A group of Antifa members have established a two-square-block “autonomous zone” around a Portland home that is under foreclosure and are reportedly patrolling it with armed guards.
In an appearance on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, Seattle-area radio talk show host and network contributor Jason Rantz said the home, known as the “Red House,” is located in north Portland and was lost following a two-year battle.
“The family is black and indigenous and so the primarily white Antifa residents believe that this is an example of gentrification,” Rantz told Carlson.
“There’s no actual evidence that this is gentrification, however, there is a lot of evidence that there’s been a lot of crime going on as the folks refuse to leave,” he continued.
“Cops [on Tuesday] tried to remove them from the home, finally removed them from the home, except they came under assault, the officers, from a lot of people who set up camp there. As they were treated, it ended up giving a lot of room to the Antifa protesters to set up a camp,” Rantz said.
At present, there are no police near the zone, according to OregonLive. However, Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also the city’s police commissioner, has instructed his department to “use all lawful means to end the illegal occupation” of the area.
I am authorizing the Portland Police to use all lawful means to end the illegal occupation on North Mississippi Avenue and to hold those violating our community’s laws accountable. There will be no autonomous zone in Portland.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) December 9, 2020
Also, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell wrote on Twitter, “Portland police will enforce the law and use force if necessary to restore order to the neighborhood.”
“We want a peaceful & safe resolution to the occupation of public space on N Mississippi Ave. We are greatly concerned about the fortification of barricades, stockpiling of weapons, armed sentries, attacks on journalists & threats to kill officers in graffiti in this public space,” he added.
Our goal is for this to resolve peacefully to increase safety for all involved. I encourage those involved to reach out to our demonstration liaisons so we can discuss a peaceful outcome.
— Chief Chuck Lovell (@ChiefCLovell) December 9, 2020
“Our goal is for this to resolve peacefully to increase safety for all involved. I encourage those involved to reach out to our demonstration liaisons so we can discuss a peaceful outcome.”
In a video message released Wednesday directed at those in the occupied zone, “Leave it behind. Put down your weapons and allow the community to return to order.”
“[Police] are amplifying the urgency of the messaging, saying, ‘You guys have to leave peacefully, we’re not going to put up with this.’ So we could potentially see action from the police within the next 24 hours,” Rantz told Carlson.
The home in question was built in 1896 and belonged to the Kinney family for about 60 years, beginning in the 1950s, OregonLive reported.
However, a criminal case involving William Kinney III, a son of the former owners, led to financial problems and the home’s foreclosure and eventual sale.
In 2002, then-17-year-old Kinney pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run as well as third-degree assault and the juvenile equivalent of criminally negligent homicide after causing death to 83-year-old Frederick Goetz while seriously injuring his wife, Ann.
At the time of the crash Kinney, who now goes by William X. Nietzche, was driving even though his permit had been suspended.
He was arrested at the property on a trespassing charge on Tuesday morning after Multnomah County sheriff’s deputies and Portland police arrived to let contractors put up a fence and board up the house.
The Antifa occupants have since dismantled the fence.
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