News from the Front 7/27/20

On Sunday, city police posted a report, “Riot Declared in Downtown Portland July 26 — Arrests Made.” The report said “thousands” gathered at the federal courthouse on Saturday night and Sunday morning. It’s worth quoting at length: “Throughout the night some people in this crowd spent their time shaking the fence around the building, throwing rocks, bottles, and assorted debris over the fence, shining lasers through the fence, firing explosive fireworks into the area blocked by the fence, and using power tools to try to cut through the fence. People wore gas masks, carried shields, hockey sticks, leaf blowers, flags, and umbrellas specifically to thwart police in crowd dispersal or attempt to conceal criminal acts. People against the fence sprayed unknown liquids through it toward the courthouse. People tied rope to the fence and attempted to pull it down.”

“This activity continued as thousands remained outside along SW 3rd Avenue for hours,” the police report continued. “At about 1:03 a.m. people in the crowd attached a chain to the fence and with many people pulling managed to pull a section of it down. People began lighting fires along SW 3rd Avenue. People climbed over the fence to get close to the federal courthouse. People continued to launch mortar style fireworks at ground level that were exploding near others.”

The riots in other cities followed the same general pattern. “A protest in Oakland, California, in support of racial justice and police reform turned violent when a small group of demonstrators wearing helmets and goggles and carrying large signs that doubled as shields set fire to a courthouse, vandalized a police station and shot fireworks at officers,” the Associated Press reported.

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