Just a few days ago, a security fence was taken down surrounding the Mark O. Hatfield U.S Courthouse for the first time since the height of last summer’s riots in Downtown Portland, Oregon. Federal officers have been repeatedly driving groups of people away who have been setting fires and smashing windows, as well as burning flags and covering the walls of the courthouse spray-painted in graffiti.
The messages read “Black Lives Matter,” “New President Same Imperialism,” “Fascists Live Here,” and “ACAB,” an anti-police acronym that means “All cops are b**tards.”
Even though the courthouse had been boarded up, a group had planned to protest the plans to replace and expand an oil pipeline that runs between Superior, Wisconsin, and the Canadian province of Alberta. Others said they had come out to the streets to protest police brutality and objecting to the Minneapolis trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was charged with the death of George Floyd.
Some even came to support the anarchist Black Lives Matter movement against Mayor Ted Wheeler’s refusal to reopen a case where Patrick Kimmons, a black man, was shot multiple times by Portland Police. Yet, a grand jury had found the shooting justified as Kimmons shot two people during a fight, before pointing the gun at officers. He was then shot nine times in the back.
Dozens of protesters gathered at the courthouse and violence erupted on the scene when the group failed to disperse. Someone in the group of protesters set fire to the plywood that was at the entrance of the courthouse, leading federal officers to respond with crowd control munitions. Officers used tear gas, smoke bombs, and flash-bang grenades to try and break up the scene.
A group of 30 also invaded the lobby of an office building in the 1300 block of Southwest Fifth Avenue, damaging property, including a television and the front doors of the building. Some were smoking inside, others brought their pets, and all of them refused to leave when officers arrived on the scene. One officer was even punched in the face by an individual who was later arrested.
“Protest is fine, that’s not what we’re talking about. With this group, this is a small group that is bent on destroying things. And what they want is a conflict. My advice is — don’t give them a conflict,” said Portland Police Bureau Deputy Chief Chris Davis.
Mayor Ted Wheeler’s senior public safety adviser Robert King said the group was made up of “self-described anarchists” and said they knew about the protest plans, but had warned Pearl District residents not to engage with any of the protesters. They were seeking assistance from the Acting U.S Attorney on holding the group and other individuals involved in the conduct accountable.
Video footage even showed one individual using a scooter to try to bash in a window of the courthouse before getting hit with a pepper ball. Officers used chemical weapons and tear gas down Southwest Third and Main Street to fight off the evening riots.
Whether anyone was injured is not immediately clear.
Liberals have ruined their states by not fighting off months of violence and allowing anarchists to continue terrorizing and dividing the country for political gain. Is this still the ‘summer of love?’