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Rantz: Activists, media pretend Portland isn’t under siege by Antifa violence

Protesters gather during a demonstration in Portland, Ore., Thursday, July 16, 2020. Federal officers deployed tear gas and fired less-lethal rounds into a crowd of protesters late Thursday. The actions came just hours after the head of the Department of Homeland Security called the protesters “violent anarchists.” (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP)

Activists and some media outlets refuse to acknowledge that Portland is under siege as Antifa and other agitators violently take control of the city’s downtown core. It sounds an awful lot like they’re making their own “summer of love” comments. It’s delusional and dishonest.

For over 50 nights in a row, Antifa criminals and agitators have taken to the streets to damage federal property. Over the weekend, the rioters even set fire to the Portland Police Association union. But if you listen to some activists in and out of the media, all is well in Portland.

Portland under siege by Antifa protesters

There is a concerted effort by some to pretend there’s nothing going on in Portland. Just like how some outlets treated the CHOP, you have your standard ideologues engaged in some cognitive dissonance. While watching parts of their city burn and be vandalized, they say nothing is wrong.

Much of the defense is intentionally obtuse. Cities are usually defined by their downtown core, especially when they’re the size of a Portland.

To claim there’s nothing wrong with Portland because, as a whole, the city isn’t dealing with anarchy is disingenuous, at best. It’s equivalent to pointing to Wallingford or West Seattle to suggest all was well during the height of CHOP lawlessness. When people say Portland is under siege, they’re very clearly talking about downtown rather than Foster-Powell or St. Johns.

So why are activists and some media outlets pretending the city isn’t under siege? For starters, they don’t feel comfortable casting “protesters” in a bad light. They either agree with or respect the protester’s end goal, which includes abolishing police and rebuilding the judicial system.

The mistake these defenders make is that these aren’t simple protesters destroying property in Portland. These are Antifa criminals — using their ideology to wreak havoc on a city for over 50 days. That makes them domestic terrorists.

Portland blames the feds

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a feckless, terrified, and meek leader, has lost control of his city. It’s almost by design. For years, Wheeler has given into Antifa and other militant, fringe protesters. He is loath to support law and order. Things got so out of hand, the federal government finally stepped in. The mayor shouldn’t be surprised — President Donald Trump had repeatedly promised to step in if cities don’t get their riots under control.

With federal buildings under attack, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf sent authorities to Portland. Now, Wheeler and other like-minded progressive politicians blame the federal government for the violence. As if the city hadn’t been dealing with violence for the five weeks before the feds arrived.

If it’s not federal officials causing the violence, it’s that they’re now an occupying force “disappearing” innocent protesters with secret police forces. Indeed, they’re so secret that … everyone is talking about them while interviewing the protesters who supposedly “disappeared” from the streets.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty claims the free speech rights of Portlanders are under assault. Except it’s not peaceful protesters being arrested. It’s criminals or suspects in criminal behavior that activists and some media outlets want to pretend isn’t happening. In Portland, like Seattle, you’re not supposed to be arrested or charged for ideologically driven crime so long as those in power support your ideology.

The conspiracy theories

We’re told that unmarked cars and “stormtroopers” are “kidnapping” some protesters “in response to graffiti” because the Left has become so unhinged by the Trump presidency, they’ll literally say anything to advance their cause. For nearly three years, some activists and media outlets on the Left said Trump is either a dictator or the 2020 version of Adolf Hitler. So they’ll happily use Portland to make the case they’ve been unsuccessfully pursuing for years.

These positions are deranged, of course. They’re also just plain false.

Using unmarked vehicles isn’t new, nor was it started under Trump. In the case of Portland, the arrests happen swiftly with unmarked cars because when Portland police make arrests, they face assault from Antifa agitators who interfere. In some cases, Antifa members wear fake press gear so they can get close enough to cops to assault them.

By going in quickly to make targeted arrests of suspects, they’re ensuring that there’s less potential for violence against law enforcement officers. That may upset anti-cop activists, but it’s the safest way to hold bad guys to account. They’re also not “secret police,” but members of either Customs and Border Patrol or the U.S. Marshals agency. And they identify themselves to those who are arrested.

Another conspiracy is that this is just a test run for Trump to stay in office if he loses in November. This is, again, insane.

Joe Lockart, an Obama-era official and CNN analyst, doesn’t believe the conspiracy but he suspects his base of fringe activists might. For the duration of the Trump presidency, Leftists have been pushing the authoritarian regime nonsense to scare people from supporting Trump. When it doesn’t work, they just ratchet up their rhetoric. It’s not just divisive. It’s dangerous.

The reality

So what’s it really like on the ground? It’s dangerous and violent. Portland is, indeed, under siege. And while some activists and media outlets would rather gaslight you into thinking it’s just their version of a “summer of love,” those of us who followed the CHOP fiasco know what’s coming to Portland if they don’t end the criminal behavior.

But it’s not going to stop. Lawlessness begets more lawlessness and when they can get away with it locally, why would they stop? When a criminal is arrested, they feign ignorance — “why are you arresting him!?” — and post context-free video propaganda to be retweeted by sitting U.S. Senators. These criminals are enabled by like-minded, anti-Trump officials, thereby ensuring the behavior will continue. It’s why the federal government finally had to step in.

But, all is well in Portland and nothing is under siege. Right. Here’s some video of peaceful protesters in a city that is definitely not under siege.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook

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