Portland Antifa Rioters Try to Set City Hall on Fire With People Inside

AP Photo/Noah Berger

On Tuesday night, antifa rioters in Portland burst into City Hall, vandalizing it and at one point trying to burn down the building with people inside. They also vandalized Portland’s replica of Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, spray-painting “Abolish Police” and “ACAB” (short for “All Cops Are Bastards”) on it. Police arrested 25 people, two of them juveniles.


A mob of 150 rioters carrying shields and outfitted in helmets, gas masks, and body armor marched to City Hall at about 9:30 p.m., police reported. Rioters began spray-painting and vandalizing the building and breaking windows that were not boarded up. One rioter smashed a security camera. They vandalized the Liberty Bell, one of two replicas in Portland. The first replica was destroyed in a mysterious 1970 explosion.

Portland replica of Philadelphia Liberty Bell vandalized with "Abolish Police" and "ACAB," thanks to antifa rioters
Portland replica of Philadelphia Liberty Bell vandalized with “Abolish Police” and “ACAB.” Photo credit Portland Police.

Antifa rioters, some with “PRESS” markings on their clothing, broke into City Hall. Police declared the riot an unlawful assembly and warned that if rioters refused to leave, cops would use tear gas and impact weapons to break it up.

After the police broke up the crowd, officers later “disengaged” in order to “reduce the intensity of the situation.” When the cops disengaged, the rioters “began to return” and started trying to smash more City Hall windows. As the cops issued new warnings, rioters shined green lasers in their eyes.


“At 11:10 p.m., a man was seen igniting an aerosol can while spraying it towards City Hall in an attempt to set the building on fire. At the time of the fire, site security guards were working inside the building,” the police reported. The police declared the attack a riot and began arresting the rioters.

The antifa mob “put rebar ties in the road in an effort to pop police car tires.” Rioters shattered a bus stop shelter nearby. They hurled eggs and bottles at cops. Rioters also shined a blue laser in the eyes of an officer. The laser they used can make paper smoke within 3 seconds.

Despite all this, the police did not use tear gas.

At one point, the rioters attempted to use a shield wall to block the police. Officers broke up the shield wall easily. On Wednesday, antifa rioters organized a “shield wall and frontline practice” training to prevent a similarly humiliating defeat.


Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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