Portland mayor mocked for ‘welcome back’ festival after riots between police and BLM protesters

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has been mocked for hosting a “welcome back” festival of roller skates and music after the city was ravaged by protests and violence for more than a year.

“Welcome back to the heart of Portland!” includes free concerts, pop-up markets, and light shows in the Oregon city that has been besieged by BLM demonstrations.

Wheeler tweeted: ‘You’re invited to Portland’s reopening with Welcome Back to the Heart of Portland! From Friday through Sunday, Portland’s central city offers free live concerts, roller-skating, painting, and other fun, family-friendly activities.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has been mocked for hosting a ‘welcome back’ festival after the city was ravaged by protests and violence for more than a year

“Welcome back to the heart of Portland!” including free concerts, pop-up markets, and light shows in the Oregon city under siege by BLM demonstrations

But many residents criticized him in the comments, saying downtown Portland is not ready to host a family-friendly event.

A local jokingly replied, “Who provides armed security?”

Another wrote: “Sad to hear that our mayor stopped falling in love with Portland when we needed him.”

Monique Claiborne, president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc., said, “We are truly one step closer to envisioning a future city that is inclusive and prosperous.”

But Portland residents seemed to disagree, with some reading the event in light of the violence that has rocked the city for months.

Many residents criticized him in the comments, saying downtown Portland is not ready to host a family-friendly event

Many residents criticized him in the comments, saying downtown Portland is not ready to host a family-friendly event

Police are hunting protesters after a riot was called during a protest against the murder of Daunte Wright on April 12.  Portland's mayor says he is determined to win the city back from the

Police are hunting protesters after a riot was called during a protest against the murder of Daunte Wright on April 12. Portland’s mayor says he is determined to win the city back from the “anarchist mob” that has inflicted “criminal intimidation and violence” on its territory. streets

The once vibrant downtown area was ravaged by the pandemic and also suffered looting and violent clashes between police and BLM protesters in the wake of George Floyd’s death last year.

Wheeler acknowledged the rising crime rate on Sunday, saying: Fox 12“We clearly have a gun violence problem in our community, we have a murder problem in our community, and the community should expect us to have adequate resources.

“These are the tools, training and personnel to tackle the growing problem of gun violence and murder in our community.”

It comes amid an effort to force Wheeler out of office in response to the civil unrest that has gripped Portland.

Activists march to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office during a protest against the April 12 murder of Daunte Wright.  Protests against the Minneapolis police killing quickly spiraled out of control in downtown het

Activists march to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office during a protest against the April 12 murder of Daunte Wright. Protests against the Minneapolis police killing quickly spiraled out of control in downtown het

Total Recall PDX must collect 47,788 valid signatures, equivalent to 15 percent of voters in the 2018 gubernatorial election, to enforce a recall.

The group has until September to collect the votes and is confident in doubling the number of signatures required.

In April, Wheeler said he was determined to win Portland back from the “anarchist mob” that has caused “criminal intimidation and violence” in the streets.

He praised BLM leaders for showing “the courage to stand up to this mob” and said all Portland residents should do the same.

Federal agents arrest a protester during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in Portland in July 2020. Portland has been the site of frequent protests since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020

Federal agents arrest a protester during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in Portland in July 2020. Portland has been the site of frequent protests since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020

“Together we can take a stand… and take back our city,” he added.

The mayor said the community needs to get back to life, but “self-proclaimed anarchists who regularly engage in criminal destruction don’t want things to open up, recover.”

“They want to burn, they want to bash… they want to intimidate, they want to attack,” he continued, referring to the nearly $20,000 in damage done to a local Boys and Girls Club in the northeast of the city.

In the summer there were demonstrations for more than 100 consecutive days.

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