In the wee hours of Sunday morning on the 71st straight night of violent antifa riots in Portland, rioters who had again set a fire inside the police union threatened to burn a civilian’s home apparently because he had the audacity to look outside his window. For the last few nights, rioters have targeted police buildings in a residential neighborhood, harassing Portlanders in the middle of the night.
While multiple protests during the day remained peaceful, a group of protesters that had remained peaceful until that point marched toward the Portland Police Association (PPA) Office, the police union, at around 9:50 p.m. Support vehicles moved alongside the rioters, illegally blocking all other vehicle traffic, Portland Police reported.
Rioters “erected a fence, pushed dumpsters into the street to block traffic, set a dumpster on fire, vandalized the PPA office with spray paint, and destroyed security cameras.” At around 11:35 p.m., antifa rioters broke a police union window, barged in, and started a fire with what looks like burning cardboard or pieces of paper. Police released footage of the fire.
As the police explained, the rioters who set fire to the police union committed “the crimes of criminal mischief, burglary, and attempted arson.” Police declared a riot, ordering the mob to disperse. They warned that rioters and others who failed to disperse would face arrest, citation, or crowd control agents like tear gas.
The rioters did not take kindly to the warnings. “The hostile crowd” threw glass bottles and paint balloons at the officers and shined green lasers in their eyes. Three officers suffered injuries and two were rushed to the hospital.
The Fire Department put out the fire in the police union.
Police later discovered areas where rioters had built barricades using street closure signs, picnic tables, and other objects. Rioters hid behind these barricades while hurling objects at officers. About three hundred rioters gathered at Kenton Park. Police warned them that they were still riotous and ordered them to disperse. As the cops threatened the use of force, rioters began to disperse by around 2 a.m.
Portland Police did not use any tear gas during the episode.
In what seems the most terrifying part of the incident, the antifa rioters threatened to burn down a man’s house — seemingly for the crime of looking out his window and perhaps asking them to quiet down.
As the man pops his head out, the crowd chants, “Black Lives Matter!”
One of the rioters shouts, “You’ve really internalized capitalism if you’re more worried about getting a good night’s sleep so you can f***ing work. F*ck you!”
“Black Lives Matter!” the crowd chants again.
One voice shouts, “We’re gonna burn your building down!”
“Black Lives Matter!” the crowd chats again.
One woman taunts, “We know where you live!”
It appears the mob moved on after these taunts, but this episode again illustrates that the antifa rioters are not just targeting police for harassment. These shouts may have been empty threats, but they are still terrifying. On Friday night, rioters spilled into a Portland man’s backyard and onto his porch in the middle of the night, and he came out to boot them from his property.
On Thursday, Mayor Ted Wheeler (D-Portland) finally vocally condemned the violent antifa rioters, warning that when they attempted to burn down the Penumbra Kelly building on Wednesday night, they were “attempting to commit murder.” He urged truly peaceful protesters to stay away from the crowds that would develop into violent riots. “If you are a non-violent demonstrator, and you don’t want to be part of intentional violence, please stay away from these areas. Our community must say that this violence is not Portland, that these actions do not reflect our values, and these crimes are distracting from reform, not advancing it.”
Yet it seems antifa rioters are so set on their violent activity that they will threaten to burn down a man’s house for the crime of looking out his window.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.