The Mark O Hatfield Federal Courthouse in downtown Portland next to the police station was a secondary target when the Summer of Soros kicked off on May 29 last year. At first rioters were content to cover it in graffiti while focusing on the police station next door.
By the end of June rioters directed their attention to the courthouse and the federal agents protecting it. Police had been forced to back down in their efforts to protect their building when city and state politicians along with local and national press chimed in with antifa to denounce the use of tear gas and riot control munitions on “peaceful protesters”; cops were reduced to engaging rioters on the street only when they felt they could no longer remain bunkered inside.
But federal agents were not subject to the restrictions placed on police by city and state government. This may have in fact precipitated antifa’s turning attention on the federal building and opening up the next stage of their campaign, now against putative federal jackboots “invading” Portland and abusing “peaceful protesters”, a theme which enjoyed national prominence and is still cited by disingenuous politicians and media.
The windows were boarded up and this only enlivened the attacks; antifa turned up with tools and hammers, trying to pry the boards loose, forcing agents outside to engage them. One rioter drew federal charges for striking a fed with a hammer when agents came out to stop them from getting at the glass doors.
So they tried chain-link fencing.
But this was easily taken down by antifa, so they went with heavy steel-framed fencing. Antifa was not deterred. Masses of rioters rocking the sections back and forth managed to bend the steel angles on which they stood and get at the building. Authorities then backed the fence up with concrete blocks on one side; still determined antifa managed to bend them over to the unsupported side. Then a second row of concrete blocks was added on the other side, so no amount of rocking could bring it down. Then the feds were forced to nightly defend the no-go zone between the fence and the building front from antifa incursions and the fires they sometimes set. It was in one of these scenes that Mayor Ted Wheeler came out to endure his own ritual tear-gassing–to no avail in appeasing the mob. July 24:
After summer ended and the violence subsided, with antifa’s numbers diminished and crowds no longer turning up nightly, the feds began dismantling their fortifications in stages. First the boards came off the windows and the concrete blocks were hauled away. Yesterday the fence came down.
Antifa turned up within hours. Dozens of black bloc protesters taking up the cause of opposition to a pipeline being routed through Indian land in Minnesota assailed a Chase Bank branch and the courthouse, breaking windows until a Portland police bicycle squad came to assist the now undermanned feds and chase them off.
Before nightfall the boards went back up.
As night set in an enlivened antifa was back in assault mode. This morning tear gas was still in the air as crews began working on the damage.
Drawing law enforcement into a fight that can then be turned by a still compliant media into a tale of jackbooted excess is the whole point. We’re nearing the one year anniversary of this campaign and antifa is showing no interest in laying off and no one in city government dares to show any interest in finally opposing them outright.