Portland police disband 'autonomous zone' in Pearl District
Portland police declared a civil disturbance and unlawful assembly early Thursday morning, June 18, as demonstrators from the 20th night of protests continued to gather in what they called a new autonomous zone.
Portland police declared a civil disturbance and unlawful assembly at 5:30 a.m. Thursday, from Northwest 11th Avenue east to Park Avenue and Irving Street south to Everett Street. Police declared the civil disturbance as demonstrators continued to gather and camp outside what they believe to be Mayor Ted Wheeler's residence in the Pearl District.
Once the declaration was announced, protesters scattered.
"Our goal is to get the area back up and running as soon as possible so people can go about their day," said Portland Police Public Information Officer Lt. Tina Jones. "We want people to know the area is safe. We're very pleased with the successful outcome this morning.
"There was an intent to create an autonomous zone in Portland and that failed last night."
Residents were asked to shelter in place.
Jones said she was aware of only one arrest was made overnight. Jones said at least one person was walking around in the zone armed with a rifle and handgun at times.
Around midnight, the group started dragging items such as dumpsters, recycling bins, picnic tables and pallets into the street to create a barrier. Speakers declared the area an "autonomous zone."
Mayor Wheeler came outside around 7 a.m., saying he was there to help clean up. When asked for his thoughts on the attempted autonomous zone, Wheeler left no question as to where he stands on the issue — telling reporters he is "unimpressed" by the scene in Seattle.
"I want to state unequivocally — I absolutely do not support that, and I do believe it's a distraction from the larger movement, which is to support and uplift black voices in our community," he said.
KOIN 6 is a news partner of Pamplin Media Group
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.