Video posted by journalist Sergio Olmos showed a group of anti-lockdown protestors gathered around a side entrance to the Oregon statehouse amid violent clashes with police and reporters. A few people tried to bust through the glass either by kicking it or driving a metal instrument through it. Some of their fellow protesters can be heard urging them to stop, while others egged them on.
The protesters chanted “Let us in!” and “Arrest Kate Brown!”
Anti-lockdown Protestors try to break into Capitol building pic.twitter.com/hHOGUfN8la
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) December 21, 2020
Oregon’s third special legislative session of the year got off to a contentious start Monday morning, with a Republican senator ripping off his mask on the chamber floor and a group of demonstrators forcing their way into the Capitol. The anti-lockdown protesters, some of whom were armed, called on lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Kate Brown to end COVID-19 restrictions in the state, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
Gov. Kate Brown called lawmakers back to Salem to pass COVID-19 relief bills. “During roll call, Sen. Dallas Heard objected to state coronavirus policies that bar members of the public from the capitol building and require lawmakers to wear masks,” the paper reports.
“This is yet another illegitimate session” due to those exclusions, Heard told the senate president before quoting from the bible, “adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces”
“This is (God’s) kingdom, not yours,” he added, suggesting the senate president did not have authority to enforce the measures.
Heard removed his mask and walked out of the chamber to address demonstrators who began infiltrating the building.
Oregon State Police said protesters sprayed police officers with “chemical agents.” About two hours after protesters broke into the Capitol, the police pushed them out and made four arrests. They said they were seeking one more person in connection with the protests.
In the early afternoon demonstrators returned to the statehouse where footage shows them assaulting reporters and vandalizing the building.
One man who broke into the capitol remains at large.