Portland protesters were filmed burning Bibles and the American flag as protests continue in the city for more than two months.
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz responded to a Friday video of people burning what was described as a “stack of Bibles” on Twitter Saturday, saying, “This is who they are.”
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also reacted to the footage, appearing to lay blame on the far-left antifa movement.
“Now we move to the book burning phase,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m pretty sure ANTIFA doesn’t actually stand for what they say it stands for. Maybe just remove the anti part of them name and it’s perfect.”
Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk said of the video on Sunday, “Our faith is under attack.”
Protesters have targeted federal property, most notably the federal courthouse, in recent weeks as the violence continues, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
“These aren’t late-night demonstrations,”Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams told reportersin July outside the federal courthouse. “This is criminal activity. There’s a difference. What you have failed and the media have failed to distinguish between — you seem unwilling to call people engaged in criminal conduct as criminals, as opposed to lawful protesting.”
“I’m just saying there needs to be a distinction made between lawful, constitutionally protected protest, and this. This is unlawful. And people, whether you’re an opportunist, an antagonist, an agitator, or an anarchist, call it out for what it is,” he added.
“A totally surreal experience. You get large, nonviolent demonstrations where people march, they chant, they give speeches, then shortly after are replaced with a smaller crowd, though still large, who immediately start trying to break into and destroy the federal courthouse. They have transposed their hatred for the president and for law enforcement onto the physical structure of the federal courthouse, and the uniformed personnel whose job is to protect that courthouse,” the agent told theCenter for Immigration Studies.
“They throw homemade Molotov cocktails, try to set the walls on fire, try to cut and pry through the plywood covering the glass walls, all the while screaming vitriol until their voices are cracked and hoarse. When DHS personnel are visible, they throw frozen water bottles at them, canned goods, paint, and gasoline. They try to shine high powered lasers into our eyes, which can cause permanent damage. They chant and spray paint “feds go home” as one of their slogans, and that could be easily achieved. If they could prove they wouldn’t destroy the courthouse, DHS personnel would go home. It is that simple,” the agent added.
“A lot of people in jail, these are anarchists. These are not protesters. … These are people that hate our country. And we’re not going to let it go forward,” Trump said in July of the Portland riots. “The governor and the mayor and the senators out there, they are afraid of these people. That’s the reason they don’t want usto help them. They’re afraid. … I really believe they’re actually, maybe even physically afraid of these people because what they’re doing is incredible.”