Authorities in Oregon and Washington seem to be smiling a bit as they eagerly announce the departure of federal agents—not “troops” as some protest leaders have erroneously declared—from Portland and Seattle, but that doesn’t mean demonstrators have folded their tents.
And, if mob violence continues in both cities, what will it take for Governors Kate Brown and Jay Inslee, and Mayors Ted Wheeler and Jenny Durkan, to acknowledge they wrongly misjudged the cause of angry protests? Will they admit the dispatching of federal agents to protect federal buildings in both cities was not the cause of increased tension?
If critics of these officials are right, don’t hold your breath.
According to KING 5 News—Seattle’s NBC affiliate—Oregon’s Brown released a statement announcing the federal departure, which blustered, “After discussions with the Vice President and administration officials this week, the federal government has agreed to my demand and will withdraw these officers from Portland. They will also clean up the Courthouse, removing the graffiti.”
North of the Columbia River, Washington’s Inslee declared, “This demobilization means Washingtonians no longer have to worry about the White House’s aim to provoke confrontation and undermine peaceful protests. Those peacefully protesting have raised the public’s consciousness of the urgent need for racial justice, and I have no doubt they will continue to use their voices to call for action. We must continue making progress toward a better and more just Washington for everyone.”
Evidently Inslee didn’t notice the riot last Saturday, nor did he know that federal officers had no part in controlling the violence.
Seattle’s Durkan couldn’t resist adding her spin.
“The president’s actions to target and ‘dominate’ Democratic cities through the use of federal forces is chilling,” she stated. “It has increased violence in Portland, Seattle and other cities across the country, which was what the president intended. Policing decisions in Seattle should be made by Chief Best – not Donald Trump, and we can rest assured that they will be.”
Inslee, Brown, Durkan and Wheeler are all far left Democrats.
The Pacific Northwest has become a mecca for troublemakers using the Black Lives Matter protests as cover for their destructive activities. Vandalism, looting and even arson have become common occurrences. Portland has been essentially under siege for more than two months. Seattle’s weekend rioting occurred near the former “CHOP” (Capitol Hill Organized Protest) zone that was occupied for more than two weeks until police moved in to more protesters out.
By making the high-profile announcements of federal agent departures, the question now will be whether this signals to the Antifa crowd that the coast is clear for them to try ramping up vandalism, especially around federal buildings.
If the violence continues, to the discredit of those determined to peacefully protest, how long will it be before frustrated citizens start demanding the resignations of both mayors and both governors?
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