Portland Protests

Nancy Rommelmann: The Disturbing Drift of the Portland Protests

Rose City has been on fire for months. Are Portland-style protests coming soon to a town near you?


What's behind the monthslong violent protests in Portland, Oregon, and are they coming soon to a city near you?

Since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May, demonstrators in Portland have taken to the streets every night, often smashing windows, setting buildings on fire, and scuffling with local and federal law enforcement as well as fellow city dwellers. Lately, protesters have been entering residential neighborhoods in the early morning hours, shining lights into windows and telling people to literally and figuratively "wake up" to a world the protesters say is made intolerable by racism, income inequality, the presidency of Donald Trump, and more.

Veteran journalist Nancy Rommelmann has been covering the Portland protests for Reason. She knows Rose City like the back of her hand, having lived there for 15 years. Nick Gillespie spoke with her about the roots of the unrest in Portland, what she's learned by talking with the protesters and authorities, and what might be coming next. Rommelmann paints a disturbing picture of mostly young demonstrators who are becoming increasingly restive, prone to violent rhetoric, and unfocused in their demands.

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71 responses to “Nancy Rommelmann: The Disturbing Drift of the Portland Protests

  1. Ain’t coming here.
    1. The cops ain’t pussies.
    2. The citizens ain’t pussies.

    1. It’s already here where I am. We are heading into the 4th consecutive night of emergency curfews due to on-going riots.

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  2. Thank goodness she has her phone to prove what a good little protester she is.

    1. Good from far, far from good. Lots of clues to bad decision making in that photo.

      Her vote equals yours.

      1. But I get two votes. The absentee ballot I legally requested, and the random one that “just showed up” in my mailbox.
        (Probably not going to cast the second one, but NOBODY is going to tell me mass mailout of ballots is a good idea, with no fraud possibilities)

        1. But, but there is no evidence (if you totally ignore the cock up in New Jersey already this year) that mail in ballots will lead to fraud.

          1. Any potential fraud is insignificant compared to the real potential problem, which is just handling the massive increase in scale of mail-in voting.

            Handling the increased volume of mail-in ballots is a legitimate concern, but Trump is not good at staying on message. Fraud in New Jersey has been around forever, is relatively insignificant and it’s not a swing state, anyway. Trump’s tweets saying that there’s a difference between mail-in and absentee ballots are wrong; there is no difference. What he is trying to say is that there is a difference between traditional absentee voting and (a) states where mail-in voting is being ramped up massively in scale, (b) states where ballots are being sent out instead of applications for ballots. And there’s the Achilles’ heel in his argument that he and his inner circle are all mail-in voters.

            He is poor at communicating, first because he is an inarticulate person, and there are signs he isn’t that smart (like, his being thrown by the concept of per-capita COVID-19 statistics). But, also, if the problem were accurately described, the next logical question he would be asked is, “More people want to use mail-in voting because of COVID-19. What are you going to do to help?”

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  3. Riot tourist.
    Protest Narcissist.
    Take your pick

  4. >>re Portland-style protests coming soon to a town near you?

    in Dallas they would get shot or railroaded or both

  5. The Portland-style “protests” tried to come to a town near Portland and got ran the fuck out. I think this is going to stay limited to cities that the far left control.

    1. I agree. They tried that shit in Snohomish County (north of Seattle) to intimidate Carmen Best, the erstwhile black Seattle Sheriff the leftists ran out of town like so much Mel Brooks movie… they were immediately rebuffed by members of the alt-right neighborhood residents who work in the dirty trades, own guns and watch sportsball competitions on the TV.

      1. The hilarity of their attempt in Colorado Springs, their attempt in a suburb of Eugene. I’m sure I’m forgetting others. When you can’t even win over Eugene… What’s next, getting run out of Somerville, MA?

        I hope people in Blue States realize they’ll get arrested if they get caught defending themselves against the mob, per the other night in Kenosha.

        1. They say it was a parody, but several months ago someone apparently said they were coming to rural America next. The farmers, ranchers and rednecks around here were excited. We all carry guns in our trucks, mainly to shoot coyotes and badgers and raccoons, but one varmint is the same as another varmint. I can’t get 5.56 ammo for my AR, but I have some Hornady 53 gr V-Max .223 ammo I use on coyotes.

          1. “…but I have some Hornady 53 gr V-Max .223 ammo I use on coyotes.”

            Ballistic tip? That’ll work. And that weight bullet should cycle well too.

          2. Try Gunbroker. com I just bought another 500 rounds of Win. American Eagle 55 gr 5.56 FMJ last Saturday, will be delivered next week. Our elected officials in my city have surrendered to the mobs: police told to stand down, stores looted, some $62 million in property damage, and no prosecution per the boy-wonder city attorney. Don’t call 911.

  6. They are not spreading anywhere or if they do they won’t spread for long. Sorry but the 2nd Amendment makes this sort of nonsense a no go outside of areas where the public is stupid enough to voluntarily disarm itself.

    1. I hope you are correct. But I am not so sure. What good is a second amendment if it only affords us the right to own guns, shoot them at paper targets, hunt, etc. If last night in Kenosha Wisconsin is any guide, actually defending one’s self results in a murder charge.

        1. I imagine it’s still a scary, expensive ride.

      1. If last night in Kenosha Wisconsin is any guide, actually defending one’s self results in a murder charge.

        It will result in charges in Blue states as local government acts to protects it’s fascist street army. But below is a breakdown of the video showing everyone he shot chased and came after him. I strongly suspect he is found not guilty since he was acting in self-defense.


      2. One case does not define a trend. We’ll see how it plays out. I bet the charges against the kid in Kenosha will be dropped in a few weeks.

        1. I know lefties who have seen the same videos and use them to “prove ” it was murder and that he was the aggressor.

          People tend to reach the conclusion they wanted to in the first place.

          1. “Both Sides!”


  7. As soon as they are focused will they be less violent or more violent. I think they are focused and they are using all the guidelines they have been taught.

    1. They’re incapable of focusing, and they’re complete idiots.

      1. Indeed.
        Who the hell thinks charging someone who has a rifle with nothing but a skateboard yourself isn’t suicide?

        1. At least one fewer than believed that yesterday?

  8. A question about the Portland demonstrators (rioter). Are most of the demonstrators from the Portland area or are they from other parts of the state or even from out of state? It would be interesting to know the answers to these question.
    My guess is most are from out of state or from not the Portland area.

    1. I’m guessing there’s a good contingent from Eugene, but Portland, being the kind of city that tends to attract the kind of people who want to live in Portland probably has more than enough capacity to support the riots. I do suspect that a few unemployed students whose gender-studies classes were canceled due to COVID have flown in and are staying with local friends and associates, sleeping on floors and couches etc, to “take part in the revolution”.

    2. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/news/read.cfm?id=261143#cont

      a fun bookmark for you. The PPD blotter.

      A few dozen arrests last night, almost all Portland or immediate suburbs listed as residence.

      1. Unless any of those arrests are prosecuted (which I suspect will be somewhere around 0%) I would take that self-reporting with a grain of salt. Not to say it’s wrong, but it may not be accurate.

        1. they’ve been moving to Portland for years. it’s their home now.

  9. Rommelmann paints a disturbing picture of mostly young demonstrators who are becoming increasingly restive, prone to violent rhetoric, and unfocused in their demands.

    For those kids who’ve never lived in a blue, left-coast city and witnessed first-hand riots and rowdy demonstrations, this is what we call Wednesday.

    1. paying them extra to be unemployed, forcing them to stay home alone for months, and then making them wear masks so they can mostly peacefully protest in anonymity might have contributed.

  10. also I dig the hippie.

    1. see the birkenstocks? Guarantee she’s a starfish.

      1. i’d accept the challenge but i’m spoken for

        1. At least you are not afraid to show off your legs. Who wears jeans in August?

          1. jeans are just a denim invitation.

          2. Farmers, ranchers, loggers, etc.

            1. Do you think she is a farmer, logger, or rancher?

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  11. I guess this is proof positive that legalized weed does not make the youth more peaceful

    1. “Let’s get fucked up and torch a business with the owner inside, man. I mean, man, man.”

  12. They will submit or be defeated. We will not make common cause with criminals. And the far left are terrorists.

  13. Portland was on that path to hell for a couple of decades now. Hard to point a finger at any specific cause. It’s NOT progressivism or marxism or any sort of radicalism, because not even Berkeley and San Francisco are that bad. And it’s not the over abundance of college, because Boston ain’t getting this.

    Portland and Seattle. I think somewhere along the line the message got sent that Portland and Seattle were the destination spots for this brand of White Woke assholes. A few ultra-woke flairups happen in California form time to time, but they never seem to get to this level of absurdity.

    I have some very progressive friends, radical vegans and all that shit, and they’re aghast at the happenings in Portland.

    1. Living in Portland turned my Bernie Sanders supporting SIL, who was married to a progressive asshat environmentalist, into being a Jo Jorgenson supporting Libertarian now married to a Marine Corp veteran, who did two tours in Iraq, the last one as a shooter with a scout sniper platoon. Oh and she moved back to Idaho, too, because Oregon was to crazy for her.

      1. And, she once supported “common sense” (despite growing up in a family of hunters) gun control but on her last birthday she was bragging about the new pistol her husband bought her for her birthday. Maybe having a kid, being married to a level headed man (compared to her ex) and having her house and their truck broken into while they lived in Portland (the truck was stolen and trashed) and turning 30, made her grow up.

        1. She’s still a bit of a granola but much more level headed.

          1. It’s a shame there aren’t more people like her. Too many people when confronted with crazy get stockingholme syndrome.

            1. Just marry them off to a vet, I guess.

            2. I think the rule of thumb still holds that the older you get, the more conservative you lean.
              I don’t think that’s changed as far as I know. I can certainly understand people wanting the bleeding hearts to grow up faster though.

  14. In case you haven’t noticed, Portland and Seattle have been gradually overrun by young Marxist/anarchist revolutionaries. BLM is just the latest excuse. It was the NWO, WTO, Group of 7, OWS, what-have-you before that.

    They want to leave the USA and form their own socialist paradise of Leftopia, and hope California will join them (but Californians are too laid back to actually go out and riot, mostly).

    They even like soccer in the Northwest. That should have been the first warning sign.

    1. The only good thing out of Seattle in the past decade is Amazon and the Seahawks. God knows the M’s suck every year.

  15. Rose City has been on fire for months. Are Portland-style protests coming soon to a town near you?

    No. Because I;

    1. Live in a red state.

    2. Live in a poor part of a red state where people have to work for a living – people who have to get up before 6 in the morning don’t spend all night rioting.

    3. Our police forces aren’t complete shite.

    4. I’m surrounded by Mexican immigrants who find southern Arizona a pleasant place to live compared to where they came from and don’t want to fuck that up for themselves.

    5. We have a fuck ton of guns and ‘liberal’ policies about shooting people with them.

    The last one is painfully ironic – the places that are most lenient about you carrying deadly weapons and give you the maximum benefit of the doubt when you shoot someone are also the places with the smallest issues arising from shooting people.

    1. “– the places that are most lenient about you carrying deadly weapons and give you the maximum benefit of the doubt when you shoot someone are also the places with the smallest issues arising from shooting people.”

      Funny how that happens; that might actually be correlation AND causation there.

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  18. It’s time that we all let go of the fantasy that the first amendment means anything goes, as long as no one is physically hurt. Or at least that one can have a livable society under such rules. And we should acknowledge that the practical reason for the use of public protests for change by what may not be a majority or have it’s power at that time, shows that it is protests within limits once respected or enforced that have worked. The protest movements that eventually impressed the nation into following them were only well served by protests that followed the following general rules:
    Protest, especially large and/or long term protests, should take place in places designed for public assembly; parks, open malls and public squares. Large public boulevards are probably fair game if done for a limited time frame.
    It may be best protests should be pre-planned and sanctioned by local authorities. But this may be neither practical nor even possible if local authorities themselves are the apparent problem.
    Protests should happen, as much as possible on public property. If they must disrupt the public or private use of public spaces or access to private property, they should make some serious attempt to have a time frame that disrupts things to a minimum (outside of business hours or on a weekend).
    They must NEVER trespass on private residential property, should not happen on public streets that provide access to private residences and must never be allowed to be directed to an individual in their place of residence. Actions that do target individuals in their private homes are acting as terrorists, plain and simple.
    Protests MUST be organized and controlled. If a protest is a “spontaneous” one borne of rage, it is a mob. If a “mostly peaceful protest” is regularly marred by violence by participants, it is a violent mob. Organizers are at least ethically responsible for how things go-if violence breaks out on the second day, the third day should be called off.

    Libertarians, of all people, should understand that violations individual freedoms do not always come from an organized government action; they can come from others organized as groups or disorganized by mobs. And they should also recognize that “harmful” actions are not always strictly “violent”; just as an illegal but quiet arrest at night is not a manifestly violent act, the slow destruction of a business on a public street taken over by protesters for weeks is also an unjust act against individual freedom.

  19. These protestors burning down police and other government unions, too, deserve cash rewards and medals. Those harassing private citizens in and on their private property deserve an entirely different type of reward.

  20. Reason deals in narratives, not truth. The current narrative is that the protests have “turned” violent. The truth is they were always violent. The peaceful protestors have simply gone home, leaving the violent protestors who were always present as the only ones left.

  21. That woman in the photo looks to be doing some sort of outdoor yoga, but apparantly that activity involves a phone now. Maybe she’s using a “yoga app” or something.

    Also, she has a giant key around her neck. Anybody wanna play a game “What is that key for?”

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