By Marie-Clare Alfonso
A bottle filled with flammable liquid was thrown through the Orange County Republican headquarters on Sunday, with a swastika and the words “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else” written on the outside of an adjacent building.
Nobody was injured during the attack but Dallas Woodhouse, Executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party speculates that “There is no way for anybody to have known that that office was completely empty” and is “not willing to accept that they weren’t trying to hurt people.”
It’s not known who did this attack, but local law enforcement has opened up a criminal investigation. One official claimed that the act was “political terrorism”.
The forthcoming election between Trump and Hillary Clinton has proven a very divisive decision in the US. And worryingly, this isn’t the first time political violence has occurred during the build-up to this election.
Protesters at Trump rallies have been punched, there have been clashes between demonstrators and police, and recently several cars belonging to Trump supporters outside a Trump event at Maine this weekend were spray painted.
Disturbingly, Trump has even warned that the “Second Amendment people”, ardent gun owners, might take matters into their own hands if President Clinton appointed judges who supported gun control.
With three weeks until the election, law enforcement experts are worried that this type of political violence will only escalate. Ron Hosko, a member of the law enforcement legal defence fund has said he “thinks that it would be prudent for both of the campaigns to say something to their own supporters to tone this down”.
Donald Trump was eager to point the blame towards Clinton and her supporters, he stated that “Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Democrats in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County”.
Hillary Clinton was quick to condemn the attacks, she responded to the event by tweeting “The attack on the Orange County HQ office is horrific and unacceptable. Very grateful that everyone is safe.”
In response to the attack, a number of Democrats and liberals created a GoFundMe page aimed to help raise money so that the North Carolina Republicans can rebuild their headquarters, the page raised over $13,000. The campaign’s organisers tweeted about their “thirst for civility and democracy”, following the attack which had been labelled by the state Governor, Pat McCrory as “an assault on our democracy”.
It is currently unclear who was guilty of the attack and the investigation continues.