PORTLAND, OR – Downtown business owners state that they are done ‘passively waiting for help.’
A consortium of businesses has joined forces in hopes of getting city hall’s attention.
The newly-formed Rose City Downtown Collective sent an urgent plea to Portland officials saying they are fed up with the city’s lackluster attitude towards restoring their riot-plagued urban hellscape.
The letter was signed by more than 300 people representing a wide variety of businesses, both large and small.
They are running out of time, money, and hope. They say city hall must do more.
While other U.S. cities have experienced similar issues this year, the collective claim that Portland has “extra layers of pain” that are simply not being addressed.
The Rose City Downtown Collective cites chronic urban blight issues that are keeping people away from the downtown in droves; such as vandalism, open illegal drug use, rampant unimpeded crime, mountains of uncollected trash, and sprawling homeless camps.
Almost every night for the past five months, violence has descended upon the streets of Portland’s downtown until block after block of storefronts are now covered with protective plywood. Those brave enough to leave their glass exposed are taking their chances by creating an inviting target for the ‘peaceful protesters’.
Jim Mark, CEO of Melvin Mark Company, said:
“We were very frustrated. [Each time] we’d reach out to elected officials, they would seem to just sort of pass this off as though this wasn’t a huge issue.
“Meanwhile, we saw small businesses, minority-owned businesses, businesses of larger businesses start to really give up downtown, whether it was a restaurant or a small shopkeeper.”
Mark contacted Gov. Kate Brown’s office and local officials last summer as he grew increasingly alarmed about the state of downtown. He called on the state and others to unequivocally condemn the violence downtown and take action to revive Portland’s central city. But he felt like his pleas fell on deaf ears.
Eric Murfitt, with Mercantile Portland, said he has lost about $1 million as a result of looting and vandalism.
While his insurance has paid out about half of their million-dollar claim, they are in the process of finding a new insurance company. Murfitt said:
“They’ve been doing a good job with our claim, but they did give us a notice of non-renewal, so we are out on the market with our broker looking to find new coverage.”
He said they have been able to find one insurance company, but the premium is going to be four times higher and his deductible would be 25 times higher from last year.
Murfitt said of Portland officials:
“It was almost like they weren’t coming downtown and really seeing the damage and destruction that was happening.”
The collective’s leaders hope that the new Portland City Council will step up.
Meanwhile, Ted Wheeler, the Mayor of Portland issued the following statement:
“I appreciate this group’s passion for revitalizing the local economy and spirit of downtown. We need all hands on deck to keep Portland’s economy strong.
“Harnessing the expertise, energy, and resources of our downtown businesses to leverage the city’s efforts will be essential to a successful recovery.”
Andrew Hoan, President & CEO, Portland Business Alliance said:
“I find it beyond comprehension that anyone would continue to think that the destruction of our small businesses in downtown Portland is somehow acceptable or represents the exercise of free speech. These destructive acts of political violence must stop now.
“I hope every elected official will react and denounce this reprehensible behavior, just as vehemently as when our beloved Oregon Historical Society was attacked.”
The downtown collective has made it clear that they fully support protesters’ efforts to draw attention to important issues like racial injustice. They also support a compassionate response to the homeless crisis.
Many business owners fear that Portland is nearing a point of no return and risk becoming abandoned and dormant.
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No arrests made after attack by Antifa-supporters in Portland which resulted in massive and widespread vandalism
November 22, 2020
PORTLAND, OR – It’s almost as if law enforcement is throwing in the towel, knowing that arrests won’t be prosecuted.
No arrests were made in a recent Antifa attack in Portland that took place Friday. According to tweets made by Portland Police:
“This evening (Friday), a group gathered outside the Mexican Consulate in Downtown Portland”. Followed by, “The group was described as dressed in all black and wearing helmets.
The group engaged in criminal behavior which included spray painting and vandalizing the property.”
Tonight, a separate group of nearly 50 people gathered at NE Halsey St and NE 52nd Ave before moving to NE 43rd Ave and NE Sandy Blvd. As the group headed southwest on NE Sandy Blvd towards NE 40th Ave, they vandalized many businesses including many small businesses in their path pic.twitter.com/Oyc5RWlFOY
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) November 21, 2020
The organized march and attack were publicized on social media by digital flyer.
A second “private” event was set to occur simultaneously while police were distracted with the event publicized online.
Journalist Andy Ngô Tweeted:
“There is a group of antifa black bloc smashing up numerous businesses again in Portland. They announced their gathering via digital flyer. They’re vandalizing banks and real estate in the name of trans lives of color along NE Sandy Blvd.”
Videos surfaced on Twitter showing the damage to various retail locations.
There is a group of antifa in black bloc smashing up numerous businesses again in Portland. They announced their gathering via a digital flyer. They're vandalizing banks and real estate in the name of trans lives of color along NE Sandy Blvd. #PortlandRiots #antifa pic.twitter.com/rxZmcLm7mz
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) November 21, 2020
He followed up with another Tweet saying:
“Antifa organized two separate mini-riots tonight. One was publicly announced for downtown. It was meant as a decoy to fool police. There was another unadvertised one for vandalizing businesses along NE Sandy. @PortlandPolice didn’t stop either one.”
The Portland Police recognized the observations and tweeted in response:
“A separate group of nearly 50 people gathered at NE Halsey St and NE 52nd Ave before moving to NE 43rd Ave and NE Sandy Blvd. As the group headed southwest on NE Sandy Blvd towards NE 40th Ave, they vandalized many businesses including many small businesses in their path.”
According to an official police statement, no arrests were made in connection to the Antifa marches and vandalized properties.
Portland Police stated:
“Police continue to investigate the damage done by vandals Friday night, including interviewing witnesses and seeking out video footage and other evidence. The victims are assessing the damages and filing police reports.
We have a clearer picture of the scope of the criminal mischief. Twenty-seven businesses or workspaces were damaged along Northeast Sandy Boulevard.”
They are asking that if anyone has information about the suspects or video of them, please contact [email protected]
Andy Ngô noted:
“The Whole Foods on NE Sandy Blvd. in Portland was one of several businesses vandalized by antifa as part of their “day of rage” in support of trans people.”
Multiple financial locations such as Bank of America, Chase, and One Main Financial were vandalized. Furthermore, the rioters then focused their attention on the Consulate of Mexico in Portland. Independent Media PDX tweeted:
“As today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, protesters move tonight from The South Park Blocks to the Consulate of Mexico in Portland, before spray painting the building. This is after years of reports & data of discrimination towards women & the LGBTQ community in Mexico.”
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) November 21, 2020
Photos available online show the vandalism that was displayed across various sites and windows. Independent PDX tweeted:
“Photos from last night where damage was left to businesses in the Hollywood District by Portland protesters along Sandy Blvd. Businesses shown here: Chase Bank, Bank of America, Rose City Realtors and Wells Fargo.”
In the meantime, Phoenix is reportedly taking a totally different approach to the criminals.
When riots broke out in almost every major city across the U.S. back in May, following the in-custody death of George Floyd, political leaders turned against its officers, and allowed the destruction.
Police departments were directly attacked from all sides, ranging from politicians, to major media outlets, to social media, to enduring actual physical attacks from the terrorists in the streets.
Cities were burned, looted, and destroyed. Crime rates have soared, officers have been injured, and businesses have lost everything. In the beginning, local leaders supported these actions, some going as far as condoning the mayhem by calling it the “summer of love”.
Several months later, as residents began to take issue with the ongoing violence, local leaders did not openly support the chaos, but just chose to turn a blind eye to it. Now, we are in November, and finally some leaders are starting to wake up, stand up, and take action against these individuals who are nothing short of terrorists.
Liberals FLIP OUT After Prosecutors Announce Intent to Charge Phoenix ANTIFA as a Criminal Street Gang https://t.co/72FzVXeXP9
— Scout Finch (@JayHiggies) November 19, 2020
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has chosen to charge leftist rioters, such as Antifa, as a criminal street gang, and they should be applauded.
In May, President Trump declared Antifa a terrorist group, and the entire left went wild. With the similar announcement the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has just made, the left is once again flipping out.
Liberal advocacy groups are rallying together and demanding that the prosecutors drop riot charges against the Antifa-style “protestors”.
Liberal advocacy groups are sounding off in response to a plan from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to charge leftist rioters as a criminal street gang, demanding that the prosecutors drop riot charges against the ANTIFA-style “protestors.”
— fiona In love (@Fiona_inlove) November 19, 2020
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