A group of vandals smashed windows and doors at Adidas’ headquarters in Democrat-run Portland to protest the shoe company’s support for the World Cup in Qatar.
Nine people from Abolition Media are responsible for the vandalism that occurred at the headquarters on Nov. 20 at around 1:48 a.m., police said. The group wore ski goggles and face masks as they smashed around 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 fashions cities, roads and stadiums from desert sand.
The group claimed to have destroyed the property on the day the international football tournament kicked off, as Adidas is a long-time supporter of the World Cup which resulted in “death and displacement”.
“The history of the World Cup is one of death and displacement,” Abolition Media wrote in a statement. “Each stadium rests on the corpses of the workers who built it.
“In Qatar, more than 6,500 South Asian migrant workers have died in the decade leading up to the 2022 World Cup, forced to work in slave-like conditions.”
The group admitted to smashing windows and covering the campus, including the gymnasium and cafe, with paint, and said it was because companies like Adidas allowed “endless violence”.
The author further said that the attack was the first in a long series against supporters of the FIFA corporation this month. It is not known whether any arrests have been made.
Nine people from Abolition Media put on ski goggles and face masks to smash about 50 windows at Adidas headquarters in Portland, Oregon on Sunday
The group carried out the act on the day the World Cup kicked off in Qatar and said they were targeting Adidas because they were a “longtime supporter” of FIFA.
The group said Adidas was a long-time supporter of the World Cup, leading to “death and displacement”.
Abolition media found responsible for Adidas vandalism
FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup in 2010 and activists have since spoken out about how thousands of migrants perished in the Middle Eastern country
Abolition Media blamed the World Cup for the displacement of hundreds of thousands of migrants who “have been forced into labor through a combination of physical violence, threats of imprisonment, confiscation of passports, debt bondage, etc.”
Sponsors and Partners of FIFA and the 2022 World Cup
The group criticized companies that support FIFA and accused them of contributing to “displacement”.
They also included all FIFA and 2022 World Cup sponsors and urged people to “find their target”. 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 remains is to fight. In each city, you can find the property and infrastructure of companies complicit in the World Cup.
“This is a call for a month of attacks on everyone involved, wherever they are, between now and the end of the Cup at the end of December.”
“Find a target, gather your friends, and hatch a plan to fight back!”
‘From Portland to the world, F*** Adidas. F*** FIFA. Dead on the job, to every state and to every cop.
It is unclear if the group has since targeted another store.
Adidas has since issued a statement to combat vandalism.
“Adidas was not involved in the decision to award the World Cup to Qatar. We engaged with FIFA and other key stakeholders, including the Qatari government and international human rights groups. Human Rights and Labor, to improve the human rights situation for migrant workers,’ the company wrote in a statement to KGW.
“Furthermore, we have strongly advocated for unrestricted access to all visitors, regardless of nationality, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity.”
The 2022 World Cup has been at the center of contention, especially after FIFA made it clear that LGBT rainbows on clothing and flags are banned in stadiums.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar under Islamic Shariah and LGBT+ people also face discrimination and violence. Male homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment, 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 the World Cup
Workers are at risk of heat exhaustion, which can cause people to ‘skip out’ while they sleep
The Gulf state has been blighted by allegations of human rights abuses against construction workers
The Rainbow Wall of Wales, a group of LGBTQ+ supporters, said male supporters wearing the hats were allowed to keep them, but accessories were taken from women.
US sports journalist Grant Wahl (pictured) was first denied entry to a World Cup game in Doha, Qatar, and security guards ‘aggressively demanded’ that he remove his bow shirt -in sky. He was told it was for his own safety
Qatar World Cup organizers and Qatari cultural groups have also urged visitors to respect their customs and religious rules.
These include not drinking or swearing in public, wearing modest clothing, and not showing affection in public.
The Rainbow Wall of Wales, a group of LGBTQ+ supporters, tweeted that female supporters wearing rainbow bucket hats confiscated them.
Former national team captain Laura McAllister, now a professor at Cardiff University, told ITV News security guards said her hat was ‘a forbidden symbol’ but she managed to slip it off in her purse.
An American fan was also threatened on the subway going to the stadium for carrying a small rainbow flag.
The attacker, who appeared to be a supporter of Qatar, threatened to “kill” the man and said the flag “was not allowed” and that “this flag is banned in this country”. “We have our own culture,” he added.