A group of vandals smashed the windows and doors at the Adidas headquarters in Democrat-led Portland in protest of the shoe company’s support of the World Cup in Qatar.
Nine people from Abolition Media were responsible for the vandalism that occurred at the headquarters on November 20 around 1.48am, police said. The group wore ski googles and masks as they smashed about 50 windows and doors, and poured blue paint around the building.
FIFA controversially awarded Qatar the 2022 World Cup in 2010. Since then, more than 6,500 migrant workers have perished in the Middle Eastern country as it has fashioned cities, roads and stadiums out of the desert sand.
The group claimed to have destroyed the property on the day the international soccer tournament kicked off since Adidas has been a longtime supporter of the World Cup that has led to ‘death and displacement.’
‘The history of the World Cup is one of death and displacement,’ Abolition Media wrote in a confession statement. ‘Every stadium stands upon the dead bodies of the workers who built it.
‘In Qatar, over 6,500 migrant workers from South Asia died during the decade of preparations for the 2022 World Cup, forced to work in slave conditions.’
The group admitted to shattering the windows and covering the campus, including the gym and cafe with paint, and said it was because companies like Adidas enable the ‘endless violence.’
The author further said that the attack was first of many on FIFA company supporters this month. It’s unclear if any arrests have been made.
Nine people from Abolition Media put on ski googles and masks to smash about 50 windows at the Adidas headquarters in Portland, Oregon on Sunday
The group committed the act on the day the World Cup kicked off in Qatar and said they targeted Adidas because they are ‘long time supporters’ of FIFA
The group said that Adidas has been a longtime supporter of the World Cup that has led to ‘death and displacement’
Abolition media outed themselves as the ones responsible for the Adidas vandalism
FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup in 2010 and activists have since spoken out about how thousands of migrants have perished in the Middle Eastern country
Abolition Media blamed The World Cup for the displacement of hundreds of thousands of migrants that ‘were forced into labor through a combination of physical violence, threats of imprisonments, passport confiscation, debt bondage, and more.’
Sponsors and Partners of FIFA and the 2022 World Cup
The group slammed the companies that support FIFA and blamed them for contributing to the ‘displacement.’
They also included every sponsor of FIFA and the 2022 World Cup and urged people to ‘find their target.’ The companies include Coca Cola, Wanda Group and Budweiser.
‘We reject the logics of global capitalism and the state, and the endless violence they create together,’ the media group wrote.
‘All that’s left to do is fight back. In every city you can find the property and infrastructure of companies complicit in the World Cup.
‘This is a call for a month of attacks against all involved, wherever they are, from now until the Cup’s ending in late December.
‘Find a target, gather your friends, and make a plan to strike back!
‘From Portland to the world, F*** Adidas. F*** FIFA. Death to work, every state and every cop.’
It’s unclear if the group has since targeted another store.
Adidas has since released a statement to address the vandalism.
‘Adidas was not involved in the decision to award the World Cup to Qatar. We have been engaged with FIFA and other critical stakeholders, including the Qatari government and international human rights and labor advocacy groups, to improve the human rights situation for migrant workers,’ the company wrote in a statement to KGW.
‘Additionally, we have strongly advocated for unrestricted access for all visitors regardless of nationality, religion, sexual orientation or ethnic background.’
The 2022 World Cup has been at the center of contention, especially after FIFA has made it clear that LGBT rainbows on clothing and flags are prohibited in stadiums.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar under Islamic Sharia law and LGBT+ people also face discrimination and violence. Male homosexuality is punishable by a prison sentence and same-sex marriages are not recognized by the government.
Migrant workers in Qatar are paid £200-a-month and work in intense heat ahead of World Cup
Workers are at risk of heat exhaustion which can cause people to ‘slip away’ in their sleep
The Gulf state has been blighted by allegations of human rights abuse of construction workers
Wales’ Rainbow Wall, a group of LGBTQ+ supporters, said male supporters wearing the hats were allowed to keep them but the accessories were taken from women
US sports journalist Grant Wahl (pictured) was initially refused entry to a World Cup match in Doha, Qatar and had security guards ‘aggressively demand’ he remove his rainbow shirt. He was told it was for his own safety
Organizers of the Qatar World Cup and Qatari cultural groups have also urged visitors to respect their customs and religious rules.
These include no drinking or swearing in public, wearing modest clothes and no public displays of affection.
Wales’ Rainbow Wall, a group of LGBTQ+ supporters, have tweeted that female supporters wearing rainbow bucket hats have had them confiscated.
Former national team captain Laura McAllister, now a professor at Cardiff University, told ITV News that security guards said her hat was ‘a banned symbol’, however she managed to sneak it through in her handbag.
A US supporter was also threatened on the Metro traveling to the stadium for carrying a small rainbow flag.
The aggressor, who appeared to be a Qatar supporter, threatened to ‘kill’ the man, and said the flag ‘was not allowed’ and ‘that flag is banned in this country’.’We have our own culture,’ he added.