PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dozens dressed in black gathered outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Southwest Portland Sunday for another night of demonstrations.
The fencing around the Hatfield Federal Courthouse building is back up within days of its removal after people started targeting the it again. On Thursday, people broke windows and tagged buildings with anti-government and anti-police sentiments.
Some even set fire to the plywood boards mounted to the buildings on Thursday, prompting federal agents to use tear gas on the crowd.
On Friday, another direct action march took place in the Pearl, as participants smashed windows.
Portland Police responded by detaining around 100 people in a block in a controversial tactic known as “kettling.”
Folks were photographed and escorted out and at least three were arrested, police said.
The tactic was decried by some local activist groups, saying that it was chilling to free speech. Members of the Oregon Justice Resource Center, CAIR-Oregon and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon are requesting U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate PPB’s tactics. They also want Oregon state legislators and Multnomah County officials to support legislative reforms for policing forwarded by the BIPOC Caucus of the Oregon Legislature.
Sen. Ron Wyden weighed in on the recent demonstrations, saying he supported peaceful protests, not criminal activity.
“I’ve heard this argument that the vast majority of peaceful protesters are the same as the small number of criminals committing these violent acts, breaking windows and setting fires and the like. I do not think these are the same. Peaceful protesters are working with every fiber of their being, towards justice,” he said. “And breaking windows, engaging in violence, setting fires is criminal behavior.”
On Saturday night, more than 100 peaceful protesters gathered outside revolution hall to remember Breonna Taylor and call for an end to police brutality.
Taylor was a Black woman and emergency medical technician who was shot in her home multiple times by police during a botched drug raid that occurred after midnight last March in Louisville, Kentucky.
Representative Suzanne Bonamici posted on Twitter yesterday that Taylor’s death spurred overdue action. She touted the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Justice and Policing, which will ban no-knock warrants.
Some of those calling for change headed to the Federal Courthouse late Saturday night where a direct action gathering was also taking placed. A heated discussion broke out with a man on a megaphone saying some people weren’t there to support George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, but were just there to break windows.
He wrapped up telling people who were destructive to be quiet and go home.