Portland is Under Siege by Trump’s Para-Military, Not by Demonstrators
Trump and Right-wing media outlets have been trying to sell a false narrative claiming that Portland is under siege by protesters. The truth is very different.
Questions regarding Portland’s overall safety have been raised in the media over recent weeks.
Right-wing outlets allege that the Portland is dangerous, causing widespread speculation and curiosity.
According to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who recently visited Portland on Trump’s behalf, claimed that Portland is “under siege.”
If Portland is “under siege”, the siege is being conducted by the US government, not peaceful protesters.
DHS’s Wolf paints a misleading picture of danger in many civilians minds. Trump misleadingly suggests that there is widespread violence and destruction targeted at federal monuments and installations within Portland.
Misleading images and videos depicting violence and property damage in Portland are being spread across the media like wildfire.
However, the events portrayed within the media do not occur during the day, nor do the events put the lives of civilians in danger, as was claimed by various Right-Wing news articles.
The violence and property damage shown in these videos do not reflect the regular, day-to-day life of Oregonians. The coverage portrays a very misleading view of Portland, purely for partisan political purposes.
In fact, much of the violence portrayed in the media results from federal agents taking harsh and aggressive actions against protesting civilians and wrongfully detaining them.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Oregon Governor Kate Brown have demanded Homeland Security officers to leave, and Oregon’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the federal authorities, opposing the unwelcome federal intervention.
Since George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police, Portland has become an epicenter of protests against racism and police brutality.
Oregonians have attended protests within and around the city peacefully. On many street corners, protesters display signs proclaiming that BLACK LIVES MATTER, and motorists show their support by honking their horns.
During the day, civilians throughout the region speak out against racial injustices and police brutality, while nightly protests express more aggressive opposition to the police, sometimes vandalizing precinct buildings, courthouses and monuments.
Right-wing media misleadingly portrays protesters as being violent and bent on widespread property damage.
The overwhelming majority of protester actions are non-threatening and harmless.
Trump and DHS, and their supporters in the Right-wing news media are preoccupied by defaming the protesters based on relatively rare instances of property damage. Trump advocates punishment for those who disturb memorials to the traitors who waged war against the Confederacy, yet targets peaceful protesters with violence.
The other night, the federal agents in Portland even gassed Mayor Wheeler along with throngs of peaceful protesters.
Trump’s aggressiveness toward protesters takes place under the guise of protecting “federal property”, based on the false narrative that Portland is under siege.
Trump tweeted that he and his administration were “trying to help Portland,” though their true intentions are otherwise. Protestors feel that Trump’s aggression against peaceful protesters is aimed at suppressing their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and right to assemble.
A pattern has emerged. A false narrative suggests that Portland is under siege by protesters, while the truth is that the unwelcome federal response has inflamed the situation. Right-wing media outlets have propagated Trump’s false narrative.
In Portland’s case, the peaceful protests held against injustice carried out during the day are greatly obscured, while the nightly police violence is what is being brought to Trump’s and and the country’s attention instead.
Ironically, Trump’s intervention in Portland has reinvigorated the protests.
Oregonians are taking the streets in ever greater numbers to show passionate opposition to the injustices law enforcement have committed, and are continuing to fight for their rights.