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Days after a fence surrounding a Portland, Oregon courthouse was taken down for the first time since last summer's violent riots, protesters gathered outside the building where they smashed windows, set fires and spray-painted graffiti.
When the courthouse doors were being boarded up, tensions between people and federal officers there erupted. This started a chain reaction of civil unrest and destruction Thursday night, leading authorities to deploy tear gas.
Shortly after 9 p.m., independent journalists tweeted images of smashed windows, burning flags and walls of the courthouse spray-painted with graffiti. A KGW photographer witnessed federal officers using tear gas and projectiles to control the crowd. -KGW8
The crowd was met by federal officers, who used tear gas and other crowd control measures in an attempt to defuse the situation. At least one person was arrested who punched an officer in the face.
Feds using Teargas at the courthouse in downtown Portland. More agents storm out of the building under the cover of the gas. pic.twitter.com/SXgGORexpB— Garrison Davis (keyboard cowboy) (@hungrybowtie) March 12, 2021
We would note that when Trump sent the feds in to handle Portland violence last July, they were widely referred to as 'stormtroopers.'
A Portland city park is filled up with teargas and smoke from Federal Officers. pic.twitter.com/LEclLlB7gq— Garrison Davis (keyboard cowboy) (@hungrybowtie) March 12, 2021
Meanwhile, a group of around 30 people invaded an office building on the 1300 block of Southwest Fifth Avenue.
"Officers arrived and found about 30 people refusing to leave, some smoking inside, some with pets," police reported in a release. "The situation escalated when people began damaging property, including a television and the front doors to the building."
Why are people protesting again? According to one journalist at the protest, Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters cited Portland police and Mayor Ted Wheeler's stonewalling on a case where a black man was shot several times by police. Also cited are 'under funded welfare programs while a racist classist police force is buying new armored vehicles' and 'homeless are still left to die in the streets.'
Our welfare programs are still under funded and understaffed while a racist classist police force is buying new armored vehicles.— Griffin - Live Protest News (@GriffinMalone6) March 12, 2021
ICE is still deporting kids. We still have ice deportations, and children in cages. No matter how you fucking rebrand that.
The protest comes two weeks after a 'crazed' Antifa mob ran wild through the Pearl District of Portland, vandalizing buildings and spray painting anti-police messages.
Overnight, #antifa destroyed numerous businesses in Portland's Pearl District as part of a pre-planned riot. People were inside this Chipotle at 1201 NW Lovejoy when antifa attacked the building. Watch this video with sound on. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/2LfMAaSrjy— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) February 28, 2021
Person associated with the BLM-antifa protest group fights a random woman at the Portland riot. Apparently the woman (in lighter clothing) didn’t approve of their violence on the streets. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/RHitFtN5HX— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) February 28, 2021
And so, with Antifa and BLM activists clearly emboldened and back to their Trump-era tactics of violence and destruction, one can't help but note that the city voted to cut the police budget by $15 million last June amid calls to completely defund the force. In November, a push to cut another $18 million from the police budget failed, after Mayor Ted Wheeler admitted it was a 'mistake' to do so.
What should be done about Portland's 'new normal?' According to Kyle Bass, Chief Investment Officer at Hayman Capital Management, "It's time to restore law and order in Portland."
"Federal officers should immediately arrest and detain all violent protesters and remove them from the streets for their felonious behavior," Bass tweeted on Friday.
It’s time to restore law and order in Portland. Federal officers should immediately arrest and detain all violent protestors and remove them from the streets for their felonious behavior. Throwing firebombs at federal courthouses is on par with 1/6/21. https://t.co/1swjzb0NWP— 🇺🇸Kyle Bass🇺🇸 (@Jkylebass) March 12, 2021
How will the media react if Biden sends in his 'stormtroopers?'