Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP) Chairman James Buchal issued an extended public statement on the killing last night of a person who, by all appearances was associated with a vehicle caravan through downtown Portland supporting President Trump, was killed because of his political beliefs, and whose death was celebrated by lawless mobs in Portland last night. The killing came just one week after a volunteer at one of the MCRP's sites gathering signatures to recall Governor Brown was viciously beaten by a political assailant, and two weeks after BLM protestors nearly beat a man to death downtown. Here is the statement:
What happened last night is the product of an organized, long-term campaign against free speech of conservatives that started with mere threats, like the 2017 threats of violence against Republican participation in the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade. Three years ago, I warned that "the City allowed this cancer of lawlessness to grow to the point where its leaders are now bragging, like some sort of comic book characters, that ‘the police cannot stop us.’"
With three more years of encouragement from Portland's Democratic leaders, including Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Mayor Ted Wheeler, District Attorney Mike Schmidt and multiple City Council Members, the Antifa and BLM criminals who have now rioted nightly for nearly one hundred days in Portland now feel privileged to beat and even kill anyone who comes to the City of Portland to exercise free speech rights in favor of our President and conservative values and principles. This is not random criminal behavior. It is an organized and totalitarian political strategy to shut down free speech by “de-platforming” any opposing political views with violence and threats of violence.
As Republicans, we stand for law and order. We support political efforts to fight the reactionary Leftist forces crippling Oregon's future. We understand why those who would dare to carry a message of patriotism, freedom, law enforcement and support for our President come to Portland organized and equipped for self-defense. We are going to see uses of force by both Antifa and BLM rioters and those trying to bring a message of freedom and patriotism to Portland that exceed the legal limits for the use of force in the defense of self or others. All those who break the law should be prosecuted.
And while we recognize that incidents of violence are likely to occur on both sides, we are sick and tired of local media reports that constantly associate violence with conservative demonstrations. This is a gross mischaracterization intended to divert attention from the real issue: that attacks are repeatedly initiated by Leftists trained by Portland's public schools, supported by Portland's political leaders, and protected from criminal prosecution by Portland's District Attorney.
It is now obvious that the levels of violence in Portland will continue to rise between now and November, and that politicians in the City of Portland have demonstrated a refusal to fix the problem. Restoring the rule of law and putting a stop to ongoing rioting is going to require even-handed prosecutions of all uses of force that exceed legal limits.
We know that District Attorney Schmidt won't do that based on his August 11th press release touting his new soft-on-crime policy toward rioters. We therefore call upon Governor Brown and Attorney General Rosenblum to assemble an independent strike force to take over and accelerate riot-related prosecutions in the City of Portland, replacing District Attorney Schmidt with a neutral prosecutor, without Antifa ties, that can restore order fairly in Portland.
We also agree with President Trump that the ball is now in Governor Brown's court to call in the National Guard, before conditions deteriorate to the point where President Trump is forced to invoke the Insurrection Act.
And it is long past time for our U.S. Attorney to invoke the anti-Klan Act,[i] the Interstate Riot Act, and other powerful federal laws against the organized gangs of violent Antifa and BLM criminals that now control the streets of Portland every night. We lack confidence in the U.S. Attorney as well, after he disgraced himself by participating in Mayor Wheeler's rally last summer, where participants threatened right wing protesters and praised Antifa, and if he won't do the job, President Trump should fire him and hire a Republican who will.
* * *
[i] The anti-Klan Act makes it a felony for "two or more persons [to] go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment" of the constitutional rights of American citizens. The so-called "counter-protesters" in Portland are evolving into the very kind of masked criminals for whom Republicans in Congress enacted this law. Ironically, we see Portland's Democratic leadership and others sounding like the Southern Democrats of the early 1960s complaining that those would defend freedom and patriotism in Portland are outside agitators who should just stay away from Portland.