Several weeks ago, journalist Andy Ngo was assaulted by members of Antifa on the streets of Portland. He was beaten and had milkshakes thrown at him, some possibly containing dangerous additives.
In the past, Antifa has been given a pass by the city of Portland. The police seem to allow them to do whatever they want, reportedly due to the mayor’s order for them to stand down during the protest where Ngo was attacked. It wasn’t the first time the mayor had allowed Antifa to have their way, either.
Now, following the wake of Ngo’s assault, the mayor thinks that the fact that the police seem to have done so little to ID Ngo’s attackers sends no message at all to the rest of the nation.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he believes arrests will be made in the case of conservative journalist Andy Ngo, who was assaulted by Antifa protesters during a July rally outside the Oregon Justice Center.
Wheeler appeared on “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday ahead of another planned Antifa rally this weekend. The Oregon Democrat pushed back on claims he played politics with the Ngo case and didn’t do enough to hold those responsible accountable.
“There’s been no arrests though when it comes to Andy Ngo,” co-host Sandra Smith said. “What message does that send?”
“With all due respect I disagree,” Wheeler shot back. “We don’t tolerate any act of violence — not that act of violence or any other. And the police are investigating and they are following up on leads.”
Wheeler also said police have requested video of the assault.
Which is dumb since it’s all over the internet, but maybe he meant additional footage. Whatever.
Either way, Wheeler is wrong. He has sent a message about his city. He’s made it clear that he’ll let Antifa do whatever they want and have his police department allow it to happen. The assault that happened to Ngo is likely to never fully be solved. There may be an arrest of an individual or two, but Ngo was attacked by a mob.
That mob was empowered by a mayor who had done nothing to curb their previous efforts.
If Wheeler wants to make it clear that this kind of thing isn’t tolerated, then there needs to be an active police presence from now on in Portland. Whenever Antifa tries to pull these kinds of stunts, there need to be arrests made immediately. People need to go to jail and the mob needs to see them going to jail.
Antifa is empowered mostly by people who think there are no repercussions for their actions. There are examples of those who apparently don’t care about those repercussions, but most of them think they can attack people and get away with whatever it is they’re doing.
They need to know they won’t.
I’m not saying to quell free speech. The freedom to say what you want is a cornerstone of a free society, just like the right to keep and bear arms. What I am saying, though, is at the first instance Antifa crosses the line, they need to be arrested.
Otherwise, the violence will continue in Portland. Then it’s only a matter of time before they attack someone armed with something more than a camera, and Antifa will be in for a real shock.