PORTLAND, Ore. — Antifa's message on the West Coast to President Joe Biden was simple: We're real and we hate you.
Antifa dressed in black bloc held a couple of demonstrations in the Rose City on Wednesday to coincide with the inauguration of President Joe Biden. One banner they carried during their daytime march read: "WE DON'T WANT BIDEN — WE WANT REVENGE!"
The first march of the day started at Revolution Hall. The crowd consisted of about 150 people and they stayed around for a little bit, but they became angry after the Portland Police Bureau told the group over a loudspeaker to not march in the street because traffic is supposed to be open for cars. In response, the crowd started to immediately march in the street.
One of Antifa's strengths - not having strong, central leadership - is also one of its biggest weaknesses. Everyone there knew where and when to gather, but there was no plan on what to do or where to go afterward. This resulted in a lot of infighting as people disagreed on where to go.
After wandering around for a few blocks, they found themselves in front of the Democratic Party of Oregon's office building. It did not take long before some in the group starting to spray paint vulgarities about Biden and their typical slogans. Then some started to smash the windows and front door.
The Portland Police Bureau SUV, which had been following the crowd the whole time, started to announce arrests were going to be made since they had now damaged property. This was cause for concern for the crowd since they had other plans that night and did not want to be arrested.
The crowd split up, going in different directions back to Revolution Hall since many had parked in the streets nearby. The PPB knew of this and started to head in that direction as well, and were able to arrest eight of them in connection to the building attack.
The next event took place later that night. Their plan was to go to the Immigration Customs and Enforcement station in the city’s south waterfront district. They marched to the location after gathering at a nearby park. The Antifa crowd, about 150 strong, stood outside, chanted “F**k Joe Biden!” and graffitied the facility’s walls.
The Federal Protective Service gave multiple warnings to the crowd to stop trespassing on federal property. After declaring it to be an unlawful assembly, federal officers came out to disperse the crowd. Flashbangs, rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper balls were all used. The Antifa gathering scattered much more quickly, though they regrouped down the street.
Federal officers came out of the ICE facility in Portland to disperse the crowd that had assembled outside. After declaring it to be an unlawful assembly, police used tear gas and flashbangs. pic.twitter.com/YntMIB5U6n— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 21, 2021
Antifa in Portland burns an American and Joe Biden flag in the street. pic.twitter.com/iuUYPACfkw— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 21, 2021
Unlike what had happened during the federal courthouse riots in July and August that the PPB showed up to help the federal officers. PPB officers in riot gear came out to take control of the situation to allow the federal officers to go back inside the ICE building. While the standoff was ongoing, people set an American flag on fire. Then one person pulled out a Biden 2020 flag to add to it.
“F**k Joe Biden!” they chanted.
As the standoff continued, people who lived in the housing complex across the street were angry at the Antifa crowd for causing such loud disturbances late at night. One man shouted for the crowd to go home, but the group refused. The residents were at their wit's end because this was hardly the first time Antifa had rioted outside their homes.
By 11:30 pm, most of the crowd had scattered, with the PPB also making six arrests.
This was to all to say to the Biden administration that they are not their allies and they are still determined to take kinetic action against law enforcement. If the riots of 2020 told us anything, it's that rioters in Democratic strongholds can do what they want with little consequences. Antifa and like-minded black bloc groups know this and they will continue to use it to their advantage, but that does not mean they like those who are allowing them to riot.