Protest at juvenile detention center in Portland ends peacefully, police say

2020 Protests

Smoke from wildfires puts damper on Black Lives Matter protests in recent days

Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center was the site of a non-violent protest Saturday, September 12, 2020 (archive Google Map Street View image).

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A short, “non-violent” protest was held outside the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center in northeast Portland early Saturday evening, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Chris Liedle told KOIN 6 News. It comes after poor air quality from Oregon wildfires hampered Portland protests following the more than 100 consecutive days of demonstrations in the name of Black Lives Matter, a milestone hit over Labor Day weekend last week.

The Saturday event was advertised on the website Portland Black Lives Matter Events with the slogan “No Cops! No Prisons! Total Abolition!” Activities began at nearby Normandale Park in the late afternoon where a group of about 75-100 gathered and then marched to the juvenile detention facility, Liedle said.

Once the group arrived, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese and a captain spoke to the crowd–in their standard issue uniforms and not riot gear–asking them to “remain civil,” Liedle added.

A post from Multnomah County Sheriff’s Twitter account warned the property was closed to the public and those who entered could be subject to arrest if they crossed a taped off area in front of the building.

Multnomah County Commissioner Chair Deborah Kafoury also released a statement as the demonstrations were underway, urging demonstrations to be brief.

“Given the current unprecedented environmental conditions from wildfires across our region, we urge demonstrators — who plan to come to the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center — to keep this event as short as possible,” Kafoury said.

The demonstration at the juvenile detention center lasted from about 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., where people gave speeches then left without incident, returning to Normandale Park, Liedle said.

Poor air quality in the Portland metro area from unprecedented wildfires ravaging the state and in nearby counties have put a damper on protests in recent days, with some in-person events being converted to online, according to the PDX BLM Events website.

Wildfire smoke keeps air quality at harmful levels Sunday

A direct action march was planned at Elizabeth Caruthers Park in South Portland Wednesday evening, according to a tweet by PDX Safe Protest, a self-described anti-fascist collective.

Labor Day weekend saw a milestone of 100 consecutive protests in Portland for Black Lives Matter and against police brutality and racism.

Dozens were arrested and crowd control munitions–including tear gas and pepper balls–were used by Portland Police Bureau Saturday September 6 for the 100th consecutive night of protests in Southeast Portland. A riot was declared, one person threw what authorities described as a Molotov cocktail and at least one person was injured from the flames.

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