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Portland riots break out again at federal courthouse

Portland descended into chaos once again as rioters attacked a federal courthouse Thursday evening. Fires were lit, windows shattered and federal officers attacked in the riots.

The Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse was breached late Thursday afternoon with most national media outlets remaining silent on the attack.

“The situation escalated when people began damaging property, including a television and the front doors to the building,” the Portland Police Bureau wrote in an incident summary.

The group was ejected by police who arrested one suspect who resisted arrest, punching an officer in the face. But tht would not be the end of the protest. As night fell, video shows them violently attacking the building shattering windows, ripping protective plywood from the exterior, setting fires, and fighting law enforcement sent to protect the building which is federal property – much like the Capitol building in Washington D.C. In fact, Federal Courthouses across the nation serve as the regional seats of power for the U.S. Government and are under the same protective laws as federal buildings in the nation’s capital such as the Supreme Court, Capitol, Treasury Department and FBI.

portland riots

Photo: Video screen grab.

As has been the case in Portland, local law enforcement has been absent from many of the clashes since the summer on orders of Portland’s mayor.

Social media posts, using language common on Antifa networks, encouraged rioters to breach the building. Protesters were encouraged to wear black and used the Black Lives Matter slogan, ” No Justice! No Peace!” The crowd however appeared primarily made up of white, and not black individuals.

FBI data shows that Portland is home to one of the largest, and most violent Antifa contingents. They were joined by Black Lives Matter protesters in targeting the same courthouse in the summer of 2020. The Trump administration responded to that attack by sending federal agents to protect the courthouse which rioters said they would burn to the ground. That threat was revealed by then-Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

The new attacks come after the Biden administration removed a protective fence put in place last year by the Trump administration in an attempt to protect the building. Plywood protecting windows had also been removed, but was put back up following the actions Thursday.

–Dwight Wiaman | Metro Voice

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