President Donald Trump has declared that federal agents will not leave Portland, even as a second night of peaceful protests occurred.
Over the last 60 days, the commander-in-chief has declared that Oregon’s largest city has been overrun with ‘thugs’ and ‘rioters’ for more than two months following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
‘Homeland Security is not leaving Portland until local police complete cleanup of Anarchists and Agitators!’ Trump tweeted on Friday night.
But, on Thursday, federal officers withdrew from the city, a deal that state officials hope will continue to ease tensions as the city tries to move on from months of chaotic nightly protests.
Friday’s overnight protest mimicked that of Thursday, which was the first time in weeks that demonstrations ended without any major confrontations, violence or arrests.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that federal agents will not leave Portland, even as a second night of peaceful protests occurred
On Wednesday, Gov Kate Brown made a deal with the Department of Homeland Security for a phased retreat of federal agents. Pictured: Black Lives Matter protesters march past the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in Portland on July 31
Thursday and Friday have followed with peaceful protests and no violence, confrontations or arrests. Pictured: Black Lives Matter protesters rally at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on July 31
No federal agents emerged from the downtown courthouse, which has become the center of protests, and there was no noticeable law enforcement presence. Pictured, left and right: Leshan Terry with his son Leshan Terry Jr, 6, during a protest at the courthouse in Portland
In early July, Trump declared that agents would be sent to Portland to quell protests, which he declared were ‘out of control.’
But the protests became even more violent often ending with demonstrators being pepper sprayed and even put into unmarked vehicles
The change in tone outside a federal courthouse that has become ground zero for clashes came after the . government began drawing down its forces under a deal between Democratic Gov Kate Brown and the Trump administration.
As agents from US Customs and Border Protection, the US Marshals Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement pulled back, troopers with the Oregon State Police took over.
Since then, there have been no visible signs of any federal law enforcement presence outside the Mark O Hatfield Federal Courthouse.
‘Last night, the world was watching Portland,’ Brown said in a tweet on Friday.
‘Here’s what they saw: Federal troops left downtown. Local officials protected free speech. And Oregonians spoke out for Black Lives Matter, racial justice, and police accountability.’
As of midnight on Saturday, no federal agents had emerged from the courthouse, which has been the center of protests for weeks.
There was also no noticeable law enforcement presence surrounding the area.
The fence that has separated protesters and US agents stationed at the courthouse was decorated with balloons and upside down American flags sewn together with ‘BLM’ painted across, reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.
At one point in the night a small firework was shot over the fence. As it sizzled out on its own, protesters pleaded with others to remain peaceful.
Gov Kate Brown tweeted that the protests on Thursday and Friday were a stark contrast to those held when federal agents were in Portland
The fence that hasf separated protesters and agents was decorated with balloons and upside down American flags sewn together with ‘BLM’ painted across. Pictured: Navy veteran Adam Winther holds a flag while forming a “Wall of Vets” during a protest in Portland, July 31
Black Lives Matter protesters hold signs during a caravan in Portland on July 31
Unlike previous weeks, protesters were not centered mainly outside the courthouse, but scattered throughout downtown. Pictured: Bobbi Snethen (right) holds a sign during a protest caravan for Black Lives Matter on July 31 in Portland
Despite Trumo declaring protests were ‘out of control’ when agents came in, they became even more violent often ending with demonstrators being pepper sprayed and even put into unmarked vehicles. Pictured: A protestor holds a flaming stick while wearing a gas mask as protesters gather at the Justice Center and Federal Courthouse, August 1
Later, a few small fires were occasionally started outside the courthouse, with at least one put out by other protesters.
Unlike previous weeks, protesters were not centered mainly outside the courthouse, but scattered throughout downtown.
Just after midnight, the crowd had grown to over 1,000 people who remained outside chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and shouting the names of black people killed by police.
Groups were also standing together engaging in conversations about social injustice.
Mayor Ted Wheeler also struck an optimistic tone but cautioned that there was much work to be done after more than 60 days of protests – and not just in cleaning up downtown Portland.
Just after midnight, the crowd had grown to over 1,000 people who chanted ‘Black Lives Matter’ and shouted the names of black people killed by police. Pictured: A Black Lives Matter protester shouts and holds a portrait of George Floyd in Portland, July 31
In addition to the protest, groups were also standing together engaging in conversations about social injustice. Pictured: Black Lives Matter protesters gather at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on July 31
Later, a few small fires were occasionally started outside the courthouse, with at least one put out by other protesters. Pictured: An organizer speaks as a fire burns at the Justice Center and Federal Courthouse in Portland, August 1
These were in sharp contrast to demonstrations in which federal agents using rubber bullets, tear gas and flash grenades on the crowds of protesters. Pictured: A firework explodes as Federal Agents stand in the street firing tear gas, pepper balls and other dispersants, July 29
Leaders in Oregon are pushing for a raft of measures that would address systemic racism in everything from policing to housing.
Those proposals could be fast-tracked for consideration in a special legislative session later this summer.
The governor also announced the creation of a Racial Justice Council to advise her on criminal justice reform and police accountability, health equity, economic opportunity, housing and homelessness, and environmental justice.
Portland’s City Council also voted this week to refer a ballot measure to voters in November that would create a police review board independent from any elected official or city department.