Antifa groups in Portland, Oregon have been on the rampage since Trump was elected. Politico Magazine has a piece today highlighting some of the group’s recent history of bad behavior:
For antifa, it’s not enough to simply outscream their opposition; rather, those far-right forces must, in a bizarre nod to the Bush Doctrine, be preemptively denied a voice from the outset. “We are unapologetic about the reality that fighting fascism at points requires physical militancy,” Rose City Antifa’s Facebook page reads…
Shortly after Trump’s election, anarchist and far-left protesters rioted in Portland, bringing at least a million dollars’ worth of damage—and resulting, in the eyes of the Department of Homeland Security, in “domestic terrorism.” Further riots followed Trump’s inauguration, and more in the months thereafter. “Their actions—conducted anonymously but brutally—show them to be punk fascists,” wrote an editorial in The Oregonian, slamming those leading the greatest political violence Portland had seen in a generation.
You really have to see it to appreciate how out of control some of the protesters were:
As mentioned above, the police chief estimated the damage at $1 million. But Politico notes that was just the beginning:
Then, in late April, organizers behind the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade—a spectacle through one of the more multiracial neighborhoods in Portland—received an email ratcheting tensions even further. Sent from an anonymous account, the email targeted the inclusion of a Multnomah County Republican Party float: “You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely. … This is non-negotiable.” Shaken, organizers canceled the parade; The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf wondered “who this faction on the left will next label a Nazi or a fascist in order to justify their own use of fascistic tactics.” Or as James Buchal, the Multnomah County Republican Party chair, told POLITICO Magazine, “The real concern going forward is that it’s a totalitarian sort of mind-set, where basically [they’re] not going to tolerate Republicans in our city.”
When asked about the threats made to parade organizers, Rose City Antifa didn’t blame right-wing provocateurs posing as local leftists, although they did note that “no one knows who sent [the email].” Rather, the group’s spokesman characterized the cancellation as an overreaction. The email “had some sort of oblique promise of some sort of altercation, they shut down the entire parade, and then acted as if it was a whole big deal,” David says.
Less than a week after the threat against the parade, antifa took over a MayDay march about 15 minutes after it began and, once again, rampaged through the city setting fires, doing damage to storefronts, and trashing a police car:
Mark Pitcavage, of the Anti-Defamation League, argues that antifa violence only help fuel a backlash on the right that could eventually lead to a street battle where people are killed. “It just makes [antifa] feel good—they think they made a point,” Pitcavage tells Politico.