Violence continued in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday night into Sunday morning as a “peaceful protest” once again became a riot, with activists blockading streets, setting fire to the police union offices, and attacking local police.
According to a press statement by the Portland Police Department, several protests had been peaceful on Saturday until a march Saturday evening blocked traffic illegally outside the offices of the Portland Police Association, the local police union. “People within the crowd committed crimes when they erected a fence, pushed dumpsters into the street to block traffic, set a dumpster on fire, vandalized the PPA office with spray paint, and destroyed security cameras,” police said.
According to journalist Andy Ngô, members of the extremist group Antifa disabled an external security camera at the building:
Antifa black bloc climb up the Portland Police union building to disable the security camera. A moment ago they were trying to break inside again. No police in sight. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/KQ6di75Gvc— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 9, 2020
The rioters then succeeded in breaking into the building, knocking through plywood and setting a fire inside it:
Breaking: Portland Police declared a riot. #Antifa broke inside the union hall and set the inside on fire. This is the third time they’ve broken into the police union and the second time they set fire inside. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/wC2gKhzLcL— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 9, 2020
Police attempted to disperse the crowd, and were attacked with glass bottles and lasers. Some officers were injured:
Officers from the Oregon State Police and PPB arrived in the area to disperse the crowd. They were met with a hostile crowd who began throwing glass bottles and paint balloons at them. The hostile crowd also tried to injure officers by shining green lasers into their eyes, which is a crime in Oregon. Three officers suffered injuries. Two were transported to an area hospital by police vehicle and later released. Personnel from Portland Fire and Rescue were able to gain access to the location and extinguish the fire inside the PPA Office.
While officers were moving rioters they came upon areas of the street where rioters built barricades with street closure signs, picnic tables, and other types of material. Rioters on the other side of the barricade were hurling objects at officers. At that point, officers were able to get around the barricade and continue to push the rioters away from the closure area. About 300 rioters gathered at Kenton Park.
Until recently, Democrats claimed the violence in Portland had been due to the presence of federal law enforcement, now withdrawn. Now, even Mayor Ted Wheeler, who had supported the riots, has begun likening them to attempted murder.