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Violence explodes: National Guard activated in Portland, 50 arrested in New York

Portland, Oregon exploded with widespread violence last night resulting in the arrest of at least 11 individuals. Authorities declared that a protest in downtown Portland led by Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists had turned into a riot.

The city was inundated with a wave of destruction and chaos where windows of local businesses in the downtown area were smashed and their property was destroyed.

There were two groups that coalesced in the riot. They were located in different locations, but both marched into downtown Portland. One of the groups blocked traffic as protesters crossed the Morrison Bridge. A Molotov cocktail was thrown and so were glass bottles. One of those arrested was carrying a rifle.

The Oregon National Guard was activated in response to the upheaval and violence. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s office announced that the National Guard had been deployed by Gov. Kate Brown to respond to acts of violence as well as “maintain public order and ensure community safety.”

“Guard members are trained in crowd control and will be riding with local response teams. They are dressed in military-style garb, which is their uniform,” the Sheriff’s office stated. “Oregon National Guard members are civilian community members helping to protect us. We don’t take this decision lightly.”

“Our goal is to keep our community safe,” police added. “We encourage demonstrators to gather peacefully.”

Social media also showed viral videos of demonstrations in New York City where protesters and NYPD officers clashed. 50 protesters were taken into custody by the police. Officers confiscated several weapons, including knives, a stun gun, and explosives.

In Portland, the police shared photos of seized weapons and other items from protesters that included commercial-grade fireworks, hammers, and spray paint.

The police released a statement that informed those that failed to leave the area were subject to arrest, citation, and or use of force including, but not limited to impact munitions and/or tear gas. Protesters were warned in advance of the consequences of violence in the streets.

More video surfaced of activists smashing windows and vandalizing property. An American flag was set ablaze as well.

In Denver, police officers were forced to use pepper balls to drive back protesters. They fought in the streets with protesters hand-to-hand who started a fire at the intersection of Washington and Colfax.

In the streets of Portland, the protesters who claim to be anti-fascist carried a banner which read “Death to Fascism and the Liberalism that enables it” and were heard chanting “No Borders. No walls. No USA at all.”

The National Guard was already on standby ahead of potential election unrest in Portland earlier this week. The governor also instilled a joint incident command structure in Portland, with the Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office co-managing the police response in the city.

“Every Oregonian has the right to express themselves freely and to peacefully assemble. However, I want to be clear that voter intimidation and political violence will not be tolerated. Not from the Left, the Right, or the Center. Not this week, not any week in Oregon,” Brown wrote in a release by the governor’s office.

“We’ve seen firsthand what happens when free expression is fueled by hate,” she went on. “We know that there are some people who might use peaceful election night protests to promote violence and property destruction.”

The riots and protests come in the midst of turmoil over the undecided 2020 presidential election. A number of battleground states still remain too close to call. There is no clear winner as of yet.

According to the latest estimates, former vice president Joe Biden is currently leading in Nevada with 49.3% of the vote and compared to Trump’s 48.7%, a difference of fewer than 7,600 votes.

Meanwhile, President Trump is leading in Pennslyvania, North Carolina, and Georgia, with 50.7 percent, 50.1 percent, and 49.7 percent of the votes respectively.

Anger, rage, and upset are evident across the nation as the election is far from over.

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