The city of Portland, Oregon is renowned for letting radical left-wing activists and members of the domestic terrorist group Antifa commandeer city streets and attack others at will as police stand idly by.
Yet, following a May 1st confrontation between Antifa and the right-wing group Patriot Prayer that occurred outside a cider house appropriately named Cider Riot, Portland has a sudden interest in the rule of law — at least, toward those on the right.
An attorney for Joey Gibson, the leader of Patriot Prayer, said that his client has been charged with rioting for the May Day brawl, according to The Oregonian. Gibson also told talk radio host Lars Larson on Thursday that he was preparing to turn himself in to authorities.
“I think it’s a shame,” Gibson said on the program. “This is a complete attack on the First Amendment. I literally stood on a sidewalk and got attacked.”
The newspaper reported that “police continue to arrest right-wing demonstrators accused of clashing with left-wing adversaries May 1 outside Cider Riot.”
There does not appear to be a similar effort afoot to pursue those on the left caught on camera assaulting Patriot Prayer members.
Gibson’s lawyer, James Buchal, said in a statement that of the multiple videos of the altercation, none show Gibson being violent.
“If Mr. Gibson’s conduct on May 1st constitutes ‘riot,’ so does the conduct of thousands of peaceful demonstrators who have appeared on the streets of Portland standing near violent Antifa members,” Buchal said. “The District Attorney’s decision to destroy constitutional protections against free speech by charging a peaceful protester with a crime of violence makes this a dark day for the rule of law in Oregon.”
Portland has become ground zero for extremists on both sides, with authorities slow to intervene.
The video below, from Andy Ngo, a conservative journalist, captured events from the Cider Riot incident, showing the rampant lawlessness in the city’s streets as opponents square off — with nary a police officer in sight.
A recent incident involving Ngo, who was severely beaten and briefly hospitalized after masked Antifa activists set upon him, is a prime example of what goes on in the streets of Portland.
And there has yet to be a single arrest for the attack on Ngo that occurred in July, even though his assailants were caught on video assaulting him.
Journalist Andy Ngo attacked by Antifa members in brutal video, police call ‘protest’ a ‘civil disturbance’ https://t.co/34uRbuGbpf
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 29, 2019
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a hard-left Democrat who also holds the title of police commissioner, drew scrutiny late last year – when Antifa blocked traffic and harassed motorists – for saying that he supported the Portland Police Bureau’s decision not to intervene.
“This is the story of Goldilocks and the two bears. The porridge is either too hot or it’s too cold,” Wheeler said during a news conference at the time. “At any given moment in this city, the police are criticized for being heavy-handed and intervening too quickly, or they’re being criticized for being standoffish and not intervening quickly enough.”
The mayor’s reported direction to police is to ensure people’s right to free speech and enforce all laws “when you’re able to.’’
Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw — you can’t make these things up — said earlier this month she will not send officers into a crowd unless it’s safe, according to KOIN-TV reporter Lisa Balick.
This prompted Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume to inquire: “What about people who may need protection amid such a crowd?”
“will not send officers into a crowd unless it’s safe.” Oh good. What about people who may need protection amid such a crowd? https://t.co/vQtrT1SpGA
— Brit Hume (@brithume) August 2, 2019
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