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Portland Mayor and Police Agree: Protesters Aren't Terrorists, Obviously

Somebody tell Homeland Security.

On March 6, President Donald Trump signed another executive order, which proclaimed it "is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks."

Meanwhile, Trump's government is redefining what counts as "terrorism."

The investigative website The Intercept reported March 2 that the Department of Homeland Security had characterized anti-Trump protests in Portland following November's election as "domestic terrorist violence."

The source: an unclassified DHS report jointly prepared by the agency's North Carolina field office and its national Office of Intelligence and Analysis. "DHS assesses that anger over the results of the 2016 Presidential election continues to be a driver of domestic terrorist violence throughout the United States—as evidenced by rioting in Portland, Oregon, following the election," the report said.

2016 Anti-Trump protest in Portland [Joe Riedl]
2016 Anti-Trump protest in Portland [Joe Riedl]
In fact, the six nights of protests in Portland were largely peaceful, although a handful of vandals smashed car windshields and shop windows Nov. 10. WW could not determine to what extent DHS agents in Oregon may have informed that assessment.

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson says he doesn't believe local police were consulted. "I can say," he adds, "that the Portland Police Bureau does not view demonstrators or protesters as domestic terrorists."

Mayor Ted Wheeler's office derided the idea that protesters posed a threat to national security.

"The mayor would not label any of the recent protests as 'domestic terrorist violence,'" said spokesman Michael Cox. "Even on those rare occasions when a protest in Portland contains incidents violence and vandalism, those incidents do not rise to the level of posing a threat to national security."

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) warned against "carelessly smearing legitimate protests because of the actions of a few."

On March 6, the Mittleman Jewish Community Center in Portland's Hillsdale neighborhood became the latest Jewish center among dozens across the nation to evacuate because of a bomb threat. The Portland office of the FBI said it was investigating possible "civil rights violations."