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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

White House Press Secretary Says She Hasn’t Spoken With Biden About Riots in Portland and Seattle

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she hasn’t spoken with President Joe Biden about the recent unrest in the Pacific Northwest, adding that the situation is being monitored by the national security team.

Psaki made the remarks at a Friday press briefing at the White House, where she was asked by a reporter whether Biden had any comment “on the ongoing violence in Oregon and Washington state that we’ve seen in recent days.”

“I haven’t spoken with him specifically about those events, but it is something our national security team—Liz Sherwood-Randall, our Homeland Security Adviser—is closely monitoring,” Psaki replied.

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Antifa militants and other far-left activists took to the streets of Portland and Seattle on Inauguration Day, damaging property, setting fires, and clashing with police despite Biden’s pleas for unity.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Friday urged Biden to condemn the actions of far-left rioters in the Pacific Northwest.

“I’m waiting for Pres Biden to condemn violence/looting/arson last two days in Oregon & Washington state,” Grassley wrote in a tweet.

As of Thursday evening, Biden had not commented on the incidents, which involved Antifa and anarchist groups, and possibly others, rampaging in the streets of Portland and Seattle on Wednesday, voicing their opposition to the government, law enforcement, and the freshly sworn-in president.

In Portland, black-clad activists with their faces covered broke windows and the glass door at the Democratic Party of Oregon business office, spray-painting an anarchist symbol over the party sign, tipping over garbage containers, and lighting the contents on fire.

Multiple windows were shattered at the William Kenzo Nakamura Courthouse in Seattle, Wash., on Jan. 20, 2021. (Seattle Police Department)

“We don’t want Biden. We want revenge for police murders, imperialist wars, and fascist massacres,” read a banner they marched under, which featured an image of a Kalashnikov, while others carried a sign saying, “We are not governable,” which was dotted with anarchy symbols.

Portland police said some rioters carried “pepper ball guns, electronic crowd control weapons similar to Tasers, large fireworks, shields, and rocks.”

Epoch Times Photo
Some of the items seized from rioters in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 20, 2021. (Portland Police Department)

Sgt. Kevin Allen of the Portland Police Department said that, in connection with one of several incidents, “weapons were seized including Molotov cocktails, knives, batons, chemical spray, and a crowbar,” while eight individuals were arrested, with charges ranging from felony criminal mischief, possession of a destructive device, and riot.

According to KATU, one of the protests in Portland was billed as a demonstration against the Biden inauguration and law enforcement. At one point, demonstrators were approached by Portland Police officers on bicycles, with some people in the group taking an officer’s bike and throwing objects at retreating police.

Epoch Times Photo
Mugshots of protesters arrested by Portland Police on Jan. 20, 2021. (Portland Police Department)

In Seattle, Antifa activists marched into the iconic Pike Place Market to smash up property, with video from the scene showing broken windows in a Starbucks. A group of black-clad activists marched along the street, kicking over garbage containers, carrying a tattered American flag with the anarchy sign spray-painted on it.

Some spray-painted buildings with an anarchist symbol and smashed windows, including at the William Kenzo Nakamura Courthouse, a federal building, according to KOMO.

“No Cops, Prisons, Borders, Presidents,” said one banner that they marched under, according to reports from the scene.

Police announced that two people were arrested during the unrest, one for property damage and another for assault.

Officers made a third arrest later in the evening after the glass storefront was shattered at the Starbucks in Pike Place Market, according to KOMO.

Seattle and Portland have been the scene of unrest for months, with a mix of protesters—including anarchists, Antifa, and other far-left groups, as well as civil rights activists—voicing various grievances and sometimes engaging in violence, damaging property, and clashing with police.

In an op-ed in the New York Post, journalist and Antifa expert Andy Ngo wrote: “Some believe Antifa would fade away after Biden’s electoral win. They’re wrong. With the convenient excuse of resisting ‘Donald Trump’s fascist regime’ no longer applicable, Antifa are just getting started.”



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