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WATCH: Portland protesters abandon their own failed, police-free ‘autonomous zone’

WATCH: Portland protesters abandon their own failed, police-free ‘autonomous zone’
Anarchists and protesters in Portland, Oregon, hoping to emulate their brethren in Seattle, have fallen at the first hurdle, or fence, as they abandoned their own improvised “autonomous zone” before it had even been established.

Haphazard, spontaneous construction of the ‘autonomous zone’ began during demonstrations on Wednesday night as protesters erected their own barbed-wire fences, appropriated from city authorities, following sporadic clashes with police.

Police used stun grenades, rubber bullets and other crowd control munitions to try and prevent protesters from destroying and repurposing sections of chain-link fence outside the Multnomah County Justice Center. Last week, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking police from using tear gas against protesters.

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Despite the protesters’ best efforts, however, the line did not hold, and by the early hours of Thursday morning, they had abandoned their dream of setting up another autonomous, police-free zone.

It was the 14th consecutive night of anti-racism and police brutality protests in Portland in the aftermath of George Floyd's death at the hands of the Minneapolis police department. 

Thousands of people thronged the city’s parks, bridges and streets with various forms of protest, including a skateboard march.

Since the protests began, Portland has selected a new police chief and Mayor Ted Wheeler has vowed to redirect at least $7 million of police funding to help communities of color, with the final city budget vote to be held Thursday evening.

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