Aug 02, 2020
Portland Police Declare Unlawful Assembly During Protest
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The Portland Police Bureau declared an unlawful assembly Saturday night when people gathered outside a police precinct in Oregons largest city and threw bottles towards officers, police said.
Until that point, federal, state and local law enforcement had been seemingly absent from the protests Thursday, Friday and Saturday.The demonstrations — that for weeks ended with tear gas, fireworks shot towards buildings, federal agents on the street and injuries to protesters and officers — have recently ended with chanting and conversations.
Activists and Oregon officials urged people at Saturday night’s protest in Portland to re-center the focus on Black Lives Matter, three days after the Trump administration agreed to reduce the presence of federal agents.
Groups gathered Saturday evening in various areas around downtown Portland to listen to speakers and prepare to march to the Justice Center and Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.
One of the more popular events, “Re-centering why we are here - BLM,” was hosted by the NAACP. Speakers included activists as well as Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
Merkley and Hardesty spoke about policies they are putting forward, including to cut police funding and restrict chokeholds.
“The next thing we need you to do is vote like your life depends on it, because guess what, it does,” Hardesty said.
For the first time since the presence of federal agents in Portland diminished law enforcement and protesters noticeably clashed Saturday night.
As one group of protesters gathered outside the courthouse another marched to a precinct for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Portland Police Bureau.
Police stated that protesters threw glass bottles and directed lasers at officers. Just before 10 p.m., Portland police declared an unlawful assembly and told people to disperse or they may be subject to use of force or be arrested. Police could be seen charging, multiple times, at protesters in the area.
At the courthouse, the scene was different. Around 11:30 p.m. hundreds of people remained, standing and listening to speakers.
By midnight, protesters again began to march through the streets downtown.
Thursday and Fridays protests also attracted more than 1,000 people — both nights were relatively peaceful. In a news release early Saturday, the Portland Police Bureau described Fridays crowd as subdued and said there was no police interaction with protesters.
At one point during Fridays protest, a lone firework was shot at the courthouse. In the weeks past the action would be met with more fireworks or teargas canisters being dropped over the fence into the crowd. This time, protesters chastised the person who shot the firework, pleading to keep the demonstration peaceful.
The relative calm outside a federal courthouse that’s become ground zero in clashes between demonstrators and federal agents had come after the U.S. government began drawing down its forces under a deal between Democratic Gov. Kate Brown and the Trump administration.
Portland had seen more than two months of often violent demonstrations following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In early July, President Donald Trump sent more federal agents to the city to protect the federal courthouse, but local officials said their presence made things worse.
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Crowds rally in San Francisco to protest ICE detention of immigrants
SAN FRANCISCO -- Protesters marched to the San Francisco offices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency on Saturday afternoon to call for the release of immigrants in detention, starting with those most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Organizers with the Committee to Close the Camps and Free the Children conditions are too unsafe to remain in custody.
"ICE continues to hold individuals, families, and even children, who are fleeing desperate situations and just exercising the human right to migrate," said AJ Napolis, an organizer for Committee to Close the Camps and Free the Children.
RELATED: Community leaders call for halt of ICE transfers to stop COVID-19 spread
Napolis added, "COVID-19 has made conditions even worse, with no opportunity to safely social distance, and Governor Newsom is sleeping on the job. We're tired of the inaction."
The rally and march started at noon at Embarcadero Plaza, 1 Market St. and ended at ICE offices, 630 Sansome St.
Protesters accuse Governor Newsom of sleeping on the job - and held up a large puppet of Governor Newsom's likeness.
The San Francisco event is part of a statewide day of action by groups protesting ICE.
ABC7 News contributed to this report.