The Oregon far-right is extremely armed and extremely dangerous, especially given their grievances about being a minority within the state.
A special legislative session at the Oregon Capitol got off to a chaotic start on Monday with far-right protesters storming the statehouse while calling on lawmakers and the governor to reopen the state economy and end the restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus.
The Oregon State Police declared an unlawful assembly as a growing number of protesters pushed their way through the Capitol doors chanting, “let us in” and “arrest Kate Brown.” Police officers donned gas masks as they squared off with protesters, some of whom carried firearms and bear spray, and many of whom were not wearing masks. Among the protesters were members of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group based in Vancouver, Washington, that attracts white supremacists and has engaged in violence.
Oregon State Police reported that officers were sprayed with “some kind of chemical agent” twice while trying to repel people from the building. Officers had arrested three people as of early afternoon, including a 41-year-old man who state police said sprayed bear mace at police.
Those arrests did not dissuade demonstrators, some of whom shattered glass doors into the Capitol while demanding to be let inside. Some members of the crowd harassed or assaulted journalists reporting on the event.
But hey, the real threat we have in American society is protestors peacefully demonstrating while calling to abolish the police. Which itself of course is not the true threat to American society: Oberlin students demanding better Vietnamese sandwiches.
Also, Douglas County is the objectively worst county in Oregon.
That last rule led to tension in the Senate Monday morning, when state Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Roseburg, objected to statewide mask requirements. Heard accused his colleagues of being involved in a “campaign against the people and the children of God.” Heard expressed anger at the mask mandate in the state Capitol, ripped his mask off and left the floor.
“If you had not done such great evil to my people and had simply asked me to wear my mask, I would have,” he said. “But you commanded it, and therefore I declare my right to protests against your false authority and remove my mask.”