A large group of left-wing militants, many dressed like Antifa, broke into the Bellingham, WA city hall on January 22. The mayor and others were forced to evacuate. Multiple reporters were assaulted.
The riot stemmed from a two month long protest encampment in front of city hall. Far-left activists had erected dozens of tents, and even some crude sheds. It was billed as a 24/7 protest for the homeless. Actual homeless people were apparently transported to the area and given free food to keep them there. During the two months, protesters covered the area with trash and there were numerous allegations of assaults on city workers, pedestrians, and journalists.
The city offered to take the homeless to two different shelters, but both offers were refused. City officials had also be trying to negotiate with the protesters to get them to enact some basic safety measures. They refused, so it was announced that the camp would be dismantled. It was announced that on January 22nd, the camp would be dismantled by city workers and any homeless would be provided with transportation to Base Camp Homeless Shelter, which is operated by Lighthouse Mission Ministries. The shelter has a total capacity of 229, and the Lighthouse Mission announced that they had 96 spots available and were eager to help.
Friday morning, “activists” blocked streets with their own vehicles and also stood in the streets forming human chains. They broke open the locked doors of City Hall and about two dozen people stormed in. Democratic Mayor Seth Fleetwood and staff were evacuated. The outside of the building was vandalized with spray paint. An American flag was ripped down and vandalized.
Joe Teehan, who works for KGMI radio, was attacked and robbed. Militants assaulted him with spray paint and hot beverages. They took stole his microphone.
Denver Pratt, of the Bellingham Herald, says he and a colleague were pushed into a corner by a screaming mob. The mob poured water on their camera to try to destroy it.
Doug Gustafson, who actually runs an advocacy group for the homeless, says the rioters threatened to take his camera.
Eventually police showed up, the area of cleared of rioters, and cleanup began.
#BREAKING: Protestors broke into a locked city hall in Bellingham today. Mayor had to be escorted out for safety.
They also tore down the American flag outside. Stole a KGMI journalist’s mic and threw a hot drink on him.
They’re supposed to be here advocating for the homeless. pic.twitter.com/uIMbRVRwBl
— Deedee Sun (@DeedeeKIRO7) January 23, 2021