PORTLAND—Hundreds of people gathered and marched on Saturday, August 1 in Portland for their 66th night of Black Lives Matter protests. One group protested peacefully near the downtown area, but another group conducted unlawful acts on its march to the Penumbra Kelly Building, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
According to Portland Police Bureau, that one protest on August 1 was relatively peaceful. A different group of protesters, about 200 people, marched from Laurelhurst Park to the Penumbra Kelly Building, blocking traffic, directing lasers, and throwing glass bottles at officers. Though no officers were injured, one person in the crowd threw a glass jar or bottle filled with paint, which hit an officer in the head, according to Portland Police Bureau. Portland Police provided public address announcements directing people to evacuate from the property of the Penumbra Kelly Building. As people continued to throw glass bottles and other objects Portland Police declared that the assembly blocking East Burnside was “unlawful” and directed people to disperse, according to Portland Police Bureau.
“Portland Police dispersed the crowd, directing it west. People continued to throw glass and plastic bottles at police. People with “press” written on their outer garments repeatedly threw objects at officers. Portland Police continued moving the crowd to the west and south, according to Portland Police”, according to Portland Police Bureau’s article.
“Max Van Briesen, 31, of Portland, was taken to the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Assaulting a Public Safety Officer, Interfering with a Police Officer, and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree. Freedom Moreno, 34, of Portland, was charged with Interfering with a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree, Resist Arrest, and Harassment”, Portland Police Bureau’s article says. They moved a car slowly in front of police, interfering with their attempts to safely move people out of the road near East Burnside and Southeast 44th Avenue.
According to The Oregonian, protests started early in the morning and people marched in downtown Portland near the Multnomah County Justice Center on Sunday afternoon. Several dozen Black Lives Matter protesters surrounded them. By 10 p.m., about 400 people stood in and around the city parks where Black Lives Matters have been occurring more than for two months. They gathered in separated groups; one group held a candlelight vigil while another listened to speakers talk about the state of the protests, according to The Oregonian.
Speakers in the park nearby said that they are disappointed that so small number of people were gathering on that evening. Some protesters faced the federal courthouse, chanting “Defund the police!” and “Stay woke!” “They were led by activist Demetria Hester, a regular presence at the nightly protests. By 11 p.m., the protesters in front of the courthouse were chanting and dancing to a drummer’s beat”, according to an article by The Oregonian. Since the federal officers who fired tear gas and crowd-control munitions at demonstrators virtually every night to disperse crowds left, the protests have been becoming calmer.
The Oregonian says that in July, the Trump administration sent federal agents into Portland to protect federal property, a move that local and state officials said escalated the protests. President Trump and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf have said the federal officers were there to protect a federal courthouse in the city’s downtown that has been a focal point for protesters.