The Spectator’s Douglas Murray has a first-hand account of the radical mob’s violence and destruction in Portland.
After the killing of George Floyd at the end of May, protests in Portland were among the most violent in the US. They are still going on. The left-wing mayor forbade the police from working with the federal authorities to act meaningfully against the rioters and at the forthcoming mayoral election the only candidate running against him is an open supporter of Antifa.
Recent successful operations carried out by this candidateâ€™s favoured militia include the pulling down of almost every statue and public monument in the city. The weekend before last it was Abraham Lincoln who fell. On another occasion â€” in a quasi-pagan ceremony â€” rioters repeatedly set a monument of an elk on fire and then pulled it down. A tour of the sights in Portland now comprises a huge variety of empty plinths. Few tourists will be returning for that. The remaining state and federal buildings are boarded up, graffitied over and abandoned.
Over the summer the President sent in federal guards, against the wishes of the local authorities. Today the remaining federal agents are among the few targets Antifa have left. I joined Antifa-BLM activists for a couple of nights this week.
First there was a â€˜Fuck Gentrificationâ€™ march (my first). With no policemen in sight, the activists used their own police force, including outriders on motorcycles, to block off roads and then parade through the streets screaming through megaphones at customers in the remaining bars and at the residents of an area which they claimed had once been lived in by black and indigenous families. The people who lived in many of these houses came out and put their fists in the air or waved in solidarity. Most had BLM â€” or â€˜Donâ€™t hurt meâ€™ â€” posters in their windows. All were accused of living on â€˜stolen landâ€™ by the mostly white marchers, whose other chants included â€˜Wake up, motherfucker, wake upâ€™.
A night later and we were outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility by the waterfront. This federal facility was boarded up, but Antifa like to try to burn these buildings down with the occupants inside. The federal authorities remain opposed to this. So a cat-and-mouse game kicked off, one which both sides are now practised in. The Antifa activists hurl projectiles at the boarded-up facility, beating drums to work themselves up into the violent frenzy they crave. Whenever the rioters get within a certain distance of the doors, and only after sufficient siren warnings have been given, the agents of law enforcement break out. Tear gas is fired and pepper bullets are used.
On Saturday the police came out shooting after fires were started in the street and Antifa made it to the door. A running battle saw the protestors chased back for a time, only for the police to retreat under a barrage of â€˜oinkâ€™ noises from the protestors including young white women (one in a pink onesie jumpsuit) shouting â€˜Nazisâ€™ and screaming through megaphones at the officers about how much the officersâ€™ children would hate their fathers.
Antifaâ€™s tactic is to provoke the police into an act of violence on camera so the activists can then claim they are being oppressed. From everything I saw of the police â€” including being cleared from an alleyway at gunpoint along with a dozen or so Antifa activists â€” I would say that most US federal agents have the patience of saints.
Still the image comes to mind of the elephant brought down by the smaller predators. America is not being brought low by one beast, but by a whole pack of them. These predators include, though are not limited to: ignorance, educational failure, radical indoctrination, pandemic, poverty, narcissism, boredom, the disappearance of the adults, a belief that law enforcement is the enemy and much more. Why America didnâ€™t throw off the first attacker and keep on moving is a question I cannot shake off, whether this pack brings the big beast crashing down or not.
Who knew that serious committed communists were organized on such a scale? Time for a repeat of the Palmer Red Raids of the last century.