Intensity in Portland, Oregon has not swayed with time. This past Saturday, July 18th, marked the city’s 52 consecutive night of demonstrations against police violence and racism.
Saturday night, protesters gathered at the Multnomah County Justice Center and the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse downtown.
Around 11:00 pm, federal officers appeared from within the Courthouse. Officers attempted to drive protesters away. In their attempts, various officers used a combination of tear gas, pepper spray and batons to strike individuals.
Meanwhile, in North Portland, there was a different gathering of protesters taking place. Here, individuals gathered to demonstrate outside the Portland Police Association building. Protesters began to break into the building, and even set fire to the headquarters of Portland’s police union. The Portland police department stated the fire was extinguished shortly after.
“Officers were able to put out the fire inside the PPA office and have restored order in the neighborhood there,” police said.
Portland police declared the demonstration a riot.
President Trump has taken to Twitter to comment on Portland’s situation. Blaming the city’s leadership for its current state, Trump tweeted, “Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators.”
Portland’s Mayor, Ted Wheeler, responded to Trump’s comments on CNN this past Sunday. Wheeler expressed his disagreements with Trump, stating “the President has a complete misunderstanding.” Wheeler continued to suggest that Federal Troops descending upon the city are “sharply escalating the situation. Their presence is leading to more violence”.