Oregon Rep Escorted Armed Anti-Maskers Right Into Capitol Building, Luckily They Only Assaulted A Few People
Surveillance video has been released showing Oregon state Rep. Mike Nearman opening some doors to allow a bunch of unmasked, armed right-wing kooks into the state Capitol building, in order to allow them to disrupt a December 21st special legislative session.
In the video, Rep. Nearman is seen opening doors in a stairwell as a bunch of rough looking, unmasked angry people walk in. He then disappears, and State Police show up in order to push them back out again — briefly getting into somewhat of a brawl with a fella wearing overalls. This is not a thing I would recommend! A grown man who isn't ashamed to walk around in public looking like he raided the Osh Kosh B'Gosh outlet has very little left to lose.
The State Police tried to guard the door, which they couldn't keep shut because so many people were trying to push through and push them back.
You know, as much as people get all "Oh no! Black Lives Matter and Antifa are SO MEAN to the police?" You do not often see them doing this with such absolute confidence that nothing is going to happen to them as a result. Like that woman is straight up pushing those cops, with her hands, demanding to speak to a manager, and it is definitely not occurring to her that she might get hit in the tits with a billy club — which, let me assure you, is a very unpleasant experience. Because she knows she won't. Because, as we all know, cops just don't casually beat the shit out right-wing protesters who are breaking the law the way they casually beat up left-wing protesters who are standing around singing "We Shall Overcome."
But I digress! The "protesters" were there that day to disrupt a legislative session in order to yell about coronavirus restrictions — one of which was closing such legislative sessions to the public. In order to keep people safe, the sessions have been livestreamed and the only people allowed in are journalists.
According to a previous report on the incident from Oregon Live, one of the people who made it inside sprayed troopers with something, they don't know what:
The Oregon State Police issued a statement Monday afternoon saying troopers were twice sprayed with "some kind of chemical agent."
The first incident happened about 8:30 a.m. when protesters accessed an entry room in the Capitol and one sprayed troopers, police said, though that person remains at large. Troopers used "inert pepper balls" while dealing with the protesters, police said.
Later, troopers and Salem Police Department officers pushed the crowd out of the building, when another protests used bear spray against law enforcement, OSP said in the news release. Police said Ryan Lyles, 41, was taken into custody and lodged at the Marion County Jail on charges of trespassing and assaulting a police officer.
They also attacked a journalist who was there covering the legislative session for photographing their faces, which were entirely visible due to the fact that they refused to wear masks.
Anti-lockdown Protestors assault a journalist for photographing faces https://t.co/G7kchBBrXx— Sergio Olmos (@Sergio Olmos)1608587100.0
It's a tough spot to be in! On the one hand, masks would make it less likely they would be identified and arrested ... but on the other, wearing them could reduce the spread of COVID-19 and make it so fewer people die — and that is not a risk many of them are willing to take. These were the people that Rep. Mike Nearman wanted to let in the Capitol, ostensibly so they could attack/infect more people.
Rep. Nearman, unsurprisingly, is a bit of a kook himself. In the past he filed a ballot measure requiring every citizen of Oregon to re-register to vote, which they would only be able to do if they were able to produce a birth certificate or a passport. More recently, he petitioned the Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, a Democrat, to contest the results of the 2020 election. She did the opposite of that.
House Speaker Tina Kotek says the legislature is currently exploring what options they have to sanction Nearman for literally putting their lives in danger. Perhaps they might want to consider what kind of "sanction" he might get if those creeps had assassinated someone, because that is a thing that definitely could have happened had they not been stopped from entering.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse