Antifa activists defaced the Democratic Party of Oregon building in Portland on Sunday with spray-painted socialist signs, anarchy symbols and messages of mourning for Sean Kealiher, a young member killed by an SUV on Saturday.
Videos posted online show Antifa with the group Direct Action alliance hooting and hollering in approval as one member paints a black anarchy symbol on the banner outside the building, where others scrawled messages like “RIP Sean,” “unique one,” “Armenio lives” and the group’s three arrow symbol.
BREAKING: Antifa defaces Democrat Party office in Portland pic.twitter.com/tI5A1haqMI
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 14, 2019
Piles of flowers lined the sidewalk, where numerous flares and candles also littered the walkway.
“BREAKING: Antifa defaces Democrat Party office in Portland,” Jack Posobiec posted to Twitter, along with a video of the damage.
Others posted pictures of masked Antifa members out in force with flairs, banners and thought provoking words of remembrance for Kealiher, a fixture in Portland’s radical leftist political scene.
— liv grace (@lollipop_bandit) October 14, 2019
“for sean, for anarchy, for an end to capitalism, towards liberation, love your people tonight, #LightTheSkyForSean,” liv grace posted with pictures of the tributes.
Local media covered Kealiher’s death but ignored the vandalism at the Democratic Party building.
According to KATU:
Just after midnight Saturday, police responded to reports of a crash and gunfire near Northeast 9th and Davis Street, near the left-wing hangout Cider Riot. On scene, police found an SUV crashed into the side of the Oregon Democratic Party building with no one around. Officers say they found evidence of gunfire into the vehicle.
Police are investigating the hit-and-run as a homicide, which Oregon defines as killing another person “intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence,” Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.
The Portland Antifa have ramped up physical conflicts with conservative groups like Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys, as well as local and federal police, in the wake of President Trump’s 2016 election victory.
Kealiher’s friends told OBP the 23-year-old considered himself an anarchist and attend virtually all protests in the city.
“All the incivilities of the streets should become methodical and systematic, converging in a diffuse, effective guerrilla war that restores to us our ungovernability, our primordial unruliness.” (TCI)
— B r e a k a w a y (@Breakaway_chi) October 14, 2019
“Every single protest, he’s going to be there,” Gregory McKelvey, campaign director for mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone, said of Kealiher. “He didn’t care what your ideology was – if you were standing against the police or the state or authority in general, he was going to be there.”
Kealiher was reportedly taken to the hospital by friends after the SUV collision, but later died of head injuries. Those friends were detained by police for questioning then released.
Homicide detectives are investigating the death, but no arrests have been made, The Oregonian reports.
Police have refused to discuss details of the crash, but the news site confirmed shots were fired into the SUV after it struck Kealiher, causing it to crash into the building. It’s unclear what happed to the driver or others in the vehicle.
The Portland Police Bureau is now working to speak with witnesses they believe left the scene before officers arrived, according to KPTV.
The area was the scene of a chaotic brawl in May between Antifa and members of Patriot Prayer that involved rock throwing and pepper spray between the two groups, The Oregonian reports.
That clash resulted in charges against Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson and five others with the group, while none of the Antifa agitators were prosecuted.
“Cider Riot owner Abram Goldman-Armstrong also filed a lawsuit against Gibson and his associates seeking $1 million in damages,” the news site reports.
Goldman-Armstrong, who was banned from Providence Park for three games last month for unfurling an Antifa banner at a local Portland Timbers soccer game, is now selling his cidery for $875,000, according to OregonLive.