Some rioters pulled down an American flag outside the building and stomped on it — until someone was able to save the flag, a report said
“It was unsettling,” Mayor Seth Fleetwood, who remained undeterred about asking those in a homeless encampment outside of the building to move 25 feet away, told KIRO-TV of Seattle.
“They banged on the door and we got word they had somehow broken it open and were entering, and I was advised to leave.”
The rioters also spray painted the outside of the building, the Bellingham Herald reported.
Bellingham Police told the Herald around 20 rioters got inside the lobby but no damage was done and no one was hurt.
The Herald reported that those who breached City Hall left without incident and no arrests were made.
Bellingham is a college town about 88 miles north of Seattle, which has been a center for anti-police protests and riots since last spring, including an anti-Biden riot on Inauguration Day that left damage at Pike Place Market.
The group that attacked Bellingham’s City Hall also pulled down an American flag that was flying outside the building and began stomping on it. Someone was able to save the flag from the rioters, KIRO reported.
“We seek a peaceful end to this encampment and if there is confrontation, we will not be the aggressors,” he said.
He added the city is giving those in the encampment services and supplies and asking them to leave voluntarily.
The rioters also reportedly grew hostile toward local journalists who they accused of invading their privacy.
One radio reporter said the rioters stole his microphone, spray-painted him, threw hot chocolate on him and tried to take his other equipment, including his iPad. He said the rioters had shouted that he was taking “unauthorized” photos of the protest.
“I’ve never experienced that kind of belligerence,” he said, according to KIRO. “We’ve had protests in Bellingham and I’ve never seen anyone act that way.”