Portland, Oregon officials said the city will fine the federal government $500 every 15 minutes until it removes an “unpermitted” fence protecting the federal courthouse.
The fence happens to be blocking a bike lane on Southwest Third Avenue, according to Oregon Live, but federal officers have argued that it is necessary to keep violent rioters away from the courthouse they’ve tried to vandalize, destroy, and burn for the past several weeks.
But the city does not care, and sent the federal government a letter this week informing the Trump administration that it owes Portland $192,000 as of Monday.
Of course, this isn’t really about a bike lane. City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly admitted on Tuesday that fining the federal government is simply a way to up the pressure on federal officers stationed in the city.
“We intend to collect,” Eudaly said in a statement, adding that she is “committed to doing everything in my power to end this federal occupation and move forward with our community’s reckoning with racial injustice and our efforts to transform our approach to policing and public safety.”
The Portland Bureau of Transportation also sent a cease-and-desist letter demanding that the federal government take down the fence, which was set up on Wednesday in order to shield federal agents from the projectiles rioters continued to throw at them:
Donated food and drink supplies to the Portland antifa riot are also used as weapons. Hundreds of bottles & cans are used as projectiles every night. Various Portland antifa groups have hundreds of thousands of dollars, keeping supply lines going. pic.twitter.com/ZQUy3AfRRB
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 28, 2020
Technically, the city could remove the fence itself if it is such an impediment.
But Eudaly claimed that she “will not send workers into harm’s way,” inadvertently admitting that the conflict created by rioters has gotten so out of control that even city officials are afraid of what might happen if they get in protesters’ way.
Eudaly, however, was quick to redirect the blame towards federal officers.
“Yes, I am afraid to erect workers to do their job and enforce our laws against the federal government,” Eudaly wrote on Twitter. “I hope that gives everyone reading this pause.”