The Proud Boys are still trying to stick it to Antifa... That is SOOO 2017.
In an interview with the Oregonian in July, the mayor expressed a feeling of powerlessness over controlling the events. “We have two objectives,” Wheeler said. “Number one, protect the public safety. Two, give space for people to exercise their First Amendment rights. I’m no fan of the people from Vancouver who come down here and spout their venom . . . It’s a no-win.”
On Friday, Wheeler issued a statement decrying the rally. “I continue to strongly reject the idea that violence or hate speech are legitimate means to a political end,” he said. “It is particularly troubling to me that individuals are posting publicly their intent to act out violently. We don’t want this here.”
Despite the history of such rallies ending in violence, an aide to the mayor said there was no way for Gibson’s permit to be revoked. “There is a law that jurisdictions can’t preemptively deny events based on occurrences at prior demonstrations,” she said.
In the days leading up to Saturday’s protests, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report warning that Portland could become “another Charlottesville” and that online taunting by Gibson and his supporters could make things even more volatile.
Yet Sgt. Christopher Burley, public information officer for the Portland Police, told The Washington Post that the SPLC could be causing bigger problems. “I think it is disheartening that an organization outside the City of Portland is making a statement that could potentially inflame an already intense situation,” he said.
See? Mayor Wheeler is finally getting it. The only problem is, I don't think he knows he's finally getting it.
The ultimate paradox of freedom of association is that it also implies freedom of disassociation. By making itself a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants, and also by making it clear that those evil Vancouver patriots are not welcome, Portland has foreshadowed the direction I suspect America is headed: the fracturing of sovereignty. The powerlessness Mayor Wheeler feels is, I suspect, not so much the result of impotence in the face of these events, but rather, the inevitable cognitive dissonance that comes with subscribing to the Marcusian form of tolerance. He'd save himself emotional turmoil if he just admitted that he simply prefers one form of political exremism to another.
I would also modify SPLC's statement in this way: Portland will not become another Charlottesville. Charlottesville, rather, was another Portland, only it included actors with much bigger social capital to exhaust and less time to do it. The result, as it always is with activism, was absolutely nothing.