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Portland politicians are enabling the “mob” by allowing “violent anarchists” to lay siege to the city for weeks, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf rebuked officials in the Oregon city, calling them out for doing nothing to stop the weeks-long destruction of property by protesters. Wolf also released a timeline showing the damage and the attacks on law enforcement.
“The city of Portland has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city,” Wolf said in a statement Thursday.
“Each night, lawless anarchists destroy and desecrate property, including the federal courthouse, and attack the brave law enforcement officers protecting it,” he added.
“A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice – to attack it is to attack America,” Wolf wrote, accusing Oregon’s leaders of not addressing the violence while, at the same time, “placing blame on law enforcement and requesting fewer officers in their community.”
“This failed response has only emboldened the violent mob as it escalates violence day after day,” Wolf continued, saying that the “siege” against the city will end once officials take action and step up to enforce the law.
Demonstrations, often violent, have continued in Portland for more than six weeks, wreaking havoc and costing millions in damages to area businesses. This week, protesters had begun to copy former efforts in Seattle to establish “autonomous zones” as they were seen setting up tents and barricading streets.
CHOP 2.0: Portland protesters create own ‘autonomous zone’ https://t.co/hl8UwLnOjk
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 15, 2020
Wolf offered a “snapshot” of the “lawless destruction and violence” that has beset the city, providing a timeline of events and the vandalizing of federal property such as the Hatfield Courthouse, Terry Schrunk Plaza, the 911 Federal Building, and the Pioneer Courthouse.
A partial snapshot can be viewed below:
Protesters have also reportedly tried to shine laser lights into officers’ eyes and have frequently hurled objects at them, such as glass bottles, paint and other debris. Over the past weekend, a demonstrator allegedly trying to break down the door of a federal government building with a hammer used the instrument to strike a federal officer in the head.
Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler continued to thumb his nose at any offers of federal assistance to restore order, telling federal agents this week to “stay inside” or “leave” the city. Wheeler slammed the “life-threatening tactics” used by federal officers in messages he posted on Twitter Tuesday, following the intervention of federal law enforcement agencies which dispatched officers to protect federal buildings and personnel as unrest in Portland continued since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
The Democrat mayor responded to Wolf’s offer to help by saying: “We do not need or want their help,”
Incidents occurring just this week that were listed by Wolf in his news release included an attempt by demonstrators to spray paint the Hatfield Courthouse, releasing personal information of officers online, as well as lighting things on fire and setting off fireworks.
“Violent anarchists assaulted federal law enforcement officers with cans and other hard objects while they attempted to unblock the entrance of the Edith Green Federal Building,” the statement noted.
“Violent anarchists continued to assault law enforcement officers with lasers, slingshots and fireworks. Others were armed with sledge hammers, tasers, and stun guns, and dragged flaming debris into the scene,” Wolf’s list continued, also noting that over the weekend, a “mob of 300 refused to comply with directions not to trespass on federal property.”
Wolf added in his statement that, despite the lack of support from leaders, they will not stand down in the face of mob violence.
“DHS will not abdicate its solemn duty to protect federal facilities and those within them. Again, I reiterate the Department’s offer to assist local and state leaders to bring an end to the violence perpetuated by anarchists,” he wrote.
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