A statement from the Portland DSA Safety Working Group
With his latest statement, Ted Wheeler actively threatens the safety of Portland residents. By directing unknown people to track, record, and report so-called “black bloc” protesters, he is jeopardizing the safety and security of any number of Portland residents. These residents may or may not be associated with any protests. Furthermore, Wheeler is, wittingly or unwittingly, inviting and encouraging violent, far-right cells to act as vigilantes within our community. Because Ted Wheeler cannot offer real solutions to our city’s problems, and cannot rally the support of people who live in this city, he is placing untold numbers of our fellow residents in danger in an ill conceived attempt to quell righteously justified protests against him and his police.
Sadly, each and every time Ted Wheeler has been faced with an opportunity to lead this city and solve real problems he has made the lives of the people of Portland far worse and less safe. This is true whether the problems stem from traveling bands of white supremacists invading our streets and terrorizing our residents or from his own unaccountable, violent and murderous police force.
In the last few months alone we have seen Ted Wheeler’s police collaborate with far-right brawlers who later went on to storm the capitol in DC, dox the District Attorney (elected by a popular margin, unlike Wheeler who couldn’t muster even a simple majority), and attempt to frame a city council member by leaking information to online grifters. And just outside our city last summer, we watched as right-wing vigilantes established armed checkpoints, some with the explicit help of law enforcement, due to false rumors of “antifa” starting forest fires. These are the legacies of Ted Wheeler’s tenure as mayor and police commissioner.
Now Ted Wheeler is calling on these same elements to harass and intimidate Portland residents accused of no crime, solely based on attire and general proximity to a protest that he believes might be involved in some kind of future crime. In the midst of uprisings against an unjust system, Ted Wheeler has firmly sided with those who attempt to harm us with impunity again and again. He is unfit to be mayor and is a danger to our community.
Ted Wheeler is a threat to anyone who believes in freedom of assembly and speech. We condemn Ted Wheeler’s attempt to restrict the freedom of Portlanders and we call on our fellow residents to condemn his cowardly actions that will hurt us and our neighbors.