“Due to activities expected at the @OregonCapitol today be aware there may be pedestrian congestion in the area,” authorities urged residents in a Twitter post. “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.”
Police advised they expected as many as 150 to 200 Antifa rioters to be “heavily armed.”
“The risk of violence has increased as the opposing protestors are expected to arrive in large numbers,” police said. “We are advising residents/visitors to avoid the capitol mall area. For those in the area, please remain cautious/aware given the circumstances.”
Authorities stated the city police department, along with Oregon State Police and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, would be watching the situation closely and that they are “prepared to act in the interest of the public’s safety.”
Police were given multiple complaints of cars going past the Capitol being hit with paint-filled balloons along with green lasers being dangerously shined in the eyes of drivers.
Footage posted by independent journalist Andy Ngo shows a pickup truck having its windows broken as well as another Antifa demonstrator coming dangerously close to being hit by a truck while trying to block traffic.
Ngo reported the demonstrators were from the domestic terrorist group Antifa, pointing out they brandished the Antifa flag along with weapons and riot gear.
Police gave a clear reminder to the militant demonstrators that they are involved in an illegal gathering and blocking Court Street.
“Exit the roadway and obey all laws,” police warned. “Failure to do so may result in arrest. Stay on the sidewalks and exit the roadway.”
The far-left crowd were pushed out of the street by Oregon State Police and the Salem Police Department’s crowd management divisions.
Virginia Barreda of the Salem Statesman newspaper reported that police ruled the protest to be an “unlawful assembly” and formed a line in front of the Capitol. She reported much of the crowd fled the grounds of the Capitol towards Center Street with SWAT in pursuit.
One man was arrested by police after pulling out a gun on the demonstrators. Ngo reported Antifa had vandalized the man’s truck and pepper sprayed him before he drew his weapon on camera, keeping it pointed at the ground, and yelled to the crowd, “Get away from me.”
In footage of the incident, police are seen moving in on the man as an Antifa member can be heard yelling “Yeah bitch!” and “Yeah, what’s up now Proud Boy?” Ngo posted: “‘If he was black, he’d be dead!’ #Antifa are upset the police did not kill the man outside the Oregon state Capitol.”