PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An unlawful assembly was declared shortly before midnight after several hundred people mostly clad in black gathered near the Justice Center in downtown Portland Saturday night following a right-wing rally and multiple left-wing and Black Lives Matter counter-rallies held across the city earlier in the day.
The protesters began gathering around 8 p.m. and the demonstration escalated around 9 p.m. But most of the crowd dispersed by 1:30 a.m. Sunday although a “small group of hostile individuals remained,” the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.
Early on in the evening, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office warned demonstrators in the area to stay out of the street and on the sidewalk via Twitter or they may be subject to “arrest, citation, or the use of crowd control agents including, but not limited to, impact weapons and/or Tear Gas.” Authorities also said people had set fires.
Around 9:15 p.m. law enforcement officers arrived at the scene and started clearing demonstrators out of the street. Over the loudspeaker, an officer said projectiles had been thrown and failure to stop could result in the use of tear gas or impact weapons.
Demonstrators continued to chant phrases like, “No Justice, No Peace.”
Several people were detained. In one instance, a person in a police van made a break for it and took off running down the street with his hands still zip-tied until officers caught up with him. He was later identified by authorities as Michael Colten.
A firework was set off and the warnings from law enforcement continued.
Around 10:30 p.m. the sheriff’s office issued an update from the “Unified Command” and said more than a dozen people had been arrested at the demonstration downtown. During a vehicle stop, a drone was seized. A can of bear spray and a baton were also seized in a later arrest.
On Twitter, MCSO said members of their Rapid Response Team had been deputized by the US Marshals Service Saturday afternoon. The sheriff’s office and the Oregon State Police were appointed as the lead agencies in charge of protests for the weekend by Governor Kate Brown.
After an unlawful assembly was declared just before midnight, law enforcement warned protesters to leave to the north and to the west.
In a Sunday afternoon update, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said a total of 30 arrests were made. Those arrested ranged from the ages of 18 to 48 years old, with the exception of two people who were unidentified. Interfering with a Peace Officer and Disorderly Conduct were the two most common offenses. Additionally, four people were charged with Assaulting a Public Safety Officer.
Demonstrations earlier in the day
Dozens began to show up two hours before a planned Proud Boys rally that began at noon at Delta Park, some packed into the beds of pickup trucks. Many were wearing some sort of militarized body armor, including helmets and protective vests.
Two other simultaneous rallies at Peninsula Park and at Vanport brought large crowds to hear speakers and act in solidarity for their stance against what they see as growing fascism in this country.
There were no large interactions between the groups, which were relatively close to each other but separated by a large police presence.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said 4 arrests were made at the protests.