In a video released Wednesday night, self-proclaimed Antifa Anarchists openly threatened violence against the city of Portland including the assassination of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler if he does not resign: “Ted, we are asking for the last time that you resign. If you ignore this message outright, the destruction to your way of life is going to escalate. Blood is already on your hands, Ted, but next time it may be your own.”
As the hooded, masked narrator speaks the last line the video shows Ted Wheeler’s home address.
The narrator also speaks of the necessity of violence in carrying out their goals: “If peaceful marches, speeches, and voting were enough to bring about [abolition], we would have already been there. Window smashing and riots are a necessary escalation when those in power have proven that they are unwilling to listen, and have made the choice to ignore you.”
An anarchist ideology is also expressed: “We are not only challenging the idea of having Ted Wheeler as a mayor, we are challenging the idea of having mayors at all.”
Wheeler, who has been described as a “moderate liberal” by Portland press, had recently called for police to “aggressively crack down on a small group of destructive demonstrators,” and this could be this group’s method of retaliation. Wheeler had left laws unenforced during earlier riots and has only recently started listening to residents who were “fed up” with the permissiveness shown to vandals. (Could his changing stance have anything to do with the election being over?)
This is a lesson in the psychology of authority: Every teacher knows that you must be strict in the first week if you don’t want a chaotic class. Why is this? It’s much easier to dissuade people by showing strength at a time when they are still deciding how to go about things. If you wait until someone is already in motion and has his mind set on something, there’s going to be pushback when you try to make a change.
Which brings us to a stark contrast between how America, and especially Portland, handled the riots and how they would have been handled by the Third Position. First off, the plutocratic media wouldn’t exist, and thus, wouldn’t be allowed to condone and encourage rioting in order to hamper a political opponents political career. Secondly, although the Third Position is often demonized for its government’s strong image, in the end this show of strength prevents violence and conflict. Lastly, third position is designed for communication and expression of problems between groups, so there is a platform on which issues can be discussed civilly and with seriousness.