It’s happening again: Armed Antifa supporters and activist group take over hotel and demand housing for homeless

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OLYMPIA, WA- Shortly before noon on Sunday, January 31st, nearly 35 activists with the group known as “Oly Housing Now,” occupied the lobby and 17 rooms at the Red Lion Inn.

According to The U.S. Sun, the group, alleged to be Antifa supporters, took over the hotel to demand it be used to house the homeless. They reportedly booked the rooms for homeless people from nearby encampments and planned to stay until the county committed funds for permanent housing.

Journalist Andy Ngo tweeted that the Red Lion Inn had been taken over by Antifa. He wrote:

“Protesters confront police in Olympia, Wash. after they arrest the #antifa who sieged a Red Lion hotel. Police are making arrests.”

Video on social media shows a line of officers outside the hotel trying to keep the angry mob at bay. One woman can be heard shouting, “(expletive) your sister, (expletive) your wife. I hope you all (expletive) die. Rest in piss!”

Authorities said that they started receiving phone calls from hotel employees around 11am on Sunday, January 31st. Terrified employees said that the group was dressed in black and carrying batons and knives. 

Police were told that the “mob of people wearing black” had entered the lobby and demanded them to open rooms. Reportedly, one employee was assaulted trying to stop part of the mob from entering the lobby, while about seven to eight other employees hid in a basement room.

After officers cleared the hotel, 12 people were arrested. Lt. Paul Lower of the Olympia Police Department said that his officers were going floor-to-floor adding:

“We’re still processing the building and anticipate more arrests to come.”

Mayor Cheryl Selby condemned the protest as “unproductive” and said it would not help solve the problem of homelessness in the city. In a city statement, Selby said:

“Making sure out unhoused residents have access to safe and affordable housing has been Olympia’s priority for more than a decade now. Olympia has led on responding to the homelessness, on coordinating shelter, and other basic needs. The tactics used today by Oly Housing Now are unproductive and won’t make the mission more attainable.”

Now, Oly Housing New claims that they want Thurston County to apply for funding that is being offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay for “non-congregate” shelter for people who are 65+ or have pre-existing health conditions that put them at an elevated risk for COVID-19 complications.

Emma Deitz an organizer of the group said in a statement:

“We’re just ready to stand our ground. We don’t mean any harm. We actually want this hotel to get business.” 

She added:

“So, they’re going to get the FEMA funds and the rooms are going to be occupied by people who need them. So, it’s a win-win. The funds are there; the county just has to apply for it.”

Deitz said that they purchased 17 hotel rooms for homeless people from nearby encampments and plan to stay until the county commits funds for permanent housing. 

Deitz said that Oly Housing Now is a new group with about 40 members that formed for this specific action. Keylee Marineau, the Homeless Coordinator for Thursday County, said she went to the hotel and talked with the organizers. She said:

“We’re actively pursuing avenues to understand how the homeless-specific funds for FEMA work.”

Reportedly, there are already several homeless families staying in the hotel. Family Support Center, a local nonprofit that runs a shelter for homeless families, currently provides special vouchers funded by Thurston County Public Health and the United Way.

These vouchers come from federal grants tied to COVID response, including the CARES Act and Emergency Solutions Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Executive Director Trish Gregory confirmed to The Olympian, via text, that the organization has 27 families staying at several hotels, including the Red Lion Inn. he wrote in a text:

“Family Support Center is currently spending approximately $80,000 per month to provide hotel rooms to families with children who otherwise would be forced to sleep outdoors.”

Around 6:30 p.m., on Sunday, January 31st, a large contingent of law enforcement, including Thurston County SWAT, closed off Capitol Way near the hotel.

The group of hotel employees who fled into a room in the basement of the hotel after the activists entered the hotel earlier in the day, were safely removed from the building Lt. Lower also said that the city’s crisis response unit was on scene and ready to help those who may need housing.

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Biden orders full assessment of ‘domestic violent extremism’ in wake of Capitol riots, does not mention BLM or Antifa

January 22nd, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – President Joe Biden has ordered a full assessment of the risks posed by domestic terrorism in the shadow of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The “domestic violent extremism (DVE)” assessment was announced during a Friday press briefing.

New White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said:

 “The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat.

The Biden Administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve.”

The assessment will be conducted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, led by newly confirmed Avril Haines, working with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, Psaki said at the briefing.

The administration’s focus on DVE is a clear acknowledgment that officials view the domestic unrest plaguing the United States in the past year, culminating in an attack on the United States Capitol on January 6 as a growing and concerning threat.

The review and plan put forth by the administration involves the Director of National Intelligence, which was created following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to prevent international terrorism. This pivots the attention of the government agency from external to internal terrorism threats.

Psaki said the “key point” being made by the administration is that they want facts to develop policy:

“We want fact-based analysis upon which we can shape policy. So, this is really the first step in the process. We will rely on our appropriate law enforcement and intelligence officials to provide that analysis.”

In addition to the threat assessment, the administration plans to develop its capability within the National Security Council (NSC) to confront the threat of domestic terrorism, including a review of the government’s information-sharing capabilities. Psaki said:

“The NSC will undertake a policy review effort to determine how the government can share information better about this threat, support efforts to prevent radicalization, disrupt violent extremist networks, and more.”

Psaki said she wanted to assure Americans that the administration’s actions would protect citizens’ rights while increasing government capabilities to monitor and counter domestic threats.

“We are committed to developing policies and strategies based on facts, on objective analysis, and on our respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.”

“We need to understand better its current extent and where there may be gaps to address so we can determine the best path forward.”

The third step in Biden’s plan involves coordinating relative parts of the federal government to enhance and accelerate efforts to address DVE.

Addressing reporters following the briefing, Psaki said the President wanted to conduct the review and develop the DVE policy as a priority:

“It is a priority (of the administration to insure that we are assessing what is happening in government and if we could do it better. Clearly, more needs to be done. That is why the President is tasking the national security team to do exactly this review on his second full day in office.”

The announcement of the review and plan by the Biden administration did not make mention of violent protests and riots in cities across the nation over the summer by left-wing groups including Black Lives Matter and Antifa.

The attack on the Capitol on January 6 resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol police officer. The attack has led to the second impeachment of President Donald Trump and renewed a debate over whether there should be laws created specifically for domestic terrorism.

Thus far, terrorism policy and laws have focused mainly on international terrorism. Discuss and debate about the need for new laws to deal with domestic extremism have been sparked previously by school shootings and homegrown attacks like the one at a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 people.

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It spread: Antifa and Black Lives Matter ‘anti-Biden’ demonstrations turned violent in Portland and Seattle

January 21, 2021

 

PORTLAND, OR – Violent Antifa and Black Lives Matter protests erupted in Portland Wednesday following the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, and the protests spread to Seattle.

The protesters chanted slogans and carried signs with anti-Biden, anarchy, and anti-police messages.

Law Enforcement Today reported on the Antifa and Black Lives Matter protests in Portland yesterday as protesters vandalized the Democratic Party of Oregon building, damaged buildings while marching throughout the city, and scuffling with police. Since that report, events have continued to unfold in the city.

Senior writer for @townhall Julio Rosas followed the protesters through Portland and posted videos of the violence throughout the night.

As approximately 150 people marched through the city chanting anti-Biden and anti-establishment slogans, windows were smashed at the federal courthouse.

Six people were arrested after federal authorities declared an unlawful assembly outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building Wednesday night. Police reported that protesters were throwing rocks and eggs at the building.  Several of the protesters carried anti-Biden and anti-police signs.

Authorities said protesters at the ICE building were calling for the abolishment of the agency.

Federal authorities used a loudspeaker to warn demonstrators that they were trespassing on federal property. Federal officers had to use flashbang munitions and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Police also blocked several streets around the ICE building.

The group of protesters regrouped several times during the night and had to be held back by tear gas and pepper balls repeatedly.

Protesters were observed burning American flags, as well as Joe Biden campaign flags in the street.

Portland police issued a press release stating that their officers did not deploy any munitions or tear gas.  The release said officers encircled the area of the protesters between 9:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. and conducted target arrests finding “specific people in the crowd for whom there was probable cause to arrest and made arrests.”

Portland police announced that six people were arrested during the unrest:

  • Jovanni Garcia, 24, of Beaverton: assaulting a public safety officer 
  • Justin Bowen, 25, of Portland: Interfering with a peace officer, disorderly conduct II, carrying a concealed weapon, attempted assault of a public safety officer, reckless endangering 
  • Andre Marks, 20, of Vancouver: disorderly conduct II 
  • Christopher Lundrigan, 26, of Portland: interfering with a peace officer 
  • Theodore Matthee-O’Brien, 22, of Portland: interfering with a peace officer, disorderly conduct II 
  • Trevor Colter, 26: Riot, Disorderly Conduct II, interfering with a peace officer, resisting arrest 

Portland police said that when making arrests, they recovered batons, irritant spray, Molotov cocktails, knives, and a crowbar.

The unrest spread to Seattle, where Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters blocked streets and set fires. A video showed a group of protesters blocking traffic in downtown Seattle and setting a large banner on fire in the roadway.

Independent journalist Brendan Gutenschwager posted multiple videos on Twitter as he followed the crowd. He posted another video of the protesters burning American flags in the roadway.

Protesters marched through the streets of Seattle, causing random damage to property and buildings. Some protesters were seen dragging large garbage cans into the streets and dumping them out.

Another video posted on Twitter showed a row of buildings along a street covered in paint and graffiti. Many of the buildings were already boarded up by business owners growing used to the constant violence in Seattle.

The protesters in Seattle, as in Portland, were taking part in “J20” protests. “J20” stands for January 20, the date the president of the United States is inaugurated. “Disrupt J20” was organized in July 2016 with the stated goal of disrupting then-President Donald Trump.

This year, “J20” aimed to oppose President Biden’s inauguration and law enforcement. “J20” did not have a clear message other than creating anarchy during these protests.

Although the protesters chanted slogans like “No cops, no prisons, total abolition!” through the streets of Portland and Seattle, there was no cohesive message being projected through the unrest. Several people on Twitter reacted to the protests with dismay, asking what the demonstrators wanted:

Shaun McLane tweeted, “What are they protesting?”

Tanya Ollick responded with her own tweet:

“They’re anarchists protesting government, apparently. They are the extreme left wing and tend towards violence to get attention.”

 

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