PORTLAND Ore. — The Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front, a group comprised of anti-capitalist and anti-fascist teens, has been blamed for playing a major role in the weeks of unrest unfolding in Portland, a report Sunday said.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, took to Twitter late Sunday night to essentially give an update on the city’s condition as violent protests continue, Fox reported. Wheeler pointed to one protester who suffered a gruesome injury on Saturday night that prompted the U.S. Marshals Service to investigate, and he appealed to the public for calm.
“We are now more than a month and a half into witnessing nightly violence on our streets,” he tweeted. “Portland continues to be used as a staging ground for violence night after night. This is causing unprecedented harm to our communities, livelihoods, and Portlanders continue to fear for their safety. My main concern is this: that the continuing violence will lead to further injuries or even deaths.”
An entire city bending over backward due to the tantrums of adult babies. This will not end well.
— Back the Blue! (@Peaknoy) July 13, 2020
One Twitter response from Back the Blue summed it up well. “An entire city bending over backward due to the tantrums of adult babies. This will not end well.”
Other users who responded to the mayor’s tweet implored him to publicly identify the groups behind the unrest. But the Seattle Times identified one of these groups that is “emerging as a persistent militant voice” in the city. The group reportedly effectively employs social media and even provides protesters with tactical advice.
The paper reported that the group has anonymous leaders and considers itself anti-fascist and anti-capitalist. One of its goals is to upend the U.S. political system. The paper made clear that the group is not the only one behind organizing these rallies.
The group’s unverified Twitter account has over 21,000 followers and says it’s a “decentralized network of autonomous youth collectives dedicated to direct action towards liberation.”
Early Monday, the group tweeted, “The Feds and Portland Police are very quickly finding out that if they build a fortress and use literal siege tactics, the People will put their f***ing fortress under siege.”
The Portland Police Department did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.
While other cities in the U.S. have managed to calm some of the unrest following the custodial death of George Floyd, Portland remains a hotbed for violence.
On Friday night, a federal officer was struck in the head and shoulder with a hammer during protests outside the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse. The hammer-wielding suspect made a hole in the door before “deliberately” hitting a federal officer in the head and shoulder with the tool, which was used as a weapon, police said.
Federal Officers reporting a subject was breaking down a door of the Federal Courthouse with a hammer creating a hole in the door. Officers came out and one was deliberately struck in the head and shoulder with the hammer. An arrest was made. Pepper spray and CS gas deployed.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 11, 2020
The Seattle Times reported that damage to the nearby Justice Center building will approach $300,000.
“With real change comes a lot of collateral damage,” one protester told the news organization.
Portland police said federal law enforcement officers used tear gas and crowd control munitions on people protesting Saturday night near the courthouse, Fox News reported.
Department of Homeland Security previously deployed federal officers under the president’s executive order to protect monuments and federal property in the city under siege.
President Trump said last week that local officials are not handling the protesters themselves, therefore, federal officers need to be present to protect federal property, as he complimented the DHS secretary for their work.
Much remains a mystery about the Portland group. Last month, they reportedly posted on Instagram that it was forming the “Patrick Kimmons Autonomous Zone” in front of Wheeler’s apartment, according to KATU. But the report said police acted quickly and tore down barriers before the protest could take hold. The zone appeared to be inspired by Seattle’s CHOP, which was recently removed by city police after the “summer of love” became violent, resulting in two homicides and several others wounded by gunfire.
Early Monday, the group tweeted, “Portland is an autonomous zone, b**ch.”
Last month, OregonLive.com published a profile on the group. There are no public leaders and it is unclear if there are even members, the paper said.
The Seattle Times reported that, at times, the group’s motivation appears to be at odds with the Black community in the city. The paper described a scene where Black leaders in June denounced arson at one of the locations.
— Hal Bernton (@hbernton) July 12, 2020
Tony Hopson, president of Self Enhancement Inc., which assists youth in poverty, told the Times, “I know whoever was behind this thinks they were doing it — or perhaps are trying to have us think they were doing it — in the names of Black Lives Matter. We know that it was just the opposite. Not only was it not about Black Lives Matter. It was against Black Lives Matter.”
More than two week ago the Portland police chief called violence “evil” as rioters tried to trap people inside a precinct by nailing beams across exit doors and pushing a fully engulfed dumpster against the building, Law Officer reported.
Chief Chuck Lovell called the actions “not only reprehensible, but they’re evil,” emphasizing that people were inside the precinct when vandals blocked side doors by nailing wooden beams across them, and then pushed a dumpster, from which flames were shooting out, along the west side of the building.
“It needs to stop, and it needs to stop today,‘’ Lovell said at the end of June.
But the violence and mass property damage has continued. Portland is simply another example failed appeasement.