PORTLAND, Ore. — Fueled by a wide array of grievances, including against police brutality, protests have rocked Portland for eight weeks, persisting even as demonstrations have waned in many other parts of the country since the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
The city has also become a target of President Trump, who has embraced a law-and-order message in his re-election campaign. While federal officers were deployed to Portland to purportedly quell unrest and protect federal property, their arrival has only galvanized the movement, with the numbers of protesters each night swelling into the thousands.
On Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, protesters gathered around a temporary fence that federal officers had erected during the day. They shot fireworks at the building, and some breached the fence. Federal officers, wearing camouflage and tactical gear, emerged to fire tear gas and less-lethal munitions, and to arrest those who breached the fence.
Among the crowd outside the courthouse was the mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, who was left coughing and wincing from the tear gas. Mr. Wheeler scrambled to put on goggles and denounced what he called the “urban warfare” tactic of the federal agents.