Portland’s Mayor, Ted Wheeler, joined the protestors in his city to show solidarity against the federal law enforcement officers who were deployed to protect federal buildings from destruction. Wheeler has been vocal in his opposition to Trumps decision to send in officers. Trump, however, has defended this decision stating that if local and state leaders cannot bring peace to their cities, he will. Major American cities like Seattle, Chicago, and New York are having similar situations, splitting America in two of how far the federal government should go to bring back law and order.
Mayor Wheeler did not receive the support he thought, and instead, received boos and calls for him to resign. “Fuck Ted Wheeler,” was a chant used along with the usual “Black Lives Matter” chants. When Wheeler tried to answer questions from protestors, he reportedly had a protestor drop police munitions used against the crowd at his feet.
As Wheeler joined the crowd, received calls to resign, he was also tear gassed by federal agents protecting a federal court house. Portland City Council passed a resolution that prohibits Portland’s police form interacting with federal law enforcement officers. This means they cannot receive assistance from the federal officers, and also cannot share information with one another.
Why this matters: While Mayor Wheeler said he knows he has limited powers to kick out federal officers from his city, he tried to join the protestors. Instead, he was cajoled by the protestors, who want him to resign. This image shows the split in America. Wheeler is trying to take the side of the protestors, but they want him out. He is stuck in no man’s land, as he rejects federal help, but is also not able to calm the mob. Mayor’s across the country are facing a similar reality, which makes many Americans wonder when this unrest will end. The protestors have a list of demands, which Wheeler is trying to meet, but falls short. In response, the protests have become increasingly more violent. Now the federal officers have added another layer, causing a split in response to state versus federal rights, and what should be done to protect the citizens while allowing protestors to express their first amendment rights. His opponent in November, Sarah Iannarone, has attended the protests regularly.
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