Portland’s top newspaper reported Tuesday that after weeks of unrest in the city’s downtown, the “main action” appears to have shifted to neighborhoods just outside the city, prompting residents to post their concerns on various Internet forums.
The Oregonian reported that protests in the city are approaching their 80th consecutive night and residents are taking to online platforms like Reddit to post their growing safety concerns.
One poster who apparently lives in the Kenton neighborhood, wrote, “Lots of people worked hard to make our little neighborhood pleasant and to help local businesses stay open. Now it’s trashed. This was not a BLM [Black Lives Matter] protest, this was a tantrum by a bunch of entitled kids.”
Reports indicate that there is some blame directed at police officers for essentially “pushing” the protesters into the area on Saturday night.
Michael Morrill, a longtime resident in Kenton, told KGW 8, “What I saw last night was violence; these people did not care about property. Talk. Work your problems out, and vote. If you don’t like what’s happening vote them out, vote for change, that’s democracy.”
The paper reported that a resident who lives near the police union building said his family is concerned about the protests and is forced to close his windows at night to keep tear gas out. The report said the shift brings “crowds of demonstrators and a heavy police force onto usually quiet nighttime streets.”
Detractors of the violent protests sparked by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody have warned that what first unfolds in the heart of major cities will eventually spill over into residential areas.
Some residents in the neighborhoods have expressed support of the movement despite the disruption. Neighborhood residents regularly aid protesters as police chase small groups through Portlands residential streets, Getty reported.
The scene in Portland seems to still be tense. A fire inside the Portland Police Association on Saturday prompted authorities in the city to declare a riot and force protesters away from the offices as violent demonstrations continue in the city that had hoped for calm after federal agents withdrew more than a week ago.
Police said a group of protesters from a nearby park marched to the building, which is located about 5 miles north of the federal courthouse, which has also been the target of nightly violence earlier this summer. The Portland Police Association is a labor union that represents members of the Portland Police Bureau.
The clashes have increased tensions after an agreement between state and federal officials seemed to offer a brief reprieve.
“Portland, which is out of control, should finally, after almost 3 months, bring in the National Guard,” Trump tweeted Monday. “The Mayor and the Governor are putting people’s lives at risk. They will be held responsible.”