Molotov cocktails blaze on Portland protest's 100th night
Portland's seemingly relentless summer of unrest turned 100 days old on Saturday, Sept. 5 — and the night began with a bang.
Someone chucked several flaming bombs, often called Molotov cocktails, as a gathering of several hundred left Ventura Park and headed toward the Portland Police Bureau's East Precinct on Southeast 106th Avenue. An NBC photojournalist was scorched as flames crawled up their legs, and several barricades were also set alight. The journalist was given ice packs at the scene; their level of injury was unclear.
The confrontation began when police blocked access to the East Precinct. Citing "reasonable time, place and manner restrictions," officers routed the marchers well before they reached the police station, sending black-clad bands scattering into residential areas surrounding Stark Street. A riot was declared.
Stand-offs, clashes and police charges continued well past midnight. The number of arrests was not immediately announced, but video and eyewitness accounts suggested it would be well within the double digits.
At one point, there were so many detainees waiting to be processed and have their possessions tagged near a group of arrest wagons on 117th Street that officers began remarking on the size of the line.
"I love you," one arrested protester was heard calling out to their partner, who was also arrested.
One nearby resident and mother watched the scene unfold while holding her daughter in her arms.
"Black Lives Matter," she said, declining to give a name. "As far as destroying the city, I think that's a bunch of crap. But as far as Black Lives Matter, that's what important for me."
Dunja Marcum watched the crowd of young protesters with zip-tied hands. Despite the sometimes horrific violence and destruction, she told the Tribune she was glad that the cadres of demonstrators "were not backing down."
"In some ways I'm proud of the city," she said. "We still are fighting."
Later in the night, as police deployed tear gas and other crowd-control impact munitions again, a young mother began to chant a haunting lullaby from her home.
Someone is calling out â€œour babies sleep here, they donâ€™t have masksâ€ from a Portland home as police make arrests. pic.twitter.com/D4wOJQ8A1d— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) September 6, 2020
"Our babies sleep here, they don't have masks," she sang. "You don't have to use tear gas, you don't have to do this at all."
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