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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Businesses Flee Downtown Portland Amid Ongoing Riots

'You are willfully neglecting your duties as elected officials to keep our city safe and clean...'

A leading developer in Portland warned that the city’s ongoing race riots will likely do permanent damage even if Democrat officials in charge are able to contain them eventually.

In a letter to Mayor Ted Wheeler and Portland City Council, Greg Goodman, the co-president of the Downtown Development Group, said that businesses that once formed the life-blood of Portland’s central district are now fleeing in droves, KOIN reported.

“The number is like nothing I have seen in 42 years of doing business in downtown,” Goodman warned.

Among the companies fleeing were a number of high-end economic drivers, including: Daimler Chrysler (the parent company of Mercedes–Benz, AirB&B, Banana Republic, Microsoft and Google.

“The list goes on and on. If you know a retail or office broker, give them a call and ask them how many clients they have are trying to leave,” Goodman wrote.

He urged the civic leaders to stop hiding in their ivory towers and instead bear witness to the aftermath of the nightly rampages.

“I would encourage each of you to walk around downtown Portland in the morning. Name the time and I will give you a tour,” Goodman wrote.

“You aren’t sweeping the streets, needles are all over the place, garbage cans are broken and left open, glass from car windows that have been broken out is all over the streets, parks are strewn with litter (their fountains turned off) weeds are taller than the plants in the planter boxes, graffiti is on sculptures, etc,” he continued. “You are willfully neglecting your duties as elected officials to keep our city safe and clean.”

Conservatives have noted the radical Marxist agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement, saying the group that has taken a lead role in organizing the protests might not be as committed to pursuing social justice as to fomenting chaos.

But Goodman was careful not to point fingers that would allow him to become another victim of the race-baiting cancel culture of those who criticize the movement.

He told the far-left city leaders that the exodus had nothing to do with the BLM cause, “but does have most everything to do with the lawlessness you are endorsing downtown.”

Federal officials with the Department of Homeland Security have confirmed in previous congressional testimony that violent anarchists, some affiliated with the domestic terrorism network Antifa, had embedded themselves in the groups of otherwise nonviolent protesters, effectively waging a sort of urban guerilla warfare.

That has led even some of the so-called peaceful protesters to declare their frustration with the destruction.

“I understand and I see the frustration because I’m just like, it’s like, burning a mattress for me or a Dumpster, doesn’t necessarily help my community,” said protester Linneas Boland-Godbey. “And that’s why I’m out here being, like, can we do a different form of protest besides burning down something?”

Wheeler, however, who has reveled in the national attention, went the opposite route by deflecting blame and promoting a conspiracy theory that it was right-wing extremists who were responsible for the unrest.

“I vehemently oppose what the Proud Boys and those associated with them stand for, and I will not tolerate hate speech and the damage it does in our city,” he said in a statement to KOIN.

“White nationalists, particularly those coming to our city armed, threaten the safety of Portlanders, and are not welcome here,” he continued.

But Wheeler complained that the culture he helped foster by sending ambiguous messaging about his support for the riots—even participating in them himself—had now undermined the authority of law enforcement to the point that even they could not effectively contain the chaos.

“We are at a critical place where police officers are needed to intervene in protests where police officers themselves are the flashpoint,” he said.

Several other cities have been facing similar problems as a result of the protests.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day while in police custody, violence, looting, arson and vandalism there were reported to have driven out many longtime businesses.

Some of the staples of Chicago’s downtown Magnificent Mile have threatened to leave following a recent mob gathering there.

And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is begging Manhattan elites to return to the city after many fled, even promising to “cook” for them if they help foot the city’s massive tax bill.

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