Oregon State Police declared an unlawful assembly at the State Capitol in Salem on Monday after patriots pushed their way into the building. Law enforcement were filmed forcefully shoving people, pepper spraying them and deploying smoke bombs to disperse the crowd.
300 patriots storm the Oregon Capital building
State police say one person was arrested after using bear spray against police officers. The suspect, identified as Ryan Lyles, 41, was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and assaulting a police officer, among other charges. At least two other patriots were filmed being taken away in cuffs.
The protest, which patriots labeled as “Reopen Oregon,” began as lawmakers were in the state Capitol for a single-day special legislative session to vote on coronavirus relief provisions, including moving $600 million into the state’s coronavirus and wildfire recovery fund. The protest comes after Democratic Governor Kate Brown extended Oregon’s state of emergency expiration date from Jan. 2 to March 3. Patriots are fed up with these tyrannical Democrat governors and their ridiculous lockdowns.
“Everyone in Oregon should go to the capitol Monday 8 am to have your voice heard. Everyone in Washington be ready for [Gov. Jay] Inslee to follow. If you can’t make it until March with your business closed then open your doors now,” Joey Gibson of right-wing group Patriot Prayer wrote on Twitter on Friday.
Patriots are forcing their way into the Capital Building in Oregon.
— Lauren Witzke (@LaurenWitzkeDE) December 21, 2020
Americans are tired of the lockdowns
Patriots arrived at the Capitol building around 9:15 a.m. and the state police declared an unlawful assembly a few minutes later. Things quickly spiraled out of control. Salem police made at least two arrests, the Statesman Journal reported. During a confrontation, protesters sprayed troopers twice with an unknown chemical agent, authorities said. One woman tried climbing into the west end of the building through a window before she was stopped, The Daily Beast reported.
“I’m here to support the constitutional rights of people and of Oregon business owners. These people are unemployed and their lives are being ruined by this situation and most importantly by a government that seems to have taken totalitarian views,” one protester told reporters.
Other troopers were chased by protesters armed with rifles. “It’s unnerving,” said State Senator Shemia Fagan, a Democrat who will be sworn in as Secretary of State in January. “It doesn’t feel normal. And it feels really sad.” Livestreamed video showed protesters inside the building facing down law enforcement and asking them if they were prepared to arrest all of the demonstrators.
Protesters have found an entryway into the front of the Oregon capitol.
Not clear how they made it this far into antechamber.
— Tim A. Gruver (@T_TimeForce) December 21, 2020
Live free or die
“We just want to go into the budget meeting,” one demonstrator said to law enforcement officers blocking their way into the building. Some protesters with Trump flags and video cameras could be seen outside the building. Police armed with batons and tactical gear pushed them away from the building with a SWAT vehicle present outside.
Troopers used a loudspeaker to inform the group that anyone who failed to disperse would be arrested on disorderly and trespassing charges. The Salem Police Department advised residents to avoid the Capitol area and said they would close streets “as needed” on Monday morning.