Leftist militants on their third day of occupying several residential blocks in Portland, Oregon, over a foreclosed house have stockpiled weapons, homemade spike strips, and armed guards at the entrances of their autonomous zone.
But the city's police chief said cops will use force if necessary to end the occupation.
What's the background?
The autonomous zone was set up Tuesday — the same day leftists militants were caught on video chasing Portland police away from the foreclosed house. In fact, they kicked and threw rocks at retreating police vehicles and ran up on cops and appeared to try to steal their equipment while taunting and threatening them as they literally chased officers down a street.
"We ain't f***in' around!" one militant was heard yelling at cops while another leftist declared, "I'll knock you the f*** out, bitch!"
Here's the clip. Content warning: Language:
Full clip from outside the Red House as activists aggressively push police out of the area, halting the eviction of… https://t.co/quGitfNmdw— Alex Milan Tracy (@Alex Milan Tracy)1607459788.0
And the leftists bullied, physically attacked, and forced a local TV reporter and videographer to leave the autonomous zone Tuesday soon after they entered in an attempt to interview occupiers:
Content warning: Language:
"We got [the] cameras we need." @GenevieveReaume and I were assaulted while walking into the barricaded area on N… https://t.co/vX84lgxLdW— Ric Peavyhouse (@Ric Peavyhouse)1607465466.0
Sorry for the blood. Hand isn’t broken, thankfully! Wound was glued up at urgent care. https://t.co/YktY4XCrLC— Genevieve Reaume (@Genevieve Reaume)1607480751.0
What did the police have to say?
"I certainly am respectful of the issue that people are there to address, but blocking streets and chasing police officers out of the neighborhood is still not OK and really contrary to our values as Portlanders," Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis told the Oregonian Tuesday evening.
Davis added that police "have to be thoughtful about" the situation and go about it "in the right way" and "consider all the angles and do our best to resolve the situation as safely as possible," the paper reported.
But Police Chief Chuck Lovell struck a different tone in a video message, saying he's aware of the leftists' weapons and threats they're making — and that officers will use force to end the occupation if necessary:
I wanted to say a few words to each of you about activity along North Mississippi. https://t.co/Icq4mpzTAL— Chief Chuck Lovell (@Chief Chuck Lovell)1607547869.0
Lovell added in another Twitter post that police also are aware of "armed sentries, attacks on journalists & threats to kill officers in graffiti in this public space."
And as you can see from the below Twitter video, the leftists have installed homemade spike strips in front of one barricaded entrance:
Portland protesters have put up barricades on Mississippi Ave in an attempt to block an eviction of “The Red House”… https://t.co/POgmRK5zbC— Independent Media PDX (@Independent Media PDX)1607473532.0