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Portland became a chaotic city where a group of Antifa protesters decided to invade an area around the “Red House” in a kind of armed resistance against the police. The occupants have weapons, guards and even a kitchen ready.
The group of demonstrators settled within a radius of two blocks and after confrontations with the police decided to set up camps and barricades in what they have called an “autonomous zone.”
It all came about after authorities sought to evict an African-American family from a house that was lost to foreclosure after a two-year battle. Police reportedly discovered guns inside the Red House, where activists tried to protect the Kinney family, who had received multiple eviction notices.
Jason Rantz, host of a Seattle radio show, told Fox News that last Tuesday “the police tried to remove the occupants from the house, and although they succeeded, the officers were attacked by people who set up camp there.”
“Right now they are barricaded. They have an arsenal of weapons. They have armed guards. They have a kitchen ready,” said Rantz, who added that the invaders “will be there for the long haul while the Portland police department is trying to figure out exactly what they’re going to do.”
The events in Portland are an example of what can happen in the United States if the reduction of police budgets continues and if leftist organizations are allowed to advance.
On Tuesday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he had authorized the city’s police to use “all legal means to end the illegal occupation,” but the protesters are still there.
On December 9th, shocking images circulated of a confrontation between members of the Black Lives Matter movement and leftist activists against the authorities. The occupants threw stones at the agents, sprayed them with fire extinguishers, and damaged their vehicles.
Police said that from September 1st to November 30, 2020, at least 81 calls were made about the Red House. It said these complaints ranged from “fights, riots, shootings, robberies, thefts, vandalism, noise violations, breaking and entering and threats (including by armed individuals),” among other nuisances from street blockades.
The occupants have also decided to threaten passers-by: “The space in the Red House is an active eviction blockade. If you enter that space not to defend the Kinney family, but to broadcast live or film the risks that others are taking for their personal benefit, then you are a guest. If you are not respectful, you are not welcome,” the NWP’s Youth Liberation Front tweeted on Thursday morning.
The situation in Portland is reminiscent of what happened in Seattle, where protesters established an area called CHAZ (Capital Hill Autonomous Zone) which was eventually dismantled.
For their part, Democratic leaders in both Portland and Seattle have been severely criticized for allowing protesters to invade areas of the city.
What’s behind the invasion of the “Red House”?
According to The Sun News website, in 2002 the Kinneys obtained a new mortgage to pay for the defense lawyers of their son, William III, who was imprisoned. The house went into foreclosure and was sold to a developer in 2018.
Mayor Ted Wheeler authorized the Portland Police “to use all legal means to end the squatting” and following that order at least 10 arrests were made.
About 100 militias used stolen property to build barricades with power tools and erected “No Jurisdiction” signs, echoing slogans used by CHAZ in Seattle earlier this year.
The occupants of the Red House claim that the property has belonged to the Kinney family for 65 years and have argued in court that COVID-19‘s moratorium on eviction due to expire on December 31st should apply to their case.
However, three months ago Multnomah County Judge Judith H. Matazarro said the rule in effect until the New Year does not apply because the Kinneys began resisting before the pandemic hit the United States.
No man’s land?
Police are still figuring out how to clear the invaders who blocked the streets with makeshift barriers and piles of homemade weapons. Security and surveillance experts say it is a logistical and security nightmare.
Activists have piled up wooden boards, corrugated metal sheets, wooden strips with nails, tires, fences and have amassed an arsenal ranging from glass bottles to rocks in the residential neighborhood.
According to Oregonlive, city officials have been in talks with the Kinney family, who used to own the now-called Red House, as well as the new owner, who offered to sell the property.
“Trying to come to a negotiated settlement is very important,” said Frank Straub, former Spokane Police Chief and now director of the National Police Foundation’s Center for Mass Violence Response Studies. “But they also have to recognize that the situation over time becomes dangerous from a public health and public safety standpoint.