Masked assailants carrying black flags and believed to be Antifa members attacked a Republican campaign event in downtown Portland Saturday with smoke grenades, fireworks, and balloons filled with paint.
So, who exactly were the fascists?
The event was in support of GOP gubernatorial candidate Stan Pulliam, who is campaigning to refund the police after budgets were slashed in several municipalities. Reflecting the incredibly short-staffed Portland Police Bureau’s woes, it took a full 20 minutes for officers to respond to the violence, which happened near police headquarters.
Along with video footage of the incident, Pulliam tweeted that the attack proves what happens to a Republican with the nerve to hold an event supporting funding the police in Portland. The candidate cited numbers that show the city had 30 officers per 100,000 residents in the 1970s to only eight per 100,000 currently.
The PPB confirmed that a sergeant monitored the situation but there “were only a few officers available at the precinct.” The masked and black-clad attackers had dispersed by the time a crime scene was established, and police say two of the political rally’s participants were hurt by “mortars.”
Not coincidentally, Portland police released a statement early Saturday morning detailing “an extraordinarily busy evening of significant events” overnight Friday. The incidents listed came hours before the Republican political rally.
The understaffed and underfunded law enforcement agency dealt with five shootings — one of which was a murder-suicide — three serious crashes, and a stolen ambulance in about 12 hours overnight Friday. Sgt. Kevin Allen said resources are deployed with a priority system that first sends officers to situations of immediate danger. He reports that some 9-1-1 callers waited hours for a police response and adds that “it’s been a while” since the department had enough cops to keep the public safe.
Just for good measure, the night before featured another suspected Antifa attack on a trucker’s protest convoy driving through Portland. The group threw paint and several projectiles off an interstate overpass at the vehicles, and police report a shot was fired from an unknown person.
Demonstrators who violently protest funding the police and anyone they believe to be “fascist” have a terrible way of attracting converts. Build a peaceful city and ordinary Americans will listen to your message, but unhinged violence only makes law-abiding citizens demand more, not less, police protection.