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#Portland, #Oregon: #DefendPDX Photographer’s Report July 17th

Portland. Oregon. Photographer’s Report Justice Center July 17th.

Originally published by DefendPDX. Images by DefendPDX.

7-9:40 PM Upon arriving at the park, there’s about 500 people here, gathering outside of the steps of the Justice Center, where Hip Hop Stands Up has set up a sound system & Jo Ann Hardesty holds a candelight vigil. There was a land acknowledgement, several speakers(made up of local leaders) and some backlash from a portion of the crowd. Jo Ann/the crowd kept the event together despite the in fighting and then the performances by local hip hop artists begin. There were fences completely surrounding Chapman and Lownsdale but by 930, most of the fencing has been knocked down and re appropriated as a barrier. 

9:42 LRAD announces that the parks are closed and we need to evacuate the park or we are subject to arrest, citation, and use of force. 

10:27 Roughly 35-45 federal agents and about 10-15 PPB confronted the crowd around the intersection of 4th and Madison. Crowd was chanting in opposition of their order to leave the park, so the federal officers started macing people at point blank range and firing off at least 10 tear gas canisters. The entire park was filled in thick clouds of tear gas smoke (the smoke felt more vicious than previous nights) and they pushed the crowd up Main and Madison. Targeted arrests made. 

11:22 Half of the group that was pushed out marches to Ted Wheeler’s condo in the Pearl district, only to take a vote upon arriving that they should go back to the Justice Center. Probably about 400 people in each group, roughly 700-800 total. Big numbers tonight. 

11:58 Pepper balls and a tear gas canister is fired out of the federal courthouse “murder holes” because protestors started converging near the steps. 

12:12 The response to the pepper balls and tear gas by the crowd was to block the entrance to the Federal Courthouse with fencing. 

12:39 LRAD announces that we are subject to arrest and use of force, asking crowd not to block the doorways to the JC and Fed Courthouse. 

1:32 The crowd had lit fireworks in the direction of the JC and blocked off one of the doorways. PPB has declared an unlawful assembly, telling the crowd they have 4 minutes to clear out all of the barricades. They also announced downtown is closed. They changed their verbiage tonight by saying that the crowd was “inhibiting local and county law enforcement.” 

1:46 Officers just stormed, firing tear gas, pepper balls, flash bangs, and arresting whomever they can grab. 

1:53 Regrouping at Broadway and Taylor, there is no real time to slow down though as the officers continue to chase the crowd.

2:30 We have been chased all throughout downtown– officers charging as soon as they’re within a block of us. People are having asthma attacks from the gas and the running. Barely any time to regroup. 

2:51 We got pushed to 15th and Taylor, police had retreated around 2:40, we start to march back down Taylor and they start to immediately push back and fire off more munitions after the crowd reaches 7th. I left at this point but on my way out saw a riot van, a few undercover vehicles, and a patrol car all riding around different parts of the park blocks, making sweeps and arresting smaller groups.

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