Times Colonist

Chaos reigns in Port­land ral­lies

- GIL­LIAN FLAC­CUS Crime · U.S. News · Incidents · Politics · Social Issues · Society · Portland · Oregon · United States of America · Donald Trump · Minneapolis · U.S. Customs and Border Protection · United States Marshals Service · U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement · Rioting · Protests · Ted Wheeler · Wheeler, Alabama · Floyd · Kate Brown · United States Customs Service · Mark Hatfield · Hatfield

PORT­LAND, Ore­gon — About 200 people, some wield­ing home­made shields, clashed with po­lice early Fri­day for the third con­sec­u­tive night as two other Black Lives Mat­ter ral­lies pro­ceeded peace­fully else­where in the city, au­thor­i­ties said.

The demon­stra­tion with un­rest came hours af­ter the city’s Demo­cratic mayor pleaded for pro­test­ers to stay off the streets, say­ing those who bar­ri­caded the doors to a po­lice precinct the night be­fore and tried to set it ablaze were not demon­stra­tors, but crim­i­nals.

Mayor Ted Wheeler said the vi­o­lent pro­test­ers are also serv­ing as po­lit­i­cal “props” for U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in a di­vi­sive elec­tion-sea­son where the pres­i­dent is ham­mer­ing on a lawand-or­der mes­sage. Trump has tried to por­tray the pro­test­ers as “sick and dan­ger­ous an­ar­chists” run­ning wild in the city’s streets.

The chaos that started Thurs­day night and lasted into Fri­day morn­ing in a res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood about 10 kilo­me­tres from down­town marked the 70th night of un­rest since May 25, fol­low­ing the Ge­orge Floyd killing in Min­neapo­lis. Po­lice ar­rested 12 adults and de­tained one 17-year-old on sus­pi­cion of charges rang­ing from in­ter­fer­ing with a po­lice of­fi­cer to ri­ot­ing.

The demon­stra­tions this week are no­tice­ably smaller than the crowds of thou­sands who turned out nightly for about two weeks in July to protest the pres­ence of U.S. agents sent by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to pro­tect a fed­eral court­house that had be­come a target of nightly vi­o­lence.

This week’s clashes nev­er­the­less ratch­eted up ten­sions af­ter an agree­ment last week be­tween state and fed­eral of­fi­cials seemed to of­fer a brief re­prieve. The deal bro­kered by Demo­cratic Gov.

Kate Brown called for agents from the U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion, U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice and U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment to pull back from their de­fence of the Mark O. Hat­field Fed­eral Court­house start­ing July 30.

Early Fri­day, as peace­ful demon­stra­tions pro­ceeded else­where in the city, a group of people gath­ered at a park in eastern Port­land and marched to the lo­cal po­lice precinct, where au­thor­i­ties say they spray-painted the build­ing, popped the tires of po­lice cars, splashed paint on the walls, van­dal­ized se­cu­rity cam­eras and set a fire in a bar­rel out­side the build­ing. One of­fi­cer was se­verely in­jured by a rock, po­lice said, but no ad­di­tional de­tails were pro­vided.

An older woman who tried to stop the van­dal­ism was hit with a bucket of white paint and then got into a shout­ing match with those in the crowd as one pro­tester tried to wrap her in yel­low po­lice tape — a con­flict caught on video. Another el­derly woman us­ing a walker was also cap­tured on video try­ing to put out a fire with a fire ex­tin­guisher while a black-clad pro­tester blocked her way.

Tear gas was used by po­lice on pro­test­ers Wed­nes­day for the first time since the U.S. agents left the city, but of­fi­cers did not use it Thurs­day de­spite declar­ing the demon­stra­tion an un­law­ful assem­bly.

Wheeler, who was tear-gassed sev­eral weeks ago with pro­test­ers as he stood with them out­side the fed­eral court­house, warned the demon­stra­tors Thurs­day that their ac­tions are help­ing Trump.

“Don’t think for a mo­ment that if you are par­tic­i­pat­ing in this ac­tiv­ity, you are not be­ing a prop for the re­elec­tion cam­paign of Don­ald Trump — be­cause you ab­so­lutely are,” he said. “If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up.”

 ??  ?? Demon­stra­tors gather at Floyd Light City Park in Port­land, Ore­gon, in a protest that started Thurs­day and lasted into Fri­day morn­ing.
Demon­stra­tors gather at Floyd Light City Park in Port­land, Ore­gon, in a protest that started Thurs­day and lasted into Fri­day morn­ing.

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