Agents of the Federal Protective Services confronted crowds of rioters in Portland, Oregon, again Saturday night, firing rounds of tear gas and non-lethal pepper balls at “anti-Fascist” protesters attacking an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility.
Saturday night marked the fourth night of rioting in Portland, and the fourth night of a federal response — a response that appears to have largely fallen under the radar since the start of the Biden administration. Several times this week, since President Joe Biden’s inauguration, protesters have descended on the Portland ICE facility demanding that inmates being held within be allowed to go free.
On Wednesday night, “anti-Fascist” demonstrators “smashed windows at a Democratic Party headquarters, marched through the streets, and burned an American flag ” in a “challenge by anti-fascist and racial-justice protesters to the new administration of President Joe Biden, whose promised reforms, they declared, ‘won’t save us,'” The New York Times reported.
“In a city that has seen months of demonstrations over racial injustice, economic inequality, federal law enforcement, and corporate power — and some of the harshest law enforcement responses to such protests — protesters have vowed to continue their actions no matter who is president,” the outlet continued. “‘We are ungovernable,’ one sign in the crowd said.”
“On Wednesday, the Portland police arrested six people after a crowd carrying shields, umbrellas, ASP and PR-24 batons and rocks — with some in the crowd wearing gas masks and helmets — vandalized the ICE building with graffiti and threw rocks,” The Daily Wire reported.
Fox News said Sunday that Federal agents stepped in to assist local law enforcement on Wednesday night and again on Saturday night.
“Law enforcement officers from the Federal Protective Service were heard declaring an ‘unlawful assembly’ around 10 p.m. local time and ordering the crowd to leave the area. The FPS is a unit of the Department of Homeland Security,” the outlet noted.
“‘If you trespass on federal property with a weapon … you will be arrested,’ a recording played to the crowd said,” according to Fox. “The federal agents were seen responding to the crowd with tear gas and other crowd-control tools.”
Guerilla journalists on the scene, including some who have covered the Portland protests since they began in May, documented the Federal response, which included “rounds of tear gas” and other non-lethal weapons.
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) January 24, 2021
Similar protests also took place in Seattle, Washington.
As The Daily Wire noted Saturday, the Biden administration has not acknowledged the protests, the damage to either Portland or Seattle, or the Federal response, and Biden press secretary Jen Psaki said she has not spoken to the president about the issue. During the campaign, Biden and his Vice President, Kamala Harris, only rarely commented on the ongoing violence in Portland, stepping in to condemn the violence following the death of a pro-Trump protester, and even then, directing his concern at the former president, according to CNBC.
“The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable. Shooting in the streets of a great American city is unacceptable. I condemn this violence unequivocally,” Biden said in a statement in August. “I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same.”
He also said that then-President Trump’s use of federal force in Portland was “egregious.”