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Videos show violent clashes between rioters and federal officers who attempted to defend the federal courthouse in Portland. President Trump reacts.
Saturday marked the 52nd consecutive night of protests in Portland following George Floyd's death. Demonstrations elevated to violent levels as the night progressed, and by 11 p.m., the Portland Police Department declared a riot.
Rioters broke into the Portland Police Association building on Saturday night and set it on fire. Agitators also started dumpster fires in Oregon's largest city.
At the PPA building right now, looks like there may be a fire inside. #blacklivesmatter #protest #pdx #portland… https://t.co/ZPF5QSkgjA— Garrison Davis (Teargas Proof) (@Garrison Davis (Teargas Proof)) 1595138039.0
The Portland Police union in north Portland was broken into and set on fire by antifa rioters. A riot has been decl… https://t.co/SwdpMpchaR— Andy Ngô (@Andy Ngô) 1595138902.0
Protesters chanted: "Every city, every town, burn the precincts to the ground!"
"Every city, every town, burn the precincts to the ground!" Doesn't sound like a lot of "reform"-minded folks in t… https://t.co/2qJUZSXfof— Robert Evans (The Only Robert Evans) (@Robert Evans (The Only Robert Evans)) 1595134004.0
Rioters vandalized the federal courthouse in downtown Portland after removing the protective fencing that was once on the perimeter. One person was seen shooting airsoft paintball bullets at cameras on the exterior of the Multnomah County Justice Center. A man yelled into the courthouse to inform authorities: "We want the fight!"
The current scene in front of the Federal Courthouse #Portland https://t.co/cNIyff3eBX— Jorge Ventura Media (@Jorge Ventura Media) 1595139415.0
“WE WANT THE FIGHT!” one man screams into a hole in the courthouse building here in Portland. https://t.co/dip1HLogl7— Shelby Talcott (@Shelby Talcott) 1595143389.0
Federal and local law enforcement deployed tear gas and flash bangs near the federal courthouse to attempt to disperse the crowd. One video shows a federal officer pepper-spraying and striking a protester with a baton several times, but the man seems unfazed.
Federal agents deploy pepper spray and tear gas on rioters outside the federal courthouse in Portland. https://t.co/Im8mhFIoLn— Ian Miles Cheong (@Ian Miles Cheong) 1595139210.0
Federal police strike protester with baton, use pepper spray and tear gas outside courthouse in Portland https://t.co/VX2xTVaaYq— Zane Sparling (@Zane Sparling) 1595137543.0
On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump commented on the contentious situation in Portland.
"We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators," President Trump tweeted. "They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!"
President Trump and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler have been at odds on the use of federal law enforcement in the city to quell the ongoing riots.
"Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city," Wheeler said on Friday. Wheeler was referencing officers from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection's BORTAC that have been operating in the city since at least July 14.
Wheeler also blamed Trump for recent riots in the city, but was fact-checked by a reporter.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described the federal agents in Portland as "Unidentified stormtroopers" in "unmarked cars kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti."
On Friday, a self-described "afro-indigenous non-binary local organizer" gave a speech that called for the "abolition of the United States as we know it." The crowd gathered at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse applauded the idea.
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Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.