Antifa armed rioters descend on Oregon State Capitol in Salem
The “heavily armed” crowd had grown to as many as 200 people, Fox 12 Portland reported. The chaos unfolded as a planned right-wing protest and Antifa counter-protest were scheduled in Salem for the same day.
Police received reports of vehicles driving past the Capitol being struck with balloons filled with paint as well as green lasers being pointed at drivers.
Videos shared by independent journalist Andy Ngo show that one vehicle had its window smashed out while another protester was nearly run over by a truck. Ngo said the protesters were Antifa, noting that they brought their flag as well as weapons and riot gear.
Police issued an audible warning to protesters that they are participating in an unpermitted event and blocking Court Street.
“Exit the roadway and obey all laws,” they said. “Failure to do so may result in arrest. Stay on the sidewalks and exit the roadway.”
Oregon State Police and the Salem Police Department’s crowd management teams moved protesters away from the scene.
Police declared the protest an “unlawful assembly” and formed a line in front of the Capitol.
One person arrested by police allegedly had pulled out a gun.
“Due to activities expected at the @OregonCapitol today be aware there may be pedestrian congestion in the area,” authorities said in a Twitter thread. “If poss[ible], avoid traveling thru streets around the capitol mall. Anyone observing criminal behavior should immediately move to a safe location & call 9-1-1.”
“The risk of violence has increased as the opposing protestors are expected to arrive in large numbers,” police added. “We are advising residents/visitors to avoid the capitol mall area. For those in the area, please remain cautious/aware given the circumstances.”
Authorities said that the department, along with Oregon State Police and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, would be monitoring the situation and that they were “prepared to act in the interest of the public’s safety.”