PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Protesters congregated in downtown Portland for a 66th straight night of demonstrations against police, racism and other causes Sunday evening, on the heels of three days of relative calm following the withdrawal of federal agents.
Discussions between Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Vice President Mike Pence resulted in Oregon State Police troopers taking over for federal officers last Thursday. Since then, tear gas has not been deployed in downtown Portland.
Drums and dancing were part of protests near the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse Saturday night. Linneas Boland-Godbey, who has attended several protests in the metro area in the past two months said the tone on SW 3rd Avenue had changed.
“I love it. Everybody is really happy,” said Boland-Godbey. “I feel safer down here now—still on my toes, but there hasn’t been any, I haven’t seen any destruction. All I see is people rallying around the Justice Center.”
He said the absence of conflict between federal officers and protesters has made way for a much different mood. “It doesn’t mean we aren’t on our toes, but there seems to be a different vibe.”
Pastor Reginald Richardson said the message of the protests needs to be refocused.
“One of the problems I really address is lost focus,” said Richardson. “We lost the desire to focus. As times goes on, we want to keep the focus on Black lives.”
While protests have been relatively peaceful downtown for a few nights now, earlier Saturday evening an unlawful assembly was declared outside the Penumbra Kelly Building near SE 47th and Burnside after protesters marched there from Laurelhurst Park.
One officer was hit in the head by “a glass jar or bottle filled with paint,” but wasn’t hurt, according to authorities. Two people were arrested on charges including assaulting a public safety officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and harassment.
Timeline of Events: Sunday August 2, 2020
The majority of the crowd left the area surrounding the federal courthouse and Justice Center by midnight. Small groups remained scattered around the parks and in the streets into the early hours of the morning. They occasionally chanted, but mostly played music, ate, drank, and talked.
A few dozen people continued the “Black Lives Matter” chant outside the federal courthouse.
By 9 p.m. there were an estimated 100 people in the park blocks across the street from the Justice Center and federal courthouse. Traffic was still able to get through.
There were speakers both at the spot where the Elk statue used to stand and in front of the Justice Center.
KOIN 6 News will continue to update this story throughout the night.