Oregon rioters stormed the Multnomah Building in Portland Tuesday night, smashing windows and setting offices ablaze to the government building that was the site of the state’s first same-sex marriages, all in the name of social justice.
Local Oregon outlet KGW8 reported that demonstrators broke the first-floor windows and sprayed lighter fluid inside before tossing burning material onto the flammable liquid. Others lodged rocks at the government building and lit more fires outside.
.@PortlandPolice has declared the gathering near the Multnomah Building a riot after individuals vandalized, repeatedly smashed first floor windows with rocks and threw burning material into an office. https://t.co/PtByF6Gx6h
— Multnomah Co Sheriff (@MultCoSO) August 19, 2020
“The unprovoked actions by those who engaged in criminal behavior is reprehensible,” Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese told reporters, according to KGW8. “It is simply violence and serves no legitimate purpose. It does nothing to solve the issues our community faces.”
Portland police declared a riot once the fires were set and demanded all citizens evacuate the area using crowd control measures to enforce their orders, but report no tear gas was used. Firefighters were called in as police surrounded the building.
The lobby of the Multnomah Building oversaw Oregon’s first same-sex marriage licenses in 2004 until a state judge stopped the county from doing so. That fall, voters passed an amendment to the state constitution invalidating such marriages. The building issued new same-sex marriage licenses again in 2014 after a U.S. district judge overturned the state’s ban.
“This is the heart of our county,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said, “where people in our community come to get married, get their passports, and celebrate their cultural traditions and diversity.”
While large-scale rioting subsided in most major cities nationwide after several days of historic unrest following George Floyd’s death, Portland has kept burning three months later. For more than 83 days straight, violent protests have targeted law enforcement with mortar-style fireworks and lasers that cause permanent blindness. The outbreak of anarchic chaos gripping the city prompted President Donald Trump to send in federal agents to defend a federal courthouse held under siege by the violent mob wreaking havoc on one of the Pacific Northwest’s major cities.