Anti-racism protestors in the US city of Portland have been criticised for allegedly throwing Bibles into a fire outside a federal courthouse. Protestors carrying "Black Lives Matter" signs were caught on camera burning an American flag before setting fire to the holy book.
"People began starting a fire in the street in front of the federal courthouse which started with burning a Bible, then an American flag, until more and more items were added,” KOIN reporter Danny Peterson explained in report on the incident. “Finally around 1 a.m. (Saturday), yellow-clad members of the group Moms United for Black Lives Matter went over to the fire and put it out with bottles of water and stamped it out.”
Many responded on Twitter, with one senior Boston Archdiocese official calling the incident "pure evil".
“Now we move to the book burning phase,” added President Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., in a tweet Saturday. “I’m pretty sure ANTIFA doesn’t actually stand for what they say it stands for. Maybe just remove the anti part of [their] name and it’s perfect."
Others dispute the events, with one clergyman who attended the protests tweeting that he was "not aware of Bibles being burned":
Footage of the Bible-burning incident was published on social media by Ruptly - an international video news agency which is part of the RT (Russia Today) news network, which receives most of its funding from the Russian government. Watch below:
Last week, an 18-year-old man was charged for allegedly throwing an explosive device into the entrance of the federal courthouse in Portland.
“No legitimate protest message is advanced by throwing a large explosive device against a government building,” US Attorney Billy J. Williams said of the charge, according to Fox News. “Mr. Agard-Berryhill’s actions could have gravely injured law enforcement officers positioned near the courthouse, other protesters standing nearby, or himself.”