1. These are not peaceful protests. They’re not even riots. What we’re seeing in Portland are strategic assaults similar to those that took place on the anniversary of September 11 against American diplomatic facilities in Egypt and Tunisia under Obama. The proper response to them is a military response. The DHS response is inadequate and it’s still meeting with media lies about walls of vets and moms resisting Trump’s stormtroopers…. by attacking the buildings that they’re in and trying to kill them.
2. It’s extraordinary that the AP even pulled together this report which, in an almost unprecedented fashion at this point, doesn’t just take on the perspective of the rioters, but also that of the people trapped inside. Someone is likely to be purged for this belated act of journalism.
The terrace outside the front door was littered with garbage, the steps leading to the courthouse splattered with paint. A mixture of anti-police and Black Lives Matter graffiti covered the building’s outer walls and columns to a height of about 10 feet (3 meters).
Tear gas from the previous nights’ protests still hung in the air and coated the floor with a slime that had been hurriedly mopped up by custodians earlier that day. A few sickly looking potted plants still decorated the lobby, a reminder of a time before the courthouse was a battlefield.
“It’s scary. You open those doors out, when the crowd is shaking the fence, and … on the other side of that fence are people that want to kill you because of the job we chose to do and what we represent,” said a Deputy U.S. Marshal who has been protecting the courthouse for weeks. He requested anonymity because protesters have identified him and posted his personal information online.
“I can’t walk outside without being in fear for my life,” he said. “I am worried for my life, every time I walk outside of the building.”
Thirty minutes later, the fence rocked and leaned sharply as dozens of protesters pressed their weight against it, some of them throwing their bodies against it at a running start. The fence, designed to absorb the impact from a car going up to 30 mph (48 kph), undulated like a wave and tilted dangerously before springing back.
Behind the front lines, the drummers that had whipped demonstrators up at the fountain regrouped and led the crowd in dancing and chanting.
Small pods of three to four protesters dressed in black circulated in the crowd, stopping every few minutes to point green laser beams in the eyes of agents posted as lookouts on porticoes on the courthouse’s upper stories. The agents above were silhouetted against the dark sky as dozens of green laser dots and a large spotlight played on the courthouse walls, projected from the back of the crowd.
Thirty minutes later, someone fired a commercial-grade firework inside the fence. Next came a flare and then protesters began using an angle grinder to eat away at the fence. A barrage of items came whizzing into the courthouse: rocks, cans of beans, water bottles, potatoes and rubber bouncy balls that cause the agents to slip and fall.
Inside the courthouse, it was dark, pitch dark except for one narrow ceiling bulb that cast a cone of light over the stairs.
Without lights, the agents hoped they would be better protected from people in the crowd who were firing metal ball bearings through the windows with sling shots. Thick ribbons of green light from blinding lasers crisscrossed the courthouse lobby, forcing the agents who were resting in between deployments to the fence to duck and weave to protect their eyes.
Every few minutes, a huge boom from a commercial-grade firework tossed over the fence caused the walls to rattle; the crowd outside cheered as explosions of red, white and green flashed against a thick curtain of yellowish tear gas.
“You see a lot of commentary on social media about, ‘Well, they’re wearing protective gear so that it’s not going to hurt them.’ Okay, I’ll put the same protective gear on you and I’ll throw a brick at your head and you tell me if you feel comfortable with that,” said a senior U.S. Marshals Service official who’s overseeing the response in Portland.
The firework came whizzing over the fence so fast that the agent didn’t have time to move.
It exploded with a boom, leaving his hearing deadened and bloody gashes on both forearms. Stunned, with help from his cohorts, he stripped to his boxer shorts and a black T-shirt so his wounds could be examined and photographed for evidence.
He told his fellow agents he was more worried about his hearing than about the gouges and burns on his arms.
By the end of the night, five other federal agents would be injured, including another who got a concussion when he was hit in the head with a commercial-grade firework. One agent was hospitalized. Several agents have lingering vision problems from the lasers.
After each night of protest, they seize dozens of homemade shields, slingshots, blocks of wood and chunks of concrete.
“My friends have been hit in the head with hammers. I know people who have been shot with fireworks. It’s disgusting,” said the Deputy U.S. Marshal who’s been at the courthouse for weeks. “I’ve never thought I’d have to walk around in my office building wearing a gas mask to go sit in front of my computer.”
What’s disgusting is that Federal facilities are under siege by organized assaults. The media and the Democrats have engaged in a blatant propaganda campaign in support of the attackers. And the feds have little to offer except small overwhelmed teams of agents.
This is the sort of thing that the Insurrection Act was made for. If throwing explosives at a Federal building doesn’t justify a military response, what does?