Self-described anarchists on Thursday turned their attention to the Mark Hatfield federal courthouse in Portland, lighting fires, breaking windows, and setting plywood on fire that was installed to protect the building. The same courthouse was the scene of four months of violent riots over the summer following George Floyd’s death.
Katie Daviscourt, journalist at The Post Millennial, reported: “Portland PD tried a new tactic tonight against Antifa. They kettled a section of the group, trapped them, and arrested every single one of them.”
KOIN reported: “A group of about 50-60 people dressed in black were seen ripping down plywood, spray painting graffiti and setting fires. After a while, Federal Protective Officers pushed them back with tear gas and less-lethal munitions. Over the course of about 2 hours, multiple skirmishes were seen as protesters set fires, officers put them out, then pushed the protesters back again.”
Only one person was apprehended after he resisted arrest and punched an officer in the face.
“The protest happened just days after the federal government removed the metal anti-personnel fence that had surrounded the building for more than eight months,” OPB reported. “At the time, a spokesperson for the Federal Protective Service called the dismantling a ‘return to normalcy.’”
FOX 12 reported on Tuesday that a spokesperson for DHS told the outlet that the department had been working on removing the fence on Monday night and that its complete removal would take another few days.
Robert King—Portland mayor Ted Wheeler’s senior public safety adviser—shared with KOIN that the anarchists behind the recent protests were “self-described anarchists… Coming in to the weekend, we of course, as the chief has indicated, have staffed up. We are aware of the event that’s been advertised for (Friday).”
“The mayor will meet this week with the Acting US Attorney to talk more about this group and potential assistance from the US Attorney’s office and other federal entities to hold individuals involved in this conduct accountable,” he added.
PPB Deputy Chief Chris Davis said: “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.”
Amid his confirmation hearings for the position of U.S. Attorney General, Judge Merrick Garland made a distinction between acts of violence in which federal properties were targeted while they were in operation as opposed to when they were not. In other words, he implied that attacking the federal buildings during the nighttime is more permissible.
Garland was asked by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) concerning the attacks on the federal properties in Portland and Seattle: “Do you regard assaults on federal courthouses or other federal property as attacks of domestic extremism, domestic terrorism?”
Garland answered: “Well, senator, my own definition, which is about the same as the statutory definition, is the use of violence or threats of violence in an attempt to disrupt the democratic processes. So an attack on a courthouse while in operation, trying to prevent judges from actually deciding cases, that plainly is domestic extremism, domestic terrorism. An attack simply on a government property at night or any other circumstances is a clear crime and a serious one and should be punished. I don’t know enough about the facts of the example you’re talking about, but that’s where I draw the line. One is—both are criminal, one is a core attack on our democratic institutions.”
Democrats and other far leftists have had no issue is splitting hairs in an effort to justify the crimes committed against rioters, looters, and other forms of agitators since George Floyd’s death.