A collection of anarchists claimed responsibility for setting fire to a vehicle parked in front of the residence of Portland, Oregon Commissioner Rene Gonzalez on January 12. Reports indicated that the targeted car was identified as a 2024 Honda Accord. Emergency responders promptly arrived, successfully extinguishing the flames. In a subsequent statement, firefighters confirmed the absence of any casualties or injuries.
The Portland Police Bureau noted that firefighters uncovered signs suggesting the intentional origin of the fire. The Bureau emphasized its commencement of an inquiry into the matter. In contrast, a local blog, recognized for promoting left-wing beliefs and anarchism, shared material containing remarks from specific anarchists who admitted to their involvement, stating that their actions were motivated by a sense of community self-defense.
An unidentified blogger went as far as disclosing specific information about the offense, such as the utilization of a fire starter, deemed by the blogger as an ideal tool for such actions due to its accessibility in major retail stores. The individual mentioned that the group’s sole remorse was not targeting the remaining two vehicles parked outside Gonzalez’s residence.
In recent months, vandals in Portland have continuously focused their attacks on the city commissioner, a political newcomer identifying as a centrist advocating for law and order. Prior to the 2022 election, during which Gonzalez defeated incumbent Jo Ann Hardesty, a strong proponent of police defunding, his campaign headquarters faced repeated acts of vandalism.
In the blog entry, the anarchists expressed that the assault could function as a “warning” to all politicians in Portland and their “capitalist associates.” The group further stated that the attack on Gonzalez served as a “call to action” for every anarchist in the city. Additionally, they dedicated the action to the memory of anarchist Esteban Paez, who lost his life in a gunfire exchange with a police officer in Atlanta.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, in an official statement, categorized the incident as a instance of “political vandalism.” He also affirmed that authorities would pursue legal action against those accountable for the attack.