There was a rally outside the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse on Friday, which marked the 50th day of protests in Portland. One of the speakers at the event was Lilith Sinclair, a self-described “afro-indigenous non-binary local organizer.” During her speech, she called for the abolition of the United States as we know it.”
Sinclair, who is a Black Lives Matter supporter, told the crowd that she is not just “organizing for the abolition of the militarized police state,” but also for the “abolition of the United States as we know it.” The crowd cheered and applauded for Sinclair’s proposal to tear down the United States.
Sinclair also said that Portland was “stolen land,” and instructed the crowd to carry out a “land acknowledgment.”
Sinclair labels herself as a “Black and Indigenous queer, non-binary femme sex worker.” She also identifies as “AFAB,” which stands for “assigned female at birth.”
In an interview published last month, Sinclair talked about a “global uprising.”
“I think it’s apt that we are looking at a global uprising against oppressive structures during the month where we celebrate the anniversary of another uprising–another movement to not just ask for but to demand our rights,” Sinclair said.
Following the rally, the tensions flared. People were walking the streets with katanas. Rioters launched fireworks and set off smoke bombs near the Portland Police Bureau.
Vandals attempted to use fencing to barricade the Justice Center and the Internal Revenue Service building. Rioters threw projectiles, such as glass bottles, rocks, and broken pieces of metal from fencing, at Portland police officers.
The street preacher who was assaulted at the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle was also in Portland on Friday. The street preacher was allegedly punched in the face and carried away.
Portland has been in headlines this weekend, following videos of law enforcement officers taking away protesters during demonstrations. The mysterious officers are reportedly U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC. They were deployed to Portland since at least July 14 in an effort to protect federal property.
During clashes with rioters, federal law enforcement officers deployed tear gas on Friday night.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) said, “Having federal troops here is like pouring gasoline on a fire,” Portland-based KOIN-TV reported.
“This is appalling,” Brown said. “When we need help from the federal government, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, they are missing in action.”
On Monday, President Donald Trump commended the federal officers for their work in Portland.
“Portland was totally out of control, and they went in, and I guess we have many people right now in jail and we very much quelled it, and if it starts again, we’ll quell it again very easily,” Trump said. “It’s not hard to do, if you know what you’re doing.”