PORTLAND—“I’m going to do something, that I can tell you. Because we’re not going to let New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore and all of these – Oakland is a mess. We’re not going to let this happen in our country,” President Trump said Monday in Washington. “More federal law enforcement, that I can tell you. In Portland, they’ve done a fantastic job. They’ve been there three days and they really have done a fantastic job in a very short period of time. No problem! They grab them — a lot of people in jail.”
What’s happening in Portland—where the police had used wildly aggressive “crowd control tactics” against protesters, and reporters and passers-by to discourage protests about police violence and impunity even before federal officers acting independently of local authorities began indiscriminately attacking crowds with “less lethal” munitions including flash grenades and teargas—is coming soon to a city near you.
With the election looming, Trump is appealing to his base by again threatening to occupy American cities while creating a visible spectacle of suppressing leftist demonstrators: “There are anarchists, there are not protesters. There are people who hate our country and we’re not going to let it go forward.” So that’s the view from Washington; here’s what things have looked like on the ground in Portland: