Protesters burned an American flag hung outside of Portland’s Justice Center and replaced it with a Black Lives Matter sign on the 30th straight day of anti-racism demonstrations in the city.
A protest led by Rose City Justice brought more than a hundred people outside the steps of the Multnomah County Justice Center, which has become a popular spot for demonstrations.
There, tensions flared as the city entered another night of demonstrations against police brutality, racism and the death of George Floyd on Saturday.
The night became particularly tense when a group of protesters pulled the American flag hung outside the Justice Center down around midnight.
Cell phone footage shows two protesters using what appeared to be lighter fluid and some sort of aerosol spray to further ignite the already lit flag.
Other were heard chanting ‘no KKK, no fascist USA’ while the flag burned.
An American flag hanging outside the Multnomah County Justice Center Portland was burned by a group of protesters on Saturday
Protesters shouted ‘no KKK, no fascist USA’ as they participated in the 30th straight night of anti-racism and Black Lives Matter protests in Portland
Later in the night, the same group hoisted a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign with colorful wire lights up the flagpole instead, prompting loud cheers from demonstrators.
Similar acts of arson were conducted over the weekend as Portland turned into a ‘war zone’, including the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct being lit on fire Friday and sidewalk garbage cans set ablaze.
Protesters on Thursday attempted to convert the space outside the precinct into an ‘autonomous zone’ similar to Seattle’s CHAZ area.
But protesters on Saturday began the night by erecting makeshift barricade out of discarded fencing and plastic street dividers to block off a nearby intersection, according to a press release.
Authorities had a hasty response and arrived to the scene and declared the gathering an unlawful assembly by 10:30pm.
Protesters hoisted a Black Lives Matter sign with wire lights up the flagpole in response as demonstrators cheered loudly
Pictured: a Black Lives Matter sign hanging on a flagpole outside the Justice Center in Portland during a night of demonstrations
Authorities said protesters used discarded fencing and plastic street dividers to create a barricade to cut out an intersection (pictured)
The department alleged that a ‘woman with a hand held speaker was heard calling for violent resistance from the crowd’ when they arrived.
Deputies reportedly used riot control munitions to clear out protesters, but it’s unclear what type of munitions were used.
Loud booms and smoke were reported by witnesses, KOIN reports.
Twitter account Portland Independent Documentarians shared a reported photo of the munition used.
‘New type of impact munitions used tonight by Portland Police. It seems to be a less-lethal scatter munition containing multiple rubber projectiles,’ the account wrote.
Authorities said they used munitions to clear protesters out of the street, leaving some speculating over what kind they used
There were reportedly more than 100 protesters present on Saturday’s night demonstration
Pictured: More than a hundred protesters were seen near the Justice Center building in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday
Deputies eventually seized the barricade before appearing to leave Champman Square, but that didn’t quell continued tensions between law enforcement and civilians.
‘Officers responded to the intersection and made efforts to move the crowd away from the barricades so they could be cleared and the street could re-open,’ the press release stated.
‘During this engagement, officers had rocks, glass bottles, and paint thrown at them. Lasers and lights were directed at the officer’s eyes.’
Confrontations reportedly happened in the blocks surrounding the Justice Center. At one point, protesters and police appeared to have a standoff near a 7-Eleven store around 3am.
The Portland Police Bureau said eight residents were arrested in connection to Saturday’s protest.
Photos shared by the department showed several instances of makeshift barricades and graffiti.
The Portland Sheriff’s Office shared photos of graffiti made during protested over the weekend, including one that read ‘Kill All Cops’
One message written with sidewalk chalk reads ‘Blow up the embassy’ on Saturday
Authorities said eight people were arrested in connection to protests this weekend in Portland
Messages sprayed onto building walls read ‘Kill All Cops,’ ‘Hang Fascists,’ ‘ACAB’ and ‘Blow Up the Embassy.’
One officer was injured after being decked in the face by a skateboard during an attempted arrest, according to the press release.
Before Saturday’s demonstration, four people were arrested in Portland after anti-police demonstrations turned volatile.
Cops confirmed they used tear gas to try and disperse that crowd. Some protesters allegedly responding by ‘shooting paintballs at the officers’ face shields, rendering them unable to see’.
At that time, several other fires were lit in addition to the blaze which later erupted at the police precinct.
Videos and images posted to social media by demonstrator James Martin showed several separate fires set up at barricades placed between protesters and police.
Videos and images posted to social media by demonstrator James Martin showed several separate fires set up at barricades placed between protesters and police
One image showed tires and a dumpster set alight, as several activists donned bike helmets as if ready for a confrontation with the cops.
Another image posted online showed a demonstrator left injured in the fracas, with a ‘chunk’ of flesh allegedly cut out of her ankle.
Several businesses were also reported to have been looted. Graffiti was also scrawled across the North Precinct.
While demonstrations have largely been peacefully, there have also been previous instances of violence and destruction.
Last Thursday, a George Washington with a burning American flag draped across it was toppled by a group of activists.
Another image posted online showed a demonstrator left injured in the fracas, with a ‘chunk’ of flesh allegedly cut out of her ankle
One right-wing commentator described the area as looking like something from ‘a war zone’, while protesters accused the authorities of inflaming tensions
The statue, which stood on the lawn of the German American Society in Northeast Portland, was pulled down by a group of about 30 to 40 protesters on Thursday night.
Footage of the incident, which took place on the eve of Juneteenth, showed the Washington statue draped in a US flag that had been set alight just moments before it was toppled.
The demonstrators placed a sticker on the head of the statue that read ‘You are on Native land’ and also spray-painted the statue’s pedestal with the phrase ‘Genocidal colonist’.
It was also tagged with ‘1619’ – a reference to the year when slaves were first brought to America.
Police said a smaller group had split from several hundred peaceful protesters and threw hot dogs at police and cut a fence surrounding the Justice Center, which has been a flashpoint for conflicts between demonstrators and police.
It comes after a statue of Thomas Jefferson that was based outside Portland’s Jefferson High School was torn down earlier this week
The base of the Jefferson statue had the words ‘slave owner’ and Floyd’s name spray painted across it
Another group set a fire around the Washington statue before tearing it down.
Those responsible draped the fallen statue in a second US flag and also set that alight.
The group who brought the statue down scattered before police arrived at the scene, according to local media reports.
It comes as a statue of Thomas Jefferson that was based outside Portland’s Jefferson High School was also torn down last week.
The base of the statue had the words ‘slave owner’ and George Floyd’s name spray painted across it.