Portland protests stay calm as state troopers take watch
Nightly demonstrations continued Thursday, July 30, in downtown Portland — but the changing of the guard appeared to calm the waters.
By nightfall, there was nary a sign of the Oregon State Police troopers assigned to take over the security detail at the downtown Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse, though that didn't stop hundreds of protesters from gathering outside the edifice.
Protesters listened to speeches, chanted and set several small fires, according to a Tribune photojournalist at the scene.
I'm back down here at the Justice Center with a crowd of hundreds currently listening to speakers. No law enforcement visible, and the mood so far is mellow. pic.twitter.com/QDwk97HFgr— jonathan house (@jonhouse_) July 31, 2020
It was a markedly different atmosphere than previous weeks' of near-seige warfare at the perimeter fence built by federal law enforcement officers.
Gov. Kate Brown and the Department of Homeland Security's acting secretary, Chad Wolf, brokered a deal to slowly recall the feds' out-of-town reinforcements, but only if local authorities could adequately defend the courthouse.
Earlier in the day Thursday, Portland Police Bureau officers swept the nearby parks clear of encampments, making several arrests in the process.
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