Heavily Armed Far-Right Mob Floods Oregon Capitol
SALEM, Or. - A group of approximately 300 protesters attempted to force their way into two separate entrances to the Oregon State Capitol on Monday. Outraged lawmakers held a special session closed to the public.
The crowd consisted of a loose gathering of members of the Proud Boys, the Patriot Prayer, and other right-wing extremist groups, many of whom are armed with pistols and rifles. During the demonstration, which began at around 9 a.m., a woman once tried to climb into a window on the west side of the government building. The Oregon State Troopers pushed her off, however - before two more soldiers showed up to insist that she get off the ledge.
These soldiers were quickly evicted by yelling demonstrators, many of whom wore long black rifles.
Minutes later, the crowd moved to the building's north entrance and tried to push their way inside. A dozen more soldiers arrived at the door declaring it was an illegal gathering and poking the crowd with a sort of deterrent in a series of "pop" at which point the protesters fanned out again, their eyes watered and coughing.
About 100 demonstrators soon entered the lobby anyway, and state troops tried again to force them to leave. Salem Police Department told The Daily Beast that the streets around the Capitol had been closed and the ongoing protests had told residents to avoid the area if possible.
"I'm here to support the constitutional rights of the people and business owners in Oregon. These people are unemployed and their lives are being ruined by this situation, and especially by a government that appears to have held totalitarian views," said a protester Wer would only identify with his first name Duane, The Daily Beast told.
At around 10 a.m., soldiers from inside the building pushed the demonstrators to the north door. More than a dozen officers were also outside, fanning protesters who tried to push back.
"You are traitor to the American people," a demonstrator shouted to the soldiers in the building.
However, the protesters quickly changed course. Three men with long guns moved to the west side of the building and encouraged everyone to open a door there. After the opening was successful, the protesters demanded to be admitted, but the soldiers forced everyone to stay outside.
Outside, a stalemate between soldiers in riot gear and the protesters began as some people sang "Shame" while dozens sang the national anthem. A woman was holding a pitchfork with an American flag in her hand. The soldiers eventually responded with pepper spray and blue gas - which dispersed some of the crowd. At 1:30 p.m. the protest consisted of about 50 people.
“We are now declaring this area an autonomous zone for the patriots. If Antifa can do that, so can we, ”said a protester over a megaphone before calling for help tearing down fences and tarpaulins.
Despite the chaotic protest, some protesters managed to continue selling pro-Trump merchandise - including "Stop The Steal" sweaters, in a tent outside the Capitol. The tent, surrounded by Trump 2020 flags, also offered United States and Trump hats.
The state government's agenda tackled the pandemic and whether restaurants and bars can serve cocktails, both sensitive issues for a crowd that calls the restrictions imposed by local lawmakers and Governor Kate Brown "tyranny". The special session, held for the third time since March, would bring Oregon residents $ 800 million in relief.
During the pro-Trump protest in Washington state, a person was shot dead when clashes broke out
During the session, Brown should also urge lawmakers to continue with several protections for local residents during the ongoing pandemic, including easing landlords and tenants, as well as a bill to protect schools from some litigation.
"We won't just give it up, everyone will come in!" said a protester with a knife on his belt and a bulletproof vest as he entered the lobby. “This is our state. This is our building. "
To date, 1,341 people have died and about 103,000 more were infected with the coronavirus in Oregon.
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