Leftist agitators took to the streets of Portland and Seattle on Wednesday, attacking federal property in Oregon and Washington state, respectively, and denouncing newly inaugurated President Joe Biden as a stooge of the “establishment” political machine, The New York Times reported.
The violent scenes made for a jarring contrast with Biden’s inauguration, where he vowed to ease national tensions, and pointed to difficulties ahead for the new president.
Leftist mobs lash out
Upon taking the oath of office Wednesday, Biden said that “politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire” and called for unity, according to Fox News.
But across the Northwest, activists came out to say that change isn’t happening fast enough. They plan to keep pushing until their demands are satisfied, from abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to defunding the police, The New York Times notes.
In Portland, leftists brandished banners with messages like, “We don’t want Biden, we want revenge,” Fox reported. Others called Biden a “feckless puppet of the centrist Democratic establishment,” while some burned a Biden flag, according to The New York Times.
Meanwhile, a mob of roughly 75 rioters smashed the windows at Portland’s Democratic Party headquarters, reports noted, while another, 150 strong, was dispersed with tear gas by federal agents after vandalizing an ICE facility with the message: “Reunite families now.”
In Seattle, some 100 protesters — some said to be aligned with Antifa — went through the city’s downtown chanting “f*** Biden,” handed out flyers with messages like “Biden will not save us,” and smashed windows at another American institution, the first Starbucks, according to the New York Post.
Biden issues tepid response
On the campaign trail, Biden infamously gave the left-wing Antifa a pass, calling the group a mere “idea,” and was accused by then-President Donald Trump of failing to take law and order seriously. Following Wednesday’s violence, Republicans called on Biden for a response, but received none.
“I’m waiting for [President] Biden to condemn violence/looting/arson last two days in Oregon [and] Washington state,” GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA) said in a tweet, according to Fox.
Asked to comment Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued a tepid answer, saying the Biden administration is “monitoring” the violence, The Post Millennial reported.
As journalists Glenn Greenwald and Andy Ngo have remarked, the media-induced panic of potential pro-Trump violence on Jan. 20 fell flat. Nevertheless, Biden appears to be preoccupied with the threat of ostensibly right-wing “domestic extremism” after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
In the meantime, these leftists are going to keep squeezing Biden until he gives them what they want. How will he respond?