Protests continued Friday in Portland, hours after President Donald Trump slammed the demonstrations and the local police response to them.

Trump claimed federal agents could immediately stop some destructive acts at ongoing protests, if only they were asked to help. He said anarchists and “mobs” have been given free rein and that leftist Democrats want to replicate Portland’s lawlessness across the country.

The president’s remarks, delivered at an event in New Jersey, did not acknowledge that federal officers failed to quell demonstrations for weeks downtown. Tensions decreased only after state police took over the security of the federal courthouse eight days ago.

A much smaller group of protesters has gathered in recent nights for “direct action” events at Portland police buildings. Protesters have lit fires in trash cans, damaged doors and windows and thrown things at officers. Portland police have responded in force every night, including once with tear gas.

As he appeared to read from prepared remarks, Trump described the situation as an angry mob full of “lawless rioters” and assigned blame to Mayor Ted Wheeler. The mayor’s office said he had no comment in response to the remarks.

The president’s comments landed hours after the protests began anew in Portland for the 72nd straight night.

By 8:30 p.m., more than 100 protesters had collected at Laurelhurst Park in Southeast Portland. Many people were dressed in black from head to toe. A flyer on social media promoting the event told people to wear black.

As people started to gather, some people handed out handmade plywood shields in preparation for a potential clash with police. A group of about a dozen protesters practiced formations with shields. One protester led the group and helped them place their shields into an effective wall.

The crowd will likely march to a nearby building shared by Portland police and the sheriff’s office, where police and protesters have clashed multiple times.

On Wednesday and Thursday nights, protesters gathered at Floyd Light Park in Southeast Portland, then marched to the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct. Police declared moved in to break up both gatherings after a handful of people damaged the building and lit a fire both nights inside trash cans.

Dave Killen, Kale Williams, Jayati Ramakrishnan, Samantha Swindler, Ryan Fernandez, Jim Ryan, Betsy Hammond, K. Rambo and Mark Graves of The Oregonian/OregonLive contributed to this report.


(c)2020 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

Visit The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.

Rating: 1.6/5. From 17 votes.
Please wait...