An Antifa group in Portland decided to punish a lawyer representing the union for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents by flooding his office. Oregon Live reports Sean Riddell’s law office suffered thousands of dollars in damage from the act of vandalism:
Sometime over the weekend, anonymous vandals stuck a garden hose through the front-door mail slot of lawyer Sean Riddell’s Northeast Portland office and left the water running.
Someone who works in the office — a house converted into business space — discovered the mess about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Riddell and lawyer Christine Mascal, who run separate legal practices under the same roof, wondered if someone targeted one of them because of a case or whether it was a random vandal, Riddell said.
There are photos of the damage here. As you can see, most of the wood flooring on the first floor and the carpeting in the basement have to be torn up and replaced. The drywall in the basement has been pulled down and the paint was ruined along the walls. Riddell believes the damage will amount to several thousand dollars but expects his insurance will cover it.
As for who did it, that was unclear until Willamette Week ran a story about the vandalism Monday. Then the site received an email from a local Antifa group taking responsibility. Willamette Week forwarded the email to Riddell who has since called the police again to alert them. He says his office had security cameras as do other businesses in the area, so the people who did this may have been recorded in the act.
Reporter Andy Ngo, who covers Antifa in the Portland areas, notes that the letter claiming responsibility was published by It’s Going Down, an anarchist news site. It reads in part:
Sean Riddell currently provides legal representation to the National ICE Council, the union which represents ICE agents, in a lawsuit against the city of Portland in response to the Occupy ICE PDX encampment last summer. Sean’s new law office, located in Portland, was purchased partially with the money he’s made from the work he’s done for the National ICE Council. We decided to congratulate him on his new building by unraveling is garden hose, pushing it through his mail slot, and turning on the water. Our goal was to cause maximum economic damage, that should serve as a warning to all individuals and businesses that profit off the human misery perpetrated by ICE…
For a world without borders and prisons. For the free movement of all people. Smash ICE
If the goal was “maximum economic damage” why didn’t they burn the building down? Once you’ve determined that your cause is so just that you are free to break the law, why hold back?
Last year, Riddell notified the city that ICE’s union intended to sue over a decision by Mayor Ted Wheeler during the Occupy ICE protests. The union accused Mayor Wheeler of ordering them to stand down and not respond to 911 calls for help from ICE agents who were trapped inside their own building by protesters. Police also didn’t respond to regular citizens in the area of the Occupy ICE camp when they called 911 for help. The Occupy camp was finally cleared out after Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw went to Mayor Wheeler and said the camp was out of hand. He belatedly agreed to let her act last July. So there’s clearly a bit of revenge in this current act of vandalism. It’s payback for his involvement in the lawsuit over the Occupy ICE camp, a lawsuit which could make things tougher on Antifa in the future.
Finally, the screengrab above (from video shot by Andy Ngo) does come from an Antifa protest in Portland but has nothing to do with this current act of vandalism. I just think the image sort of sums up Portland Antifa.