PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Although Rose City Justice abruptly canceled their march, some demonstrators continued to gather in downtown Portland on Wednesday night.
Although largely uneventful, downtown demonstrators stuck around until the late hours of the night as some participated in unruly behavior. By 10 p.m., a crowd of a few hundred people was gathered in downtown blocks surrounding the Justice Center and Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct. At one point shortly before 10 p.m., protesters had burned an American flag while chanting “F— this flag.”
More fires were set, chants were made and trash cans were used as barricades to block streets throughout the evening. Firefighters extinguished a dumpster fire set near the Central Precinct, which protesters thanked them for. They began yelling at a nearby police officer shortly after.
Earlier in the night, protesters had gathered near Chapman Square as a parade of honking cars drove down Southwest 4th Avenue. Before things turned disorderly, most people were milling about, even grilling food. Some people lit candles to place in front of the makeshift memorial at the Apple Store before heading back to the Justice Center.
Police have not reported any arrests from Wednesday night at this time. There were no observed clashes between officers and protesters.
A mostly-unacknowledged tension has been building between RCJ and the Justice Center group for a while. One big controversy is downtown protesters say an RCJ leader previously worked as a military police officer. Some protesters also question why RCJ avoids the Justice Center.
While RCJ avoids characterizing the factions as peaceful versus violent, its protests usually go undisturbed by police and don’t result in property damage like what Portlanders have become accustomed to downtown. That has led to criticism from protesters who frequent the Justice Center. They question why RCJ appears to keep crowds away from downtown.