There was a debate in Portland last night between the two remaining candidates in the race, Mayor Ted Wheeler and challenger Sarah Iannarone. After some preliminary questions from the moderators, they turned the questioning over to a Portland resident who had submitted the following question for both candidates to answer: “When do peaceful protests under our First Amendment become unlawful, dangerous and violent? And when would you put a stop to this making sure that we do go back to peaceful protests and not allowing our city to burn night after night?”
Sarah Iannarone responded first and immediately began attacking the police. “I know how upsetting it is when there is unrest in your neighborhoods, especially when night after night we’re seeing that protests about police brutality are met with increased police brutality,” she said. She continued, “And how [un]comfortable it can be when things like teargas are administered and leak into the homes of residents in neighborhoods across this city.”
Not mentioned in this response was the reason police are using teargas in the first place, i.e. violent and destructive behavior on a nightly basis. Iannarone went on to say that the solution to this was to side with the protesters: “The answer to the issue that’s happening in our streets is standing alongside these young Black Lives Matter leaders, meeting with them, talking with them, working with them on these issues and making progress toward real reform.”
Give them what they want and they’ll stop rioting.
Iannarone added that she “condemns violence in all forms” but then came back to saying the police were responding to the protests with “police brutality.”
The KGW anchor jumped in and pointed out that the original question seemed to be about where to draw the line “between peaceful protests and when they and when they become criminal activity.”
Iannarone once again gave a revealing non-answer. “We need equal enforcement of the law, regardless of who is engaging in criminal activity.” Is she saying the police are engage in criminal activity? She continued, “As Portland mayor, I will not be able to control what any individual protester is doing in the streets. My job will be making sure that the police do their jobs, making sure that they’re held accountable when they break procedure and even the law.”
We understand she can’t control individual protesters but she can denounce their violence after the fact. She didn’t do that. She just resorted to suggesting police were the problem again. This isn’t the first time it has been unclear whether she is against Antifa’s violence. In fact, she had an awkward discussion about it with the same KGW anchor last month.
The KGW anchor asked another follow up question, trying to pin Iannarone down. “Are you Antifa?” she asked.
“I love that Joe Biden answered this question before me,” Iannarone said, referring to Biden’s claim that Antifa is an idea. “Being opposed to fascism in 2020 is not something to be embarrassed about,” she said.
So here Iannarone is playing with the idea that Antifa are just normal folks against fascism. But of course that only makes sense if the group they are protesting/rioting over every night are fascists. Who are they protesting every night? For the most part it has been the Portland PD. That’s whose precincts they attack and whose officers they berate and injure and whose buildings they try to burn down (with officers inside).
Does Iannarone think the Portland PD are fascists? That’s pretty clearly what she’s implying.
She was asked one more time directly, “Is being anti-fascist the same as being Antifa? Are you Antifa?”
“Antifa is not anything more than an idea. That is what Vice President Biden explained to us,” Iannarone said. She then went on a rant about Trump, but again, the nightly protests haven’t been about federal officers for months. The protests are aimed at Portland PD and state police. In any case, I think you can see how Biden’s debate response is going to be used as a shield by Antifa supporters from now on.
Here’s the full debate the portion about Antifa starts around 11 minutes in to this clip. It’s a sad state of affairs when Ted Wheeler, one of America’s worst mayors, sounds like the voice of reason.
Update: She’s really not hiding where she’s coming from. I don’t know what the date of the photo below is but she’s wearing a skirt with Che Guevera, Stalin and Chairman Mao on it. If you admire communist autocrats like these you can pretty much guarantee that even mass murder wouldn’t sway her opinion of Antifa.
"I am a communist"
This is the campaign manager for Sarah Iannarone, who is up for election to become Portland's next mayor. She is currently polling double digits ahead of @tedwheeler. #antifa https://t.co/hF8U3ua5H1 pic.twitter.com/RenLroZMQH
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) October 6, 2020