Police call N. Portland protest a riot; downtown protesters dismantle fences on 52nd night of protests

Protesters in North Portland lit the Portland Police Association building on fire and police declared a riot while demonstrators in downtown Portland targeted fences on the 52nd straight night of protests in the city Saturday.
In North Portland, the PNW Youth Liberation Front, an organized group that has been leading demonstrations over the course of the past two months, hosted a protest to demand the abolition of the Portland Police Bureau and decry violence against people of color. After an evening gathering at Peninsula Park, marchers headed south on Interstate Avenue, stretching out for about five blocks.They stopped outside the bureau’s North Precinct, chanting, “Quit your job.” The majority of the crowd dispersed from the precinct around 9:30 p.m., after officers announced demonstrators would be subject to arrest, and headed north on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Demonstrators traveled to the Portland Police Association, the Portland Police Bureau’s union. They then began flipping dumpsters around the building to form a barricade.
Police arrived at the building around 10:45 p.m., telling demonstrators they were subject to arrest and threatening to use crowd control munitions if people attempted to enter the Portland Police Association building.
“Stop criminal acts now and move to the east,” police said.
Two dumpsters that had been tipped onto their sides in the street were set on fire. Portland police declared the event a riot around 10:50 p.m. and told demonstrators to leave the area or be subject to arrest. They then charged protesters, throwing some demonstrators on the ground.Several protesters entered the building and set it on fire, according to the police and social media posts. The fire was extinguished, police said.
Around 11:15 p.m., police began pressing protesters to the east. Most protesters did not resist. Police took multiple people into custody.
In downtown Portland, one early speaker urged demonstrators to come out every night to prove strength in numbers.
“They can’t stop you if you come out here as a cohesive group every single night,” the speaker said.
Around 9:30 p.m., demonstrators dismantled fencing surrounding Chapman Square Park. The fencing been repaired after protesters dismantled it Friday night. Protesters began to barricade the entrance to the Justice Center with part of the dismantled Chapman Square fence.
They stacked some of it against a new fence placed earlier Saturday around the Hatfield Federal Courthouse.
Oregon’s U.S. Attorney, Billy Williams, had tweeted earlier Saturday, “If you are downtown tonight, you may notice a new fence around the Hatfield Federal Courthouse. The purpose of this fence is to de-escalate tensions between protesters and federal law enforcement officers, and to allow much-needed building repairs to begin.”Around 10 p.m., smoke briefly dispersed protesters. It was not clear where the smoke came from.
Officers appeared near the federal courthouse around 10:40 p.m. and deployed tear gas. It was unclear whether they were federal officers or Portland police.
Soon after, officers retreated into the courthouse building and protestors began barricading the doors of the building again. Some began flooding the courthouse steps, banging on the doors as they barricaded them.
A reporter from The Portland Tribune posted a social media video of federal officers striking a protester repeatedly with a baton and spraying pepper spray in his face. The protester did not seem to engage with the officers in any way and stood still as he was hit.
Close to midnight, some protesters began throwing firecrackers at the courthouse. They continued to barricade the doors of the federal courthouse.By 12:30 a.m., demonstrators had largely abandoned the federal courthouse, instead holding a rally in the intersection of Southwest Third Avenue and Main Street, where people were giving speeches from the bed of a truck.
Demonstrations in Portland began almost two months ago following the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes.
Saturday, protesters began gathering in several parts of the city around 6 p.m.
A week after 18-year-old Shai’India Harris was shot and killed in Southeast Portland, hundreds gathered downtown to demand justice and celebrate her life at an event hosted by Don’t Shoot PDX, a local nonprofit, at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Holladay Park, across from the Lloyd Center, was the site for an event named March For Justice. From there, people marched through the Lloyd District and crossed the Burnside Bridge into downtown.President Donald Trump recently deployed federal officers to Portland, where they met nightly protests with munitions and gas.
Local and state leaders have vocally opposed the presence of federal officers in Portland, Oregon’s Attorney General has plans to sue several federal law enforcement agencies over their actions, and the state’s U.S. Attorney has requested investigation into reported arrests of Portland protesters picked up in unmarked vehicles.
Earlier Saturday, the Portland Police Bureau announced that command from the Federal Protective Service would not work in the Portland Police incident command center.

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