PORTLAND, Ore. — The mayor of Portland, a city wracked by nearly 70 consecutive nights of unrest, on Thursday angrily denounced those who attempted to set a police precinct on fire with officers stationed inside as props in President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and said those individuals were not protesters, but criminals.
“You are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a hastily called news conference alongside Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell.
“Don’t think for a moment that you are, if you are participating in this activity, you are not being a prop for the reelection campaign of Donald Trump — because you absolutely are,” he said. “You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during this campaign. If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up.”
The Donald: “I told you so.”
The show of solidarity among Portland’s leadership came after two consecutive nights of violent clashes between protesters and local police less than a week after an agreement between state and federal officials appeared to be ratcheting down sky-high tensions that had simmered for weeks. On Thursday, the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front posted a message on Twitter advertising a similar anti-police rally in the same spot and called it “Round 2.”