President Trump blamed ‘radical left anarchists’ for the Black Lives Matter protests where ‘explosive devices’ were used against federal officers in Seattle, Portland and Atlanta – and once again blasted the ‘Lamestream Media’ for perceived bias.
This comes as protests gathered steam across several US cities Saturday, two months on from the Memorial Day ‘murder’ of George Floyd and in a show of solidarity for Portland where demonstrators and federal agents have clashed ever since Trump sent federal troops in.
On Sunday, Trump continued his campaign to discredit anti-racism and Black Lives Matter demonstrations by once again shifting blame for continued clashes on ‘anarchists.’
‘The Lamestream Media, including Fox News, which has really checked out, is refusing to show what is REALLY going on in Portland, Seattle, and other places,’ the president wrote.
‘They want the American public to believe that these are just some wonderful protesters, not radical left ANARCHISTS!’
Trump’s tendency to use ‘anarchists’ as blanket term for protesters has increased as his heavy-handed, militarized approach to quelling protests has amounted to increased tensions between civilians and authorities.
‘In Portland we had to go in as they’re anarchists,’ Trump said about Portland protesters this week an interview with Sean Hannity Thursday night.
The president has so far deployed federal agents to Portland, Seattle and Chicago. On Sunday morning he retweeted a series of posts, one which cited Antifa to be a ‘racist terror-group’, and another, authored by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, who fumed at demonstrators in Portland for assaulting ‘FEDERAL officers on FEDERAL property, while the city ‘did nothing’.
One protester was shot and killed when gunshots were fired during a protest in downtown Austin, Texas, Saturday night.
Shocking footage showed people marching along the street holding banners demanding an end to police brutality and racism when loud shots rang out.
The streets of Seattle turned violent Saturday when protesters set fire to a youth detention center and a police precinct. Other protesters threw rocks, bottles, fireworks and other explosives at cops, with the unrest leading local authorities to declare protests had turned into ‘riots that afternoon’.
Portland geared up for its 59th night of unrest Saturday with swathes of demonstrators marching from the federal building to the Portland Marriott where they believed federal officers are staying, in the wake of a violent night Friday that ended with at least one person stabbed.
Meanwhile, tensions mounted in Chicago, with protests taking place all across the Windy City Saturday including a Back the Blue rally in support of cops, while residents brace for the force of the feds.
Cities that have so far avoided the wrath of the feds also ramped up protests Saturday night with police cruisers being damaged in New York and Los Angeles police issuing a citywide tactical alert to get more cops on standby for escalating unrest.
Austin police confirmed that an adult male was shot and killed near an intersection in the city’s downtown around 9:52 p.m. during the protest Saturday night.
Social media footage shows demonstrators marching through the streets shouting ‘black lives’ and waving banners reading ‘BLM’ before several shots are fired.
Screams are heard and the video loses focus as protesters run for cover from the scene.
Senior Police Officer Katerina Ratcliff said in a late night press conference that cops were on the scene monitoring the protest when shots rang out in the area.
Initial reports indicate the victim was carrying a rifle and approached the suspect’s vehicle, who then opened fire fatally shooting the man.
Medics on the scene performed CPR on the man and he was taken to hospital in a critical condition, where he was pronounced dead soon after.
Austin police said the suspect had been detained and that no other injuries were reported.
In Seattle, violence flared long before nightfall when people went on a rampage, torching buildings in the city, while a Wall of Moms and Vets took to the streets vowing to protect demonstrators from law enforcement.
Around 2,000 people descended on the city as protests that had tempered following the dismantling of the CHOP zone earlier this month inflamed once more, after Trump said he was sending in federal troops as part of his sweeping law and order takeover in cities across the nation.
Seattle police declared the protest in Seattle a ‘riot’ just before 4:30 p.m. local time Saturday afternoon as people vandalized the East Police Precinct, set a small fire and an explosive was let off inside the building.
Surveillance cameras were damaged in the onslaught, while some demonstrators tried to tear down a fence protecting the precinct.
‘Individuals spray painting on East Precinct at 12th and Pine and attempting to disable cameras and damage fence perimeter around building,’ Seattle Police Department tweeted.
‘Due to the ongoing damage and public safety risks associated with this incident, SPD is declaring it a riot.’
The construction site of the new King County Juvenile Detention Facility was also engulfed in flames after a group marched on the building demanding it be closed before setting fire to the area.
Firefighters fought to tackle the raging flames billowing out of the construction area at 12th Avenue and Jefferson Street.
I have shifted up to Seattle today to follow a large demonstration that’s in solidarity with Portland.
I’d estimate a crowd of 2,000 already. They just torched construction buildings at the site of a new youth detention center.
Meanwhile, feds are here https://t.co/rPuSTAuKkt pic.twitter.com/jWvFqipRo4
Law enforcement hit back at the crowds using flashbangs to get people to disperse, hours after a federal judge temporarily blocked a new law banning cops from using pepper spray and other crowd control tools.
Protesters were tear-gassed and thrown to the ground as tensions escalated and a wall of cops pushed them back along the streets.
At least 45 people have been arrested and 21 cops were injured, including one who was rushed to hospital after an explosive went off on his leg.
There was still no sign of Trump’s federal troops in the early hours of Sunday despite the repeated threats from the president that his agents would restore law and order in Democrat-led cities.
A so-called ‘Wall of Moms’ joined the Seattle protests – in solidarity with the similar ‘walls’ that have sprung up in Portland over the last week.
Mothers in Portland have come out in force every night since Saturday sporting their signature yellow t-shirts and bike helmets and forming human barricades to protect Black Lives Matter protesters from federal agents sent into the city.
They were joined Friday night by a new ‘Wall of Vets’ who said they decided to take action after shocking footage emerged showing federal agents tear gassing and beating Navy veteran Christopher David, 53, last weekend.
The Seattle group of women sported yellow bands reading ‘Mom’ as they marched toward the area by the detention center Saturday afternoon, while veteran protesters held up signs reading #WallofVets.
The group wrote on Twitter that they were attacked by Seattle cops and ‘unmarked federal contractors’ in broad daylight while protesting peacefully.
‘We marched peacefully until SPD & unmarked Federal Contractors tear gassed a bunch of moms, allies and Youth today,’ the Wall of Moms Seattle group wrote.
‘In broad daylight. With no provocation from peaceful media, or marchers. All Moms (and allies) know we can do better than this.’
Shocking footage on Twitter showed peaceful protesters marching through the streets as explosions rang out behind them.
Several people broke out into a run before protesters appeared to realize it was cops following them with gas canisters.
Much of the group had dispersed by early evening with a smaller crowd of protesters and law enforcement facing off against each other near the police precinct soon after 7 p.m. before tensions bubbled over again.
Standoffs continued into the night in what used to be the CHOP zone – the ‘autonomous zone’ occupied by protesters around a police precinct.
Protests demanding an end to police brutality and racism have taken place in Seattle for two months now, ever since the Memorial Day ‘murder’ of black man George Floyd at the hands of a white cop.
Tensions in the city had simmered down following the removal of the CHOP zone in early July, but crowds have amassed once more to protest against the move from the Trump administration to send in federal troops.
Residents and local officials including Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best have voiced concerns that the city will head the way of Portland where feds have been accused of bundling protesters off in unmarked vehicles and violent clashes have erupted across the city.
Agents were sent in to Seattle Thursday evening on standby to help other federal law enforcement officials protect federal facilities in the city, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the plans.
They were drafted in after businesses were vandalized in the downtown area and in the nearby Capitol Hill neighborhood, they said.
But Durkan blasted Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf Friday saying he misled her, having assured her the government had no plans to send federal agents to Seattle.
‘I don’t want to say I was lied to, but I think there was maybe semantics that weren’t forthcoming,’ Durkan said Friday.
‘I cannot overstate it enough, what is happening is frightening to me,’ Durkan said. ‘It is frightening that you would use federal agents for political purposes.’
A federal judge dealt another blow to the city earlier Saturday ruling that cops can use pepper spray and other crowd control tools on protesters in the city.
Last month, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a bill – sponsored by far-left councilwoman Kshama Sawant – banning cops from deploying ‘kinetic impact projectiles, chemical irritants, acoustic weapons, directed energy weapons, water cannons, disorientation devices, and ultrasonic cannons’.
The law, which was set to go into effect on Sunday, sparked outrage among officers, who claimed they would be unable to protect both peaceful protesters and property if demonstrations turned violent.
On Friday, Police Chief Carmen Best slammed the City Council for their new law, writing: ‘As City Council’s legislation goes into effect, it will create even more dangerous circumstances for our officers to intervene using what they have left – riot shields and riot batons.’
US District Judge James Robart granted a request from the federal government to block the new law Saturday afternoon, clearing the way for the deployment of crowd control tactics on the night’s protests.
Atlanta also endured a night of unrest across Saturday evening into the early hours of Sunday as protesters took aim at the city’s ICE and DHS field office, smashing windows and attempting to set fire to the building.
Reports suggest that nobody was inside the building at the time, however extensive damage was caused to the front of the facility.
Agents were seen patrolling the grounds early Sunday, as FBI officers snapped pictures of the shattered windows and what appeared to be scorch marks left from fireworks on the office’s walls.
A considerable amount of graffiti was also spray-painted across the building. One of the messages read ‘No more peace’. Another called for ‘No cops, no ICE, no borders’.
Footage shared to social media appeared to show protesters starting a fire near to the office, located at 180 Ted Turner Drive, and erecting barricades.
Masked protesters were seen throwing fireworks through the office’s broken windows as they chanted ‘Black Lives Matter’.
Social media posts made by at least one group, Acid Vitalist League, claimed the vandalism was ‘in solidarity with the freedom fighters of the #PortlandProtests.’
Tensions continued to boil over in Portland Saturday night when a crowd of around 1,000 protesters marched from the federal courthouse to the Marriott hotel on the waterfront where the federal agents are rumored to be staying.
People chanted ‘feds go home’ outside the hotel on what marked the 59th night of protests to have rocked the city.
The Portland Police Department declared a riot in the city early Sunday, shortly after a group of protesters toppled part of a fence outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse.
The police said that the riot was declared in response to the ‘violent conduct’ of people who were creating ‘grave risk of public alarm.’
At around 1am, the crowd attached a chain to the fence surrounding the courthouse and managed to pull a section of it down to the pavement. Federal officers exited the courthouse and deployed multiple rounds of teargas to disperse the crowd in response.
In a statement, the Portland PD claimed that demonstrators had thrown bottles and shot ‘mortar style fireworks’ at officers as they attempted to clear the crowd. In total, 26 people were arrested, police said.
The crowd was even bigger than the previous night, as around 5,000 people descended on the streets to protest and demand the feds leave the city.
Members of the now dismantled CHOP zone in Seattle joined the crowds in Portland, and the yellow-clad ‘Wall of Moms’ showed up again, marking the seventh straight night that the group have come out to support Black Lives Matter protesters from Trump’s troops.
Someone brought along a llama – dubbed ‘Caesar The No Drama Lama’ – and several protesters were seen posing for selfies with it in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center as night fell.
This came after a new ‘Wall of Vets’ joined the Wall of Moms and Wall of Dads for the first time Friday night to ‘protect’ Black Lives Matter protesters from the federal agents in what marked the 58th night of unrest in the city.
Police said one person was stabbed in downtown Portland early Saturday morning and a suspect was taken into custody, as scenes turned ugly overnight.
About 4,000 protesters gathered at the federal courthouse and Justice Center chanting ‘feds go home’ and ‘black lives matter’.
Chaos later erupted when demonstrators set off fireworks and federal agents hurled tear gas into the crowds.
The ‘Wall of Vets’ group appeared at the demonstration for the first time, alongside the yellow-clad ‘Wall of Moms’ who have gathered every night this week.
The Vets said they decided to take action after shocking footage emerged showing federal agents tear gassing and beating Navy veteran Christopher David, 53, last weekend.
Local officials, including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, have been outspoken in their opposition to federal law enforcement’s presence. Wheeler, who has publicly called for the agents to leave numerous times, was hit with tear gas on Wednesday night as he joined protesters outside the courthouse.
‘This is not a de-escalation strategy. This is flat-out urban warfare,’ Wheeler said. ‘And it’s being wrought on the people of this country by the president of the United States and it’s got to stop.’
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell released a video statement Sunday, following the 59th consecutive night of unrest in the city.
‘Across the country people are committing violence, supposedly in support of Portland,’ he said. ‘If you want to support Portland then stop the violence, work for peace. Portland police officers and police facilities have been threatened. Now more than ever Portland Police needs your support.’
Protests ramped up in Chicago again Saturday as the Windy City braces for an influx of federal agents on the streets.
During the day, several protests took place at Grant Park, where just days earlier the controversial statue of Christopher Columbus was taken down under the cover of darkness.
Black Lives Matter protesters gathered, as did a ‘Back the Blue’ rally in support of law enforcement who chanted ‘we love CPD’.
As night fell, hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters continued to march peacefully southbound through the city.
Violence erupted in the Big Apple Saturday night as protesters and NYPD cops clashed amid a march in solidarity with Portland Saturday.
NYPD cops in riot gear faced off against a wall of protesters and at least one demonstrator was seen being tasered as things turned ugly after dark.
The clashes came one day after Trump warned New York could be next on his list of cities where federal agents will be deployed as he said Friday he is ‘sending people in to New York’.
‘You look at what they’re doing to cities – every city is run by a liberal Democrat, and they’re going to hell,’ Trump told Barstool Sports.
‘We just sent people in to Chicago. We’ve sent people in to Portland.
‘We’re sending people to New York, to help out.’
Trump’s comments came 24 hours after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he had received reassurances from the president that federal agents were not being sent.
In downtown Los Angeles, protesters and cops faced off in front of the federal courthouse with both sides reportedly hurling missiles at each other.
Cops used their batons to push back the crowds and several protesters were seen being detained on the ground.
This came after LA police issued a citywide tactical alert in order to deploy extra cops to downtown LA Saturday night amid concerns that protests were escalating once more in the city.
Sgt. Anthony Costello said extra cops and resources were on standby after a rising spate of vandalism at the federal building downtown.
Meanwhile, three people were shot in Louisville Saturday as a black militia group carrying semiautomatic weapons and a far-right organization carrying heavy firearms came face-to-face during demonstrations.
An argument erupted between Black Lives Matter supporters and members of the far-right Three Percenters militia on the corner of Fifth and Jefferson Streets in Louisville on Saturday shortly after 1pm local time, according to local reports.
A shooting then took place a few blocks away in Baxter Park, where an estimated 200 armed members of the Atlanta-based ‘Not F*****g Around Coaltion’ gathered before marching toward the main protest site in downtown.
The Louisville Metro Police Department later confirmed that the shooting was a result of a firearm that accidentally discharged.
The three wounded victims were rushed to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.