A lawyers office in Portland law was trashed this weekend by an anonymous group being called ‘Portland anarchists’ to trying to intimidate a local lawyer who represents the union for officers at U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.
Riddell represents the National ICE Council, which is the union for federal immigration officers. His clients filed a tort claim against the city of Portland after Portland police refused to intervene in protests last summer outside of a federal building where ICE agents work.
The mob pushed the lawyers garden hose through the mail slot at Sean Riddell’s law office in Northeast Portland, flooding the main floor and basement.
The water was undiscovered until the next afternoon.
The wood floor is now warped. The carpet in the basement was stripped bare. Drywall from the basement ceiling was yanked down in crumbling chunks and large parts of the concrete foundation are still drenched.
The water damage will cost thousands of dollars, which will probably be covered by his insurance policy.
Riddell hit out at the vandals who flooded his office for their anonymity. “When I make a political statement, or when I make a political statement on behalf of a client,” Riddell says, “I sign my name.”
The self-identified anarchists claimed full responsibility in an anonymous email to Willamette Week early on Monday morning.
“We decided to congratulate him on his new building by unraveling his garden hose, pushing it through his mail slot, and turning on the water,” the anonymous email said.
The group claims they targeted Riddell’s new office in Northeast Portland because, they say, he bought it with funds earned by representing the ICE union.
The ‘anarchists’ suggested their motive was to intimidate other lawyers from working with federal immigration agents. “Our goal was to cause maximum economic damage, that should serve as a warning to all individuals and businesses that profit off the human misery perpetrated by ICE,” the email said.
Riddell as well as other lawyers share the space and only moved into the building last November.
Riddell says he isn’t feeling terrorized. “I’m not a victim,” he says. “I’m just doing my job.”
Portland has long been the epicenter of the so-called “Occupy ICE” movement and other anarchist activities, culminating last year in a clash between ICE officers and the protesters who then managed to shut down an ICE facility.
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