As violence and gunfire continue to consume Kenosha, Wisconsin, some of the blame can be squarely laid at the feet of Portland’s mayor. In the last three months, Antifa and anarchists have used the Pacific Northwest city to practice and perfect its violent and destructive black bloc tactics to cause chaos and unrest. Those skills are now being used in Kenosha.
Protests have been occurring for more than 90 straight days in Portland, Oregon with no end in sight. While some are likely still there to fight against racial injustice, the majority appear to be members of Antifa and anarchists who often engage in a violent protesting technique called black bloc, where members dress all in black and cover their faces while they engage in vandalism, arson and violence. The mayor’s mostly hands-off approach to the situation has allowed the violence to escalate.
On Monday, August 24, protestors tried multiple times to set the Portland Police Association building on fire. Throughout the city, more than 100 other emergency calls, including those reporting assault and robbery, were put on hold as officers were pulled to come down and break up the riot.
That’s just a small part of the violence that has engulfed the city nightly for months.
The Oregon FBI recently stated that “The continued violence, potential threat to life, and destruction of property across the United States interferes with the rights and safety of First Amendment-protected peaceful demonstrators, as well as all other citizens.”
Throughout this three-month period, Antifa and anarchists have been learning what works and what does not work against police officers in Portland, as the mayor has struggled with sympathizing with the protestors and not allowing police or federal officers to forcibly stop the violence. He and Oregon’s governor have also rejected President Donald Trump’s offer to have the National Guard come in.
Those tactics, and likely some of the same instigators, are now in Kenosha using the same aggressive strategies against the police and civil authorities to incite and increase violence.
Independent journalist Andy Ngo, who has been on the ground in Portland and is now in Kenosha, reported on Twitter, “I’ve been speaking with journalists in Kenosha who’re covering the BLM riots. They’ve witnessed and have recorded Antifa black bloc participating in organized violence using Portland-style tactics. One tells me they’re pressuring black youths to participate in property destruction.”
As Kenosha’s authorities began to protect the local courthouse, similarly to how a courthouse in Portland was protected, he wrote, “Mortar firework explosions, lasers, concrete, rocks, black bloc militants outside a fenced courthouse…This is Portland in #Kenosha, Wisc…”
In a later post, he continued, “What happens in Portland doesn’t stay there. The rioters stated mission is to abolish the rule of law. There’s more than symbolism in them trying to burn down courthouses.”
It wouldn’t be surprising if some of the professional protestors and anarchists who participated in riots and protests in Portland are now in Kenosha to participate in those protests, especially as Oregon has made it a practice to arrest and quickly release the protestors.
Most disturbingly, some of the protestors are now masquerading as individuals of the press while throwing rocks at police officers, a practice they use to offer a certain level of protection and access to the situation.
It’s not just Kenosha either, as rioters in Seattle recently put quick-drying cement on the door of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct exit in an arson attempt. Police officers were in the building at the time, and one was injured, though the mixture was ineffective as it was too runny.
The lessons from Portland are simple—if destructive protests aren’t stopped and if career protestors aren’t leveled with serious charges and bails, those that participate in these attacks can easily move on to the next city and take their tactics and practices with them. This means that the violence occurring in one city can be quickly duplicated across the country.
Photo from Ben Gingell / Shutterstock.com
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