A large mob of political extremists has taken over an area of Portland, using a stockpile of weapons and armed guards to maintain their position. The mob is illegally occupying a home within a residential community, Fox News reports.
While attempting to gain control over the area, Portland police were met by a mob yelling and throwing things at them, as shown in video provided by independent journalist Andy Ngo.
“Portland police retreated both on foot and vehicle after responding to the antifa autonomous zone in north Portland yesterday,” Ngo reports.
“Black Lives Matter-Antifa and other left-wing extremists have repelled police and created a new ‘autonomous zone’ in north Portland to protect a house being illegally occupied by squatters,” Ngo writes. Police arrested an armed man and discovered several other weapons.
People have been camping on both private and city-owned property and trespassing at the home since September. The group organizing the occupation is called “Red House on Mississippi” and explained their mission in a press release. The group claims it has permission from the homeowner to camp at the house and that the owner is being unfairly evicted. The group is protesting the police efforts to clear the area and restrict the camping and “free community kitchen” currently occurring at the property.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has authorized the police to end the illegal encampment.
Wheeler said he does not want an “autonomous zone” in Portland, referring to the situation in Seattle, Washington, where the mayor and city government allowed an “autonomous zone” to remain undisturbed for weeks. In Seattle, the zone was removed after a string of violent attacks on innocent people, including four shot and two dead.
Despite the directive from Wheeler, more than 100 militants remain at the property, reinforcing the area by setting up barriers and shutting down traffic. Police attempts to clear the area so far have resulted in attacks on officers and destruction of police vehicles.
Portland police say in a press release neighbors in the area under siege have placed at least 81 calls for help between September 1 and November 30. These calls include reports of shots fired, fights and disturbances, burglary, thefts, vandalism, illegally blocking traffic, sidewalks, and access to homes, and other crimes. Neighbors report the presence of armed individuals in the encampment and have expressed concern about the threatening behavior and intimidation they are experiencing.
Residents noticed that a large mob quickly joined the initial group once the police arrived to enforce the mayor’s order to remove the encampment. Longtime neighborhood resident Brad Ness told the Oregonian he saw carloads of protesters arrive and strap on body armor and knee pads. He also saw them unload large amounts of wood and fencing materials later used to block off the street and reinforce the illegal encampment.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell issued a statement regarding the occupation.
“We are aware of the stockpile of weapons and the presence of firearms,” Lovell said. “We are aware of the threats to community, to media, to police. … The Portland police will enforce the law and use force if necessary, to restore order to the neighborhood.”