Last week the Portland Mayor tried showing solidarity with the violent rioters who have held the city hostage for over two months and got pelted with eggs, tomatoes and teargas courtesy of the Federal troops. Well today, he decided to double down his support for the protesters and issued a fine to the US government for the protective fence erected to protect the courthouse.
The fence put up around the Hatfield US Courthouse in Portland is in the way of a bicycle lane and with the Mayor’s consent, the city’s transportation department is fining the federal government “$500 for every 15 minutes” it blocks the public thoroughfare.
“As of yesterday, the federal government owes us $192,000 and counting,” said Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
What began as a protest against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis just over two months ago, spiraled into a revolution of sorts, with groups like Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Justice Democrats and several other lesser known groups competing for message, and impact each night of protests.
This has resulted in deep damage to public and even worse, personal property of local business owners and residents. Most people involved in the protests were bussed in by their various groups and it is assumed, as little as 10% of the actual protesters are native to Portland.
The fence was initially put up Wednesday, February 22 outside the courthouse. Transportation officials say that section of Southwest Main between 2nd and 3rd avenues is “one of the busiest bike routes in the country.”
On Tuesday, July 28, Commissioner Eudaly sent out an update on what she called Portland’s “federal occupation,” including some more information about the fence.
She says the city has not received a response to PBOT’s cease-and-desist notice. “We are assessing the maximum fine of $500 for every 15 minutes the fence obstructs our street, and we are investigating other legal remedies available to us,” Eudaly said.
She said the city would typically send crews in to remove obstructions like this, however, the said she “will not sent workers into harm’s way.”
Yes, I am afraid to direct workers to do their job and enforce our laws against the federal government—I hope that gives everyone reading this pause. As of yesterday, the federal government owes us $192,000 and counting. We intend to collect.
The move is seen as the Portland government’s attempt to have a negotiating edge over President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security with regard to removing the Federal Officers who have been keeping the Courthouse and other Federal property from being damaged further.
Three weeks ago, Portland’s Mayor criticized Trump for his poor response to the Coronavirus, and added in the same press conference how his city was being ravaged and the President is nowhere. Two weeks ago, Federal troops moved into to secure Federal property in Portland, and is being deployed to other riot ravaged locations.
Since the DHS announcement of the troop action in Portland, the Mayor has done nothing but resist the help he had criticized just a few weeks ago, that was not coming.