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Portland protesters set barricades alight & face-off with riot police (VIDEOS)

Portland protesters set barricades alight & face-off with riot police (VIDEOS)
Serious clashes erupted overnight between police and protesters in Portland, Oregon, on the one-month anniversary of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, with riot cops reportedly using tear gas as the crowd lobbed projectiles.

Eyewitness footage from the scene shows lines of riot police bearing down on the protesters after a hundreds-strong crowd reportedly erected a barricade and then set it alight.

A crowd of demonstrators tried to block off an area beside the police department’s North Precinct late Thursday. Officers said the situation intensified as some in the crowd began trying in vain to “to breach the building” and were throwing fireworks over the barricades towards police.

Law enforcement declared an unlawful assembly shortly afterwards and called on the protesters to disperse or face arrest, before advancing on the crowd, many of whom took cover behind impromptu homemade ‘shields’ and umbrellas. Local reporters said an officer on a nearby roof fired rubber bullets towards the people gathered in the streets below.

There were also reports of police firing stun grenades and tear gas to break up the crowd. Four people were arrested throughout the evening’s unrest.

At one point, police were filmed stopping a passing vehicle and forcing the passengers out, though it’s not clear why those in the car were asked to alight. 

“The dynamics of the demonstrators during this incident were more aggressive and violent than those seen in past weeks,” police said, in a statement issued Friday. The force reported that a number of businesses were looted and set alight during the unrest.

The US has been experiencing a nationwide wave of demonstrations and civil unrest since the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed in Minneapolis police custody in late May. In some places the marches devolved into rioting and looting.

Also on rt.com WATCH Portland police tear down ‘Autonomous Zone’ in front of mayor’s house

Portland in particular has been experiencing massive protests. Last week demonstrators tried to set up an autonomous zone in front of the mayor’s house, but were disbanded by police.

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