Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was among anti-police brutality protesters on Wednesday night (July 22) when federal agents sprayed the crowd with tear-gas. Wheeler, who has been criticized by Portland activists in recent weeks for his own response to protests, reportedly joined the crowd to hold “listening sessions” with protesters. Protests have been held in the city consistently in the almost two months since George Floyd’s death. Federal agents were deployed by Donald Trump in Portland in early July.
“I want to thank the thousands of you who have come out to oppose the Trump administration’s occupation of this city,” the mayor told protesters gathered near Portland’s federal courthouse, according to the Associated Press. “The reason this is important is it is not just happening in Portland... we’re on the front line here in Portland.”
Wheeler, the Oregon governor and attorney general have staunchly opposed Trump’s deployment of the agents and what ABC news described as a Department of Homeland Security task force. This week, mayors of several major cities — including Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. — have also rallied against the agents and called for Trump and the Department of Home Security to remove them.
“Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted on Tuesday (July 21).
“What I understand at this point... is that the Trump administration is not going to foolishly deploy unnamed agents to the streets of Chicago,” Lightfoot said during a press conference. “We have information that allows us to say — at least at this point — that we don’t see a Portland-style deployment coming to Chicago.”
Instead, the Trump administration is expected to send resources to supplement “existing federal agencies” in Chicago that local officials work with regularly to “help manage and suppress violent crime,” she said.
See some videos from the protests in Portland below.
Here's the moment Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was tear gassed.— Bloomberg (@business) July 23, 2020
He was standing at a fence guarding the city’s federal courthouse during another night of protest against the presence of agents sent by President Trump to clamp down on unrest https://t.co/pl5gLB1uJJ via @Quicktake pic.twitter.com/Ty6hheecvr