John Hawkins, Given that Portland has been afflicted with lawless protests and riots for over a year now, it shouldn’t be a big story that the DA has charged over two dozen suspected ANTIFA rioters in the past two weeks. However, those riots could have never continued for so long if the Multnomah County DA, Mike Schmidt, had not been enabling them.
For the most part, when rioters were arrested, Schmidt refused to charge them with a crime. This made it pointless for the police to even arrest rioters in most cases. Why bother if they’re going to be back on the street the next day facing no consequences of significance for their actions? Keep in mind that Mike Schmidt said this just last year:
Schmidt struck a sympathetic tone with the protests shortly after taking office last year, arguing that at previous points in American history, it “took some property damage” to bring about meaningful change. “I think that when you look historically at this nation, it’s during these protests when we’ve gotten some of the changes that we are proudest of in our nation’s history,” Schmidt said at the time. “And sometimes, it took some property damage. It took more than just peaceful protests to get the government’s attention. I’m very mindful of that.”
It’s worth keeping in mind that a little over a month ago, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler received death threats after announcing a crackdown against ANTIFA. So, is Schmidt cooperating with Wheeler? Are there businesses threatening to leave? Are there influential citizens having a discussion with both of them behind the scenes? Are the regular citizens there just getting tired of this? It’s impossible to say at this point.
Both Wheeler and Schmidt are instinctively sympathetic to both ANTIFA and criminals in general, so they’re certainly not inclined to do anything about ANTIFA’s activities. However, because liberals don’t learn much from history, we’ve seen this cycle repeated over and over. The sort of policies Wheeler and Schmidt support always lead to an increase in crime, which inevitably leads to fed-up people demanding a crackdown. Are we there yet in Portland? Let’s hope so, but it’s too soon to say.