antifa and anarchists,” Wheeler said in a subsequent press conference. “In response, it will be necessary to use additional tools and to push the limits of the tools we already have to bring the criminal destruction and violence to an end.”

But the Thursday incident was just the latest destructive event in Portland.

From May 29, 2020 through Nov. 15, 2020, 30 riots were declared across the city resulting in 960 arrests, according to the City of Portland, Oregon. At least 58 instances of vandalism were reported and around 62 fires were set in association with the recorded protests and riots.

Several small businesses and places of worship were damaged in downtown Portland in just one Nov. 4 incident, according to the Portland Business Alliance (PBA).

“I find it beyond comprehension that anyone would continue to think that the destruction of our small businesses in downtown Portland is somehow acceptable or represents the exercise of free speech. These destructive acts of political violence, must stop now,” PBA President & CEO Andrew Hoan said in a statement.

“I hope every elected official will react and denounce this reprehensible behavior, just as vehemently as when our beloved Oregon Historical Society was attacked,” Hoan added.

Elected officials and community leaders condemned the acts of violence that accompanied protests in downtown, the PBA announced on Sept. 4. (RELATED: PHOTOS: Protesters, Police Officers Clash Again In Portland)

“The violence must stop,” Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement released Sept. 3. “There is no place for white supremacy or vigilantism in Oregon. All who perpetrate violent crimes must be held equally accountable.”

Brown’s statement was signed by Wheeler and several other politicians, including 19 Portland businesses, and community leaders.

Downtown Portland lost $18 million in revenue and faced $4 million in property damage during just the first month of rioting, according to a survey conducted by the PBA, KGW8 reported.

“I assume there’s $100,000 worth of physical damage, but also nearly $300,000 in property damage,” Watchworks Inc. President Alex Hofberg said, KGW8 reported. He said that windows and showcases were broken by looters who stole watches and jewelry.

Persian art was stolen from the family-owned Persian House Restaurant, Sara Houranpay told KGW8. She added that the restaurant might be able to reopen in July because of a GoFundMe campaign that was started for the business.

“Oftentimes people say, is the insurance going to cover this? Insurance companies don’t come to you the day after and hand you a check,” Houranpay said, KGW8 reported.

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