Portland, Oregon, remains out of control.
For the 57th straight night, Antifa rioters wreaked havoc in Rip City, and they have markedly increased their activity and violent behavior since the DHS began sending in law enforcement to attempt to help the city quell the unrest.
Members of the media have tried to convince the public that the rioters are actually peaceful. CNN's Brian Stelter claimed Monday that "right-wing media plays up Portland protest 'violence'" — despite the fact that that very weekend the overwhelmed Portland Police declared a riot.
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat who represents the Portland area, said that the city "is not out of control" but was dealing with "some people who have strong feelings."
But the evidence on the ground tells a different story, a story of a city that is severely out of control: Several people have been arrested on assault, arson, and property damage charges; young children are being led by adults to chant "F*** the police!"; the protesters have issued a list of demands that apparently must be met if the city wants them to stop their antics; rioters have been shooting lasers in the eyes of law enforcement, and now at least three officers may be permanently blind; and criminals have tried to break into and burn a Portland courthouse.
In response to the ongoing turmoil, President Donald Trump sent in federal officers, a move for which he has received major criticism.
MSNBC's John Heilemann and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) have both claimed that Trump sent the feds to Portland as a sort of test run for when he refuses to leave office should he lose November's election.
So, what's really going on?
BlazeTV reporter Elijah Schaffer was on the scene and captured footage of the last night's craziness. And it's not good.
This is your blanket content warning: rough language and disturbing scenes.
The crazy evening began as it often does: A bunch of protesters — many of them without face masks — changing and preparing the mob for what's to come. Then it shortly moved to rioters apparently attempting to take down a security fence around the Portland federal courthouse.
This is Portland Oregon right now which is still in #PHASE1 of their COVID-19 reopening plan https://t.co/X9gHQhb3FU— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595656361.0
Another night of peaceful Portland protests begins now https://t.co/e6ouqekOSf— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595656702.0
In response, federal agents warned that if the protesters didn't stop trying to move the fence, the agents would use "impact crowd control munitions." Protesters responded by lobbing fireworks or flares over the fence:
Second & third warnings by federal agencies regarding using impact munitions if protesters don’t cease their action… https://t.co/AUNx2d3Rh6— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595657284.0
After the protesters refused to comply, the feds began using tear gas and pepper bullets on the rioters, Schaffer reported:
Federal agents have begun shooting pepper bullets and using tear gas on protesters who are now rioting At least 3… https://t.co/QDKAxkUUsb— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595657521.0
Portland protest has unraveled into a riot outside federal courthouse https://t.co/jn7ihloIAW— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595658102.0
Out of the tear gask, glowing blue and purple from a disco light, A protest dad appears armed with a leaf blower t… https://t.co/CN3IqjwjFe— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595658353.0
The rioters, however, appeared undeterred, and began using electric saws to cut through the courthouse barrier and then threw frozen water bottles at officers who were attempting to protect the courthouse:
Portland rioters are using electric saws to cut through the courthouse barrier Federal agents have yet to respond… https://t.co/ybJ6rD8T7a— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595658478.0
Rioters are throwing frozen water bottles at federal officers in Portland (Look on left side of screen) https://t.co/ypkFS6UIsi— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595659869.0
Rioters in Portland continue to throw frozen & liquid water bottles at federal officers by the dozens per minute +… https://t.co/bOprqxplnB— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595663301.0
Schafer and other reporters, including Drew Hernandez, captured video of rioters throwing "explosive projectiles" and launching mortar-style fireworks at officers and at the courthouse:
Another example of mortars being thrown over the barrier at federal officers for those who would say it doesn’t hap… https://t.co/6x9X5NhNfY— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595662582.0
4 more mortar fireworks shot over the barrier They don’t stop This would be considered an offensive by the riote… https://t.co/v2jt6FO8Jp— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595662955.0
Talk about focus not a single flinch #PortlandRiots https://t.co/UZwB2bSH5t— Slightly Offens*ve (@Slightly Offens*ve)1595676308.0
Finally, law enforcement declared the protests an "unlawful assembly" and order the protesters to leave, but no one did. Instead, they stepped up their attacks, shooting high-powered lasers into officers' eyes:
Federal officers are now using crowd munitions and tear gas to disburse the rioters outside the Portland federal co… https://t.co/u9bjKkyOrD— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595665337.0
UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY DECLARED As Antifa shine high powered lasers in the eyes of federal agents Which already blind… https://t.co/mMYk2T9jmC— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595664089.0
According to Schafer, officers were injured, which prompted the "unlawful assembly" declaration:
CONFIRMED: officers have been injured in tonight’s riots Which is what prompted the change in status to UNLAWFUL… https://t.co/yfUy2ek2B3— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595664854.0
And it appears that people were pretending to be press or were abusing their press credentials:
A man wearing “press” on his clothing Carries a riot shield & seems to agitate federal officers As he continues… https://t.co/mp0HUzp8nb— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595664627.0
Stop abusing the credentials You see why the federal order that officers can’t arrest press Is being used to al… https://t.co/3w4pJAksGF— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595665377.0
Another antifa sympathizer posing as press ACAB & BLM can be seen on his helmet With no limitations on federal… https://t.co/1GjfmLYd1f— ELIJAH RIOT (@ELIJAH RIOT)1595668497.0
Finally, the federal officers launched an offensive on the rioters, pushing them back away from the courthouse: