On Monday night, the ninety-fifth consecutive night of violent riots in Portland, antifa rioters again harassed the condo building where Mayor Ted Wheeler (D-Portland) ostensibly lives, this time to “celebrate” his birthday. They lit a bonfire in the street in front of the condo building and set off commercial-grade fireworks right outside condo windows. Then they invaded a nearby dentist’s office and set it on fire, heedless of the fact that people live in the apartments above it. After the police held themselves back in order to “deescalate” the situation to no avail — surprise, surprise — the cops finally broke up the dangerous riot.
Happy birthday, Mr. Mayor!
Antifa rioters again mobbed the condo building where Mayor Wheeler ostensibly lives, purposely gathering in order to harass him on his birthday. When rioters harassed this building on Saturday evening, Michael Forest Rienoehl, the self-described antifa man who allegedly shot and killed Trump supporter Aaron Danielson, took part in the harassment.
Rioters unfurled a large banner reading “Resign” and set a picnic table on fire in the middle of the street.
Antifa rioters also set off fireworks which exploded in front of the condo building windows, harassing any unfortunate soul whose only crime was to live in the same building as Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Rioters also vandalized the area, spray-painting the message, “How much does it take to show you we are serious?” This message echoed Reinoehl’s notorious Instagram post in which he warned that “antifa truly stands for” a devastating upheaval that cannot happen without “a war and like all wars there will be casualties.”
Get those evil… dentists?!
Antifa rioters spilled out from the area of Wheeler’s condo, vandalizing “random” businesses. One group vandalized a dentist’s office and then broke inside and started a fire.
“This is the message of the unheard,” one spray-painted message reads. “Cops = KKK,” another graffiti message screams. “Cops & Klan go hand in hand,” a third declares. Vandals also spray-painted the message, “ACAB,” the abbreviation for “All Cops Are Bastards.”
It appears some rioters may actually believe this extreme hyperbole, even though there is no evidence that the Ku Klux Klan — a rightly vilified and largely defunct organization — has any ties to the Portland Police Bureau. Even so, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who has demanded that Wheeler put her in charge of the city’s police, attributed the shooting of Aaron Danielson to the “perception” of an “alliance” between PPB and “white supremacists.”
The attack on the dentist’s office proved to be a turning point in the riots Monday night. Police had been monitoring the violence up until that point.
The police report notes that cops observed the fireworks, the breaking of windows, and the graffiti, but “in an attempt to deescalate, officers stayed out of sight and monitored the situation from a distance. However, the vandalism and burning continued. People were seen burglarizing a business, taking furniture out, and throwing it on the fires in the street.”
At 11:05 p.m., the police declared the riot an unlawful assembly. At that point, the rioters set the fire in the dentist’s office, which the police report describes as “a ground-level business in a large, occupied apartment building. Out of concern that the fire could spread, causing an extreme life safety concern, the incident was declared a riot.”
Police arrested 16 adults and one 17-year-old minor. Some of the rioters had knives when the cops arrested them.
Wheeler blames Trump, but rioters aren’t happy
Wheeler appears not to have addressed the harassment of his condo building directly. However, he did address the Danielson shooting on Sunday. In doing so, he strained to blame President Donald Trump for the shooting that killed a Trump supporter.
“Yesterday’s events began with hundreds of cars filled with supporters of the president, rallying in Clackamas County and then driving through downtown Portland,” Wheeler said. “They were supported and energized by the president himself. President Trump, for four years, we have had to live with you and your racist attacks on black people. We learned early about your sexist attitudes towards women. We’ve had to endure clips of you mocking a disabled man. We’ve had to listen to your anti-democratic attacks on journalists. We’ve read your tweets slamming private citizens to the point of receiving death threats, and we’ve listened to your attacks on immigrants.”
As PJ Media’s Jeff Reynolds noted, Wheeler’s laundry list of Trump’s misdeeds kept going, and the mayor worked in the debunked claim that President Trump had praised white supremacists. “It’s you who have created the hate and the division,” Wheeler charged.
It appears the antifa rioters took little encouragement from Wheeler’s decision to carry water for them. Instead, they harassed his condo building on his birthday. Or perhaps those fireworks were meant as a celebration — how thoughtful!
All sarcasm aside, the graffiti saying, “U R Next, Teddy,” is rather ominous. Is that a reference to Aaron Danielson? Is this graffiti really a death threat?
While Wheeler did vocally condemn the violent riots after antifa trapped police inside of a precinct and tried to burn the building down, he has mostly defended the antifa agitators wreaking havoc on his city. He faces a challenge from an even more radical candidate who vocally supports antifa and refused to condemn even the attempted murder of police officers.
Any mayor should be furious at the kind of harassment and violent attack leveled against his condo building. The rioters harassed and may have endangered everyone in the building, not just Wheeler. It would not be petty for the mayor to condemn such an attack, although it seems he has not yet done so.
Americans should have the civility not to disturb and harass politicians in their own homes, but that is especially true in cases like this, where any harassment targeted at Wheeler ends up making life worse for everyone in his condo building.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.