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WATCH: ‘We Have To Burn It Down’: Portland Protesters Say Violence Is ‘A Useful Tool’ For Change
PORTLAND, OREGON - JULY 25: People gather in protest in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland as the city experiences another night of unrest on July 25, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. For over 55 straight nights, protesters in downtown Portland have faced off in often violent clashes with the Portland Police Bureau and, more recently, federal officers. The demonstrations began to honor the life of George Floyd and other black Americans killed by law enforcement and have intensified as the Trump administration called in the federal officers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Intrepid reporter Ami Horowitz traveled to Portland in his latest video dispatch of “Ami On The Loose” to interview rioters and witness the violence that has surrounded a federal courthouse in the city.

“For weeks, Portland has seen Black Lives Matter protests nightly in front of the federal courthouse. The mainstream media would have you think that these protests are peaceful and they simply want to stop police brutality. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Horowitz begins.

The video shows people using golf clubs and pipes to bash the courthouse’s protective paneling, as well as setting trash fires and shooting fireworks over a fence erected around building. Horowitz noted that hundreds of protesters surrounding the building cheered on the violence of those attacking the building and the federal law enforcement officers inside.

“There were groups of people interrogating journalists. They warned me that if I portrayed the protesters in a negative light, I would face ‘street justice,’ and after being recognized, I was pelted with broken glass,” Horowitz continued. “In the words of the protesters that I spoke to, the goal of these protests is to encourage societal breakdown so that it could be rebuilt in their own warped image.”

Horowitz asked a handful of protesters if “chaos” is useful for accomplishing their agenda. “It’s become a useful tool,” one protester said. Another emphasized that the chaos should be “organized.”

After a question from Horowitz, one protester agreed it was time to “end the American experiment.”

“Definitely,” said the protester, dressed in all black with little more than his eyes showing. “If we failed as an American experiment, it needs to be addressed.”

Another protester said that “we have to burn it down.”

On violence as a tool to bring about change, one female protester emphatically agreed, “Yes! Yes! You gotta have violence.” She went on to describe looting and rioting as “part of being protesting.”

Another woman said that violence is “an outcry of being silenced for way too long.”

Horowitz did find one man who disagreed with the violence of the protest outside of the courthouse. The man, who was black, said that the rioters were eventually going to leave and the mess would remain to be cleaned up by the local black community.

“I don’t know no black folks who’s throwin’ mortars and s**t. I don’t know no black folks who’s throwin’ bombs over a fence,” the man said. “That don’t have nothing to do with us.”

“And when everybody gets to go home, we stay black, homey, and we get blamed for your Black Lives f***ing Matter,” the man added. “This is bulls**t.”

Violent riots have rocked Portland for two months since the death of George Floyd. Cellphone footage of Floyd’s Memorial Day arrest showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes until he became unresponsive. Floyd’s treatment sparked waves of protests that have since devolved into riots in many major cities across the United States. In recent weeks, President Trump has dispatched federal law enforcement officers to cities such as Portland, Seattle, and Albuquerque to protect federal property from being razed, looted, or vandalized by violent mobs.

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