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In Portland, Lawlessness Begets Lawlessness

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Noah Berger

For more than 50 consecutive days, Portland has been in a state of violent anarchy. Although the mainstream media is portraying the mayhem as mostly peaceful protests for social justice, this is not the case.


Over the past 50 days, the anarchists in Portland have become emboldened. According to a July 19 report from the Department of Homeland Security, “Last evening, Portland saw additional violence with violent anarchists assaulting federal officers and damaging federal property. This siege, sustained by DHS law enforcement agents continuously for 50 days, consists of multiple federal crimes. Last night alone, violent anarchists engaged in the following criminal activity:

  • Violent anarchists barricaded federal officers inside the Hatfield Federal Courthouse using materials harvested by dismantling nearby security fencing. Violent anarchists then launched commercial grade fireworks at the building, attempting to injure or kill federal officers.
  • Violent anarchists attempted to blind federal officers by targeting their eyes with laser weapons.
  • Violent anarchists launched projectiles at federal officers including commercial grade fireworks and bags of paint. 
  • Violent anarchists used dismantled security fencing to repeatedly bang against federal property attempting to breach it.
  • Violent anarchists again set fire to the base of what used to host the City of Portland’s Elk statue, continuing multiple nights of fire at this site.
  • Violent anarchists published personal lodging and rental details of DHS employees on social media, detailing exact locations including entrance and exit points of lodging, harassing rental and lodging staff, and asking individuals to acquire tools for attacks. 
  • Violent anarchists expanded riots beyond federal property to residential areas, also setting fire to the Portland Police Association.”

There are numerous other examples of looting, property destruction, and violence towards anyone that Rose City Antifa deems a “fascist.”

In 2019, journalist Andy Ngo was attacked by RCA thugs simply because he was reporting on the group’s actual activities. According to Ngo, “The most serious injury to me was my brain in the course of the mob beating, so going forward I will be having various forms of neurophysical therapy and speech therapy to address some of the neurological challenges that I’ll be having.” He's just one of the countless victims at the hands of RCA.

Portland has been a hot-bed of radical, socialist movements for years. Rose City Antifa, the first official Antifa chapter, was founded in Portland in 2007 and has run roughshod there ever since. Moreover, RCA runs afoul of the law as the mayor of Portland and the governor of Oregon turn a blind eye to what is really happening under their very noses.

According to its website, “Rose City Antifa opposes fascist organizing through direct action, education, and through solidarity with leftist spaces, activists, and organizations. … Solidarity helps us model the kind of world we want to live in: a classless society, free from all forms of oppression. We ally ourselves with other groups that have similar values, and support them in their organizing. Through this solidarity, we hope to create radical spaces that can not only grow these movements, but also act as a viable alternative to those that seek community and may be preyed on by fascists who provide false solutions to problems of class and alienation in our society.”


In other words, RCA is a classic Marxist group that seeks a “classless society” and is willing to use any means necessary, including violence, to meet their goals. This violence has been raging for more than a decade, even though it has been largely ignored by the mass media.

Should Portland’s leaders be allowed to let bedlam occur, or should the federal government put a stop to the riots and property destruction? Shouldn’t the good people of Portland (and every other American city rife with violence and lawlessness) be protected from violent mobs threatening to destroy their homes and businesses and even to murder them if they stand in the way? Of course. This is why President Trump has ordered federal agents to protect federal property, including the Hatfield Federal Courthouse, from being ravaged by RCA and other radicals.

On July 19, President Trump tweeted, he is “trying to help Portland, not hurt it …Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators … They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!”

Trump has a valid point. After all, he took a pledge to defend the Constitution.

The preamble states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Isn’t Trump simply honoring his oath?


Despite shenanigans by dishonest media members and out-of-touch politicians who are ignoring and excusing the violence that is plaguing cities like Portland, the threat is real. Why should you care about what happens in Portland? Because the pandemonium in Portland is coming soon to your city, neighborhood, or street. Will the police protect you, or will they be ordered to “stand down”? Do you know? Are you prepared to defend your business, or home, or your family?

Chris Talgo ( is an editor at The Heartland Institute.

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