The Unspeakable Podcast

What’s The Matter With Portland? Nancy Rommelmann on the Puzzling Politics of Protest

January 31, 2021
Veteran reporter Nancy Rommelmann is based in New York City these days, but she was a longtime resident of Portland, Oregon who knows the city—and its people, politics, and assorted proclivities—with a unique combination of intimacy and objectivity. As the city erupted into protests last summer in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Nancy returned to Portland and began covering the action for Reason Magazine. This conversation is divided into two parts. In the first part, recorded in late December, Nancy focuses on Portland and helps define the boundaries between leftist so-called antifacist groups like Antifa, anarchist movements like Black bloc, and the peaceful protestors whose efforts are sometimes overshadowed by extremists. In the second part, recorded after the January 6 siege at the Capitol and the subsequent inauguration of President Biden, she talks about some of the differences between the Capitol protestors and the ones she’s reported on in Portland. 
 
 
Guest Bio:
Nancy Rommelmann is a journalist whose work appears in Reason, the Wall Street JournalThe New York Times and other publications. Her latest book is To The Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder. Find her at nancyromm.com, follow on Twitter @nancyromm and Substack. She lives in New York City.

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