rogressive city Portland, Oregon continues to experience riots and unrest while many other cities have quieted. Oregon’s Fox 12 reported roughly 100 people gathered and targeted a federal courthouse in downtown by setting off fireworks. Portland’s Police Bureau took to Twitter explaining, “Participants have thrown multiple firebombs at officers and launched commercial-grade fireworks at the Federal Courthouse and Justice Center.”
The tweet was sent just after midnight, at 12:37 on Friday, January 1st. KOIN reported that police began to use pepper spray or mace, as well as what could have been rubber bullets or pepper balls. The destructive behavior did not begin on New Year’s Eve.
Portland has seen some of the largest protests and riots since the May 25th death of George Floyd, who died at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Earlier this week, “nearly a dozen businesses were vandalized downtown overnight, according to Portland police, including Portland City Hall, Oregon Historical Society, TriMet and Portland Police Bureau” reported KOIN.
By 10:50 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Portland police declared a riot in downtown after the fireworks were set off and fires were set. According to KOIN, “around 11:15 p.m., Portland police advanced on the protesters, who responded by shooting fireworks at them. At the same time, DHS officers faced off against people on SW Main. Pepper spray or mace was seen being used. The sound of pepper balls, rubber bullets or some type of less-lethal munition was heard.”
It all began around 9 p.m. when the protesters gathered downtown near the police headquarters before marching through the streets. A Starbucks window was broken, bottles were littered around the Portland Police Bureau, and graffiti damaged “several” buildings.
KOIN reports “it’s unclear what the main thrust of the gathering is,” however, a flier of the event states “In Solidarity with BLM.” The flier also included, “No Streamers, No Megaphones, No Masters.” Participants were asked to wear bloc and to “be water” for the autonomously organized event. Multiple advertisements for the event had been posted online.