Portland’s Disgraceful Anarchy

A city’s besieged businesses close rather than deal with unchecked urban degradation.

The disorder that has long dominated the streets of Portland, Oregon reached a new low earlier this month, when Columbia Sportswear, a major retailer headquartered just outside of nearby Beaverton, had to close its flagship store downtown for a day after protestors blocked shoppers from entering. The protestors were reacting to an op-ed by Tim Boyle, Columbia’s CEO, in which he confessed that relocating his company to downtown Portland may have been a mistake, citing the crimes and indecencies his employees have endured, including “daily defecation” by transients in the store’s lobby. Certain repeat offenders of the city’s vagrant population, along with other agitators, have issued death threats and broken into cars; one Columbia employee had to run into moving traffic after a stranger followed her and threatened to kill her.

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