Portland, Oregon, has been in full meltdown for two months, and on Wednesday, some protesters finally revealed just what they’re after.
A group of protesters reportedly projected a list of their demands onto a building as the city’s Democratic Mayor Tim Wheeler addressed the crowd.
“Directly behind Mayor Wheeler, a list of protesters’ demands projected on the Justice Center,” Bonnie Silkman, a reporter and anchor for KPTV in Portland, wrote on Twitter.
These were the demands:
- Defund the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) by at least 50% and “reinvest into the communities, especially the black community.”
- Free all protesters from jail.
- Get federal law enforcement officers out of Portland.
- Force Wheeler to resign.
Directly behind Mayor Wheeler, a list of protesters’ demands projected on the Justice Center.
1. Defund @PortlandPolice by at least 50%
2. Free all protesters from jail
3. Get feds out of #Portland
4. Resignation of @tedwheeler #Portland #Oregon #Pdx @fox12oregon #protest pic.twitter.com/2XOF54fn8G
— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) July 23, 2020
Wheeler was taunted by protesters so loudly that parts of his speech were drowned out by shouts. Wheeler thanked the crowd for uniting to oppose what he called the Trump administration’s “occupation” of the city, and urged them to continue to resist federal agents.
“I think what we’re doing tonight is actually the best thing we can do right now,” Wheeler said while taking questions from the crowd, KGO-TV reported. “Be here, be heard, be unified, and be clear. We didn’t want them, we didn’t ask for them, they’re not trained for what they’re being asked to do. And we want them to leave.”
As The Daily Wire noted, in response to his outreach effort, protesters shouted “F*** Ted Wheeler,” called him “Tear Gas Teddy,” and told him to resign as he spoke. KIONN-TV reporter Hannah Ray Lambert caught some of the hostile response on video:
They also yelled "Tear gas Teddy" and other taunts as he approached the Justice Center. pic.twitter.com/JgOryFsPkM
— Hannah Ray Lambert (@TheHannahRay) July 23, 2020
The “Tear Gas Teddy” moniker turned ironic early Thursday morning when the mayor was accidentally tear-gassed in downtown Portland, according to video and posts on Twitter from a New York Times reporter.
“It stings. It’s hard to breathe. I can tell you with 100% honesty I saw nothing that provoked this response,” Wheeler said to the Times reporter. “I’m not afraid but I am pissed off.”
“It is an unconstitutional occupation,” Wheeler told the crowd in his speech. “The tactics that have been used by our federal officers are abhorrent. They did not act with probable cause, people are not being told who they are being arrested by, and you’re being denied basic constitutional rights.”
Portland has seen protests for eight straight weeks following the death of George Floyd on May 25, who died while being forcefully detained by Minneapolis police. The protests have turned violent, and police have deployed tear gas.
During Wednesday’s protest, one protester told the crowd, “This is no longer a protest. We are in the middle of a civil war.”
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said at a press conference on Wednesday that federal agents are “secret police abducting people.”
“Let me be very clear with Oregonians. When I spoke with the director of the Department of Homeland Security last week, I told him to go home and to take his federal troops with him,” the Democratic governor said. “This is a democracy, not a dictatorship. We cannot have secret police abducting people … and putting them in unmarked vehicles. I cannot believe I have to say that to the President of the United States. I know that Oregonians are outraged. Americans should be appalled.”
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