Fox News contributor defends far-right Oregon protesters storming the state capitol: “Who can blame them?”

Emily Compagno: “I'm not an advocate for violence, but it seems to me I’m not going to demonize their purpose here because how can you argue with this?"

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Citation From the December 22, 2020, edition of Fox News' Outnumbered

HARRIS FAULKNER (ANCHOR): Tensions are running high at a rally at the Oregon state capitol amid growing outrage over the latest round of COVID lockdowns. Police used pepper balls to disperse anti-lockdown protesters yesterday after police officers say they were pepper sprayed. Protesters were demanding lawmakers allow businesses to reopen as those lawmakers met inside. Demonstrators even tried forcing their way into the state capitol. You can see the protesters banging into and kicking the door to the state house following violent standoffs with police, which led to the arrests of at least four people. Some protesters managed to get inside the capitol building before they were kicked out 


Emily, I first want to talk about the legalities of all that, we can see the frustration, but there are two things at play here that I can see: People willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what they see as breaking of the law and their rights.  

EMILY COMPAGNO (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): That’s exactly right. And we’ve seen a measure of lawsuits that were brought through the courts, but I think what we are seeing here is people acknowledging outwardly that those decisions haven’t been enough, that they're not in their favor and they haven’t been enough to overturn these decisions being made by their elected officials. To be clear, this is an extension of our conversation earlier about the stimulus bill, all of this stuff is tied together. Contrary to what the Oregonian published, these guys aren’t there appearing to oppose certain policies it was said of certain businesses being closed to slow the spread of coronavirus, no these guys are here showing up to a legislative session, protesting their economic death and the entire extinguishment of their livelihoods. Who can blame them? I’m not an advocate for violence, but it seems to me I’m not going to demonize their purpose here because how can you argue with this? Again, these elected officials are rendering these knee-jerk decisions without the basis of scientific evidence, and they are incompetently doing so. There are massively harmful effects, this isn’t ten months ago when this virus emerged and they're triaging, we now have the benefit of evidence and these guys are suffering for it. 

FAULKNER: You know Lawrence when you look at these pictures, we have seen protesting across the country for different reasons for months with people willing to do things that look like they are law-breaking. What would you say to or about these protesters, I mean as Emily has said they have been left no other course, but it does complicate your argument when you show up and it gets chippy the way we have seen it there at the doorway.


GILLIAN TURNER (FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT): A note about these protesters, though, Harris. These are people who are not fighting, in Oregon, for expanded rights and expansion of their civil liberties. They’re not fighting for the destruction of government and anarchy, as we’ve seen other protesters in the country do this year. These are Americans that are fighting for a restoration of some very fundamental, basic rights, like their right to carry out the jobs that they’ve been hired to do. Their rights to not have to shut down their businesses, their rights to be able to send their children to school. So, I think it’s important that we keep that in mind here when we look at this. That said, I’m with Emily, violent threats against federal authorities are never acceptable, are never OK. But I just think when we talk about protests in the coronavirus era, we’ve got to distinguish, you know, between what people are getting at.