Throughout the 2020 presidential election, both the left and the right used the months-long protests and riots in Portland, OR, as evidence to tar the other side.
For the right, the images of a city burning every night for months served as evidence of the violent anarchical order that utterly overwhelmed the sixth most populated city on the West Coast. For the left, videos of Portland police officers using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds served as helpful proof of "police escalation" to maintain order in the city. Media condemnations of President Donald Trump showed clips of federal officers arresting demonstrators, accusing him of fostering a police state.
After election night, Portland's usefulness as political ammunition diminished in the mainstream media. Gone were the headlines about the unrest in an American city under the former president's heavy hand. Nevertheless, some social media figures have continued to chronicle the events in Portland. Journalists on the ground like Andy Ngo and Melissa Lewis document the violence in the city regularly, demonstrating how little has changed from a year earlier. The other day, Ngo filmed the Portland Justice Center burning from fires started by rioters. A year before, the same building had been set ablaze around the time that Mayor Ted Wheeler blamed President Trump for sending in federal officers and "escalating" the wrath of Antifa.
Antifa has taken advantage of the lack of oversight for its actions. For...