Portland rings in new year with police declaring riot as Antifa set fires and break windows
Portland, Oregon rang in 2021 with more violent riots overnight. Protesters clad in black and masked allegedly threw multiple firebombs at police, set fires, and broke windows downtown in a continuance of Antifa-led chaos that has plagued the city for over a year now.
Around 7 p.m., a group of approximately 40 people marched out of Director Park through various streets, doing damage along the way, police said. That included breaking windows, spray painting buildings, and firing paintballs. A police officer tried to contact one of the people, but their police vehicle was then spray painted, police said.
It continued around 9 p.m. when a group of protesters gathered in downtown Portland near the police headquarters before marching through the streets and breaking a window at Starbucks at SW 2nd and Main.
The group then marched back to SW 3rd and began shooting off fireworks. By 10:15 p.m, bottles were littered around the entrance to PPB, graffiti was sprayed on the doors and on several other buildings as well. The group banged on crosswalk signs on SW 3rd Avenue.
About 10 minutes later they began shooting fireworks at the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse building. A crosswalk sign appeared to be one of several fires spotted around 10:40 p.m. as people banged on the Justice Center.
Police declared an unlawful assembly around 10:30 p.m. before declaring a riot. They labeled it a riot just before 11 p.m. as approximately 100 radicals targeted the federal courthouse.
“Participants have thrown multiple firebombs at officers and launched commercial-grade fireworks at the Federal Courthouse and Justice Center,” the Portland Police Bureau wrote on Twitter just as the new year arrived early Friday.
Police issued a string of warnings to those amassing in the streets.
“If you do not leave you are subject to arrest, citation, and/or the use of force,” the police wrote, “including but not limited to impact weapons and tear gas.”
A gathering in downtown Portland has devolved into a riot. Participants have thrown multiple firebombs at officers and launched commercial grade fireworks at the Federal Courthouse and Justice Center.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) January 1, 2021
Around 11:15 p.m., Portland police advanced on the protesters, who responded by shooting fireworks at them. At the same time, DHS officers faced off against people on SW Main.
Police were forced to use pepper spray or mace against the crowd as they got ever more violent. They also used what appeared to be rubber bullets or pepper balls.
In videos on social media, you can see lines of police officers advancing on the protesters.
If you do not leave the area you are subject to citation and/or arrest. You are also subject to the use of tear gas, crowd control agents, and or impact munitions.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) September 9, 2020
A flier stated: “In Solidarity with BLM” and “No Streamers, No Megaphones, No Masters.” According to the flier, participants were also asked to wear bloc and “be water” for what was touted as an autonomously organized event.
The demonstration was advertised through posts online.
Thursday’s unrest occurred just one day after nearly a dozen businesses and government agency headquarters were vandalized. No arrests have been made.
The majority of the riots in Portland have occurred since May 25, when George Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis. That same event sparked numerous other protests and riots across the U.S.