Ore­gon pa­rade nixed af­ter phys­i­cal threats to Repub­li­cans.

Left-coast cities rocked by es­ca­lat­ing protests

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY VALERIE RICHARD­SON

Pro­test­ers in Port­land, Ore­gon, have gone from block­ing streets and dis­rupt­ing city coun­cil meet­ings to threat­en­ing to rough up Repub­li­cans, and James Buchal is sick of it.

The chair­man of the Mult­nomah County Repub­li­can Party, Mr. Buchal ac­cused city of­fi­cials of kow­tow­ing to “do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism” af­ter an an­nual pa­rade was can­celed over a warn­ing from rad­i­cals who said they would wreck the event un­less Repub­li­cans were ex­cluded.

“[O]nce again, lo­cal civic lead­ers didn’t do enough to pre­vent or­ga­nized gangs of crim­i­nal thugs from run­ning ram­pant in the city,” Mr. Buchal said Wednesday in a state­ment. “Ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal el­e­ments, they con­trol the streets of Port­land.”

Or­ga­niz­ers of the 82nd Av­enue of Roses Pa­rade scrapped the Satur­day event af­ter re­ceiv­ing an anony­mous email of­fer­ing a choice: Either bar the Mult­nomah County Repub­li­cans or “we will have two hun­dred or more peo­ple rush into the pa­rade into the mid­dle and drag and push those peo­ple out.”

“You have seen how much power we have down­town and that the po­lice can­not stop us from shut­ting down roads so please con­sider your de­ci­sion wisely,” said the email from the­giver@riseup.net.

There was lit­tle doubt that the pro­test­ers could make good on their threat. Left coast cities like Port­land and Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, have borne the brunt of the re­sis­tance’s wrath since Pres­i­dent Trump was elected, de­spite their sta­tus as havens of lib­er­al­ism.

Con­ser­va­tive au­thor Ann Coul­ter on Wednesday can­celed her speech at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley af­ter Young Amer­ica’s Foun­da­tion with­drew its sup­port amid threats of vi­o­lence.

“It’s sick­en­ing when a rad­i­cal thug­gish in­sti­tu­tion like Berke­ley can so eas­ily snuff out the cher­ished Amer­i­can right to free speech,” Ms. Coul­ter tweeted.

Like Berke­ley, left­ist Port­land has been rocked since Novem­ber by a re­lent­less stream of left-wing demon­stra­tions against the pres­i­dent, in some cases re­sult­ing in van­dal­ism and ar­rests.

Port­land Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Demo­crat, cracked down on pro­test­ers in March af­ter they re­peat­edly shut down city coun­cil meet­ings by in­ter­rupt­ing coun­cil mem­bers and staff.

Com­mis­sioner Nick Fish ad­vised his staff to stop at­tend­ing meet­ings over safety con­cerns. Mr. Wheeler spent two nights in a ho­tel af­ter ac­tivists blocked ac­cess to his Port­land Heights home.

There’s ev­i­dence that other Port­landers grow weary of the may­hem. A video posted Jan. 26 by Fox12 Ore­gon showed on­look­ers cheer­ing as po­lice broke up masked pro­test­ers block­ing a busy city street.

Af­ter the Tax Day protest on April 15, Ore­gon Repub­li­can Party spokesman Kevin Hoar blasted the “point­less per­pet­ual protests by anti-Trump fringe groups.”

“It must be frus­trat­ing for so many Ore­go­ni­ans who want to en­joy a beau­ti­ful, sunny Easter week­end in Port­land to have per­pet­ual, pro­fes­sional, astro­turf pro­test­ers dis­rupt­ing their day with POL­I­TICS, es­pe­cially over an is­sue that only fringe ac­tivists care about,” Mr. Hoar said in a state­ment.

The 82nd Av­enue of Roses Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion cited “threats of vi­o­lence” for its de­ci­sion, say­ing that it could “no longer guar­an­tee the safety of our com­mu­nity and have made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to can­cel the pa­rade.”

The Di­rect Ac­tion Al­liance, which had or­ga­nized an event on Facebook called “De­fend Port­land from Fas­cists at the Av­enue of Roses Pa­rade,” said it was “dis­ap­pointed” by the can­cel­la­tion, but vowed that “we will al­ways de­fend our com­mu­nity.”

The al­liance said that “known mem­bers of neo-nazi and anti im­mi­grant hate groups planned to at­tend the event.”

“[W]e in­tended to stand be­tween them and those who they wanted to in­tim­i­date. We in­tended to block out their hate and shut down their vi­o­lence,” said the al­liance.

It was un­clear what was meant by “hate groups.” Mem­bers of Pa­triot Prayer, a pro-Trump group that op­poses the “an­tifa” move­ment, had sched­uled a March for Free Speech on the same day in Port­land.

Mr. Buchal said the lo­cal GOP had par­tic­i­pated in the 11th an­nual pa­rade in East Port­land for years and had ex­pected hun­dreds of its mem­bers to at­tend.

“The bot­tom line is that Port­land needs to choose be­tween sup­port­ing ter­ror­ist thugs and pro­tect­ing av­er­age cit­i­zens who want to par­tic­i­pate in their com­mu­nity,” he said. “The Mult­nomah County Repub­li­can Party is not com­posed of ‘Nazis’ and ‘white su­prem­a­cists,’ and those who think we would tol­er­ate march­ing in a pa­rade with folks car­ry­ing swastikas are delu­sional.”

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