Anti-lockdown protesters clash with police, storm Oregon capitol as lawmakers meet behind closed doors

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The Democrat-run state of Oregon continues to be a model of dysfunction as armed anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police Monday at the state capitol.

With many pandemic protections due to expire at the end of the month, Gov. Kate Brown called for a one-day special session of the legislature to address key issues like relief for landlords and tenants, a bill to protect schools from some pandemic-related lawsuits and “even a provision to legalize to-go cocktails as a way to help bars and restaurants,” Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

 

The special session, which came as Congress moved on a massive $900 billion dollar COVID-19 relief bill, took place after Gov. Brown asked lawmakers for $800 million for pandemic relief efforts.

The special session was closed to the public, and members of the Proud Boys, along with Patriot Prayer members organized a “Reopen Oregon” rally outside, according to the Daily Mail, which reported that protesters were “seen carrying rifles and pistols and waving American flags and Trump banners.”

Oregon is an “open carry” state, meaning most people are allowed to carry firearms openly without a permit.

A liberal activist was recording events as they took place, and as seen above, protesters tried to enter the building, which is closed to the public because of the pandemic.

A large number were successful in getting inside, but were reportedly contained to a vestibule.

A protester who identified himself by his first name only spoke with The Daily Beast.

“I’m here to support the constitutional rights of people and of Oregon business [owners],” Duane said. “These people are unemployed and their lives are being ruined by this situation and most importantly by a government that seems to have taken totalitarian views.”

The Oregon State Police declared an unlawful assembly, according to the newspaper, which described the rally as a “nonpermitted flash mob.”

State troopers reportedly deployed pepper balls and there were at least four arrests.

As police forced protesters out of the building, people were also active outside.

“We are now declaring this area a patriot autonomous zone. If Antifa can do it so can we,” one protester said over a bullhorn, according to the Daily Beast.

Here’s more video of the rally, and the clash with police:


It’s important to note that even though some of the protesters were legally armed, there was no reported gunfire.

As for the efforts to get inside the state capital, that effort was not as legal.

Here’s a number of posts capturing the day’s events from Twitter:

Tom Tillison

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