Protesters attack businesses, burn flags and force motorists to pledge loyalty to BLM 

Several hundred people smashed up storefronts, torched American flags and harassed motorists in Portland, Oregon, following a brief lull in nearly nightly riots due to wildfires tearing through the state.

Around 200 demonstrators marched through the city on Saturday night, with some individuals smashing windows and applying graffiti on buildings. A bank, a restaurant and a Starbucks coffee shop were among the businesses targeted, the Portland Police said in a statement.

No arrests were made, but the acts of vandalism are under investigation.

Protesters were also filmed burning a flag of the U.S. as they chanted, “Black trans lives matter.”

In another incident, they torched a pro-police ‘thin blue line’ flag as they shouted, “Blue lives splatter.”

Elsewhere in the city, online footage shows demonstrators stopping a truck and then ordering one of its passengers to raise his fist and say, “Black lives matter.” The vehicle’s windows were reportedly later smashed by the protesters.

Portland’s chaotic streets had quietened down due to poor air quality resulting from nearby forest fires, but protests resumed earlier this week.

Oregon’s biggest city had previously seen more than 100 consecutive nights of racial injustice protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police in May.

11 arrested

After wildfires caused a rare break in rioting, demonstrators in Portland resumed their nighttime activities, this time targeting an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility. They were swiftly pushed back by police.

Portland has been a hive of unrest since the death of George Floyd earlier this summer, with demonstrations only pausing when wildfires encroached on the city over the last week. However, the blaze receded and smoke cleared on Friday, prompting activists to march on the ICE building at nightfall.

The crowd was met by police and federal agents, who say they were pelted with projectiles. Federal agents first pushed the demonstrators back from the ICE building, before the Portland Police Bureau declared the gathering an unlawful assembly and swooped in to arrest anyone refusing to disperse.

Dramatic footage shared on social media shows agents tackling rioters to the ground. Though an edict from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler forbids the city’s police from using tear gas, the streets were filled with what looked like smoke and gas, possibly deployed by federal agents. Some reports on social media suggested that tear gas was used by police.

The Portland Police Bureau said in a statement that 11 rioters were detained. Their charges include disorderly conduct, assault of police officers, possession of stolen goods, and unlawful weapons use.

The summer of unrest has angered some Portland residents, among them business owners tired of having their storefronts smashed and their premises looted. During Friday night’s activities, demonstrators were pelted with eggs from an apartment window. The crowd hurled abuse at the resident in response.


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