Protesters in Portland, many of whom have taken their activism to residential areas of the city, threatened to burn down a home for displaying an American flag.
The city has experienced well over 100 days of protests, and in that time demonstrators have moved into residential areas of Portland. Terrance Moses, a black veteran who runs a nonprofit in Portland, said he observed protesters marching in the streets of his neighborhood. However, the demonstration took a turn after activists noticed an American flag displayed on one of the homes.
“It went from a peaceful march, calling out the names, to all of a sudden, bang, ‘How dare you fly the American flag?’” Moses said, according to the New York Times. “They said take it down. They wouldn’t leave. They said they’re going to come back and burn the house down.”
“We don’t go around terrorizing folks to try and force them to do something they don’t want to do,” he added. “I’m a veteran. I’m for these liberties.”
The couple that displayed the American flag on their Kenton-area home said they were “fearful of retaliation from the roving protesters, who had found their phone number,” according to the Times. Despite that, they are refusing to take down the American flag.
“I will not take my flag down,” the man said.
According to the Times, demonstrators also took their protest to the area’s commercial district and set fires, which residents put out themselves:
The same night the protesters came to the couple’s door last month, they marched into Kenton’s commercial district and used restaurant picnic tables as fuel for fires. They collected the colorful wooden dividers the neighbors had recently built for outdoor dining and set those ablaze as well. Mr. Moses and others in the community ran into the protests with fire extinguishers.
Protesters that night broke into the Portland Police Association building and set it on fire. A man was later seen scrubbing the sidewalk graffiti — a popular message was “PPB = KKK,” meaning that the Portland Police Bureau is the Ku Klux Klan.
While establishment media organizations and progressive lawmakers have been slow to report that extremist factions comprise many of the protests in Portland, the Times admitted that the demonstrators are “splintered in Portland between more mainstream Black Lives Matter marches and the more aggressive, sometimes chaotic antifa or black bloc protests.”
A Black Lives Matter event page reportedly advertised “an autonomously organized direct action march” in the city this month, which saw about 200 people dressed in dark clothing and gathered in a residential park. The meeting featured a “small free literature selection,” which featured short works titled “I Want To Kill Cops Until I’m Dead,” “Piece Now, Peace Later: An Anarchist Introduction to Firearms,” and “In Defense of Smashing Cameras.”
According to journalist Andy Ngo, protesters marched through the Laurelhurst residential area in southeast Portland Monday night towards the Penumbra Kelly police building, as video shows:
About 100 protestors are outside the sheriffs office in southeast Portland pic.twitter.com/krAIcEGBQr
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) September 22, 2020