Portland protesters put out fires as federal forces withdraw

Portland had its first day without tear gas in weeks after state police took over from federal agents guarding a courthouse that had become a battleground for agitators and tactical units.

Iran PressAmerica: Protesters again tried to light fires at the courthouse on Friday but other protesters put them out, as hundreds of people demonstrated until around 3 a.m., Portland police said in a statement, adding that there were no arrests.

On previous nights, federal agents fired tear gas and other munitions to disperse crowds.

Trump sent federal forces to confront what he called a 'beehive of terrorists' who had lit fires and broken windows at the Portland courthouse since late May when protests against police violence began after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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Democratic mayors said that the deployment escalated tensions at largely peaceful anti-racism protests and was a political theater for Trump’s 'law and order' campaign ahead of the Nov.3 presidential election.

Agents withdrew under a deal between Oregon’s governor and US officials to end a deployment that saw escalating violence and a clash between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic mayors over the use of federal force in their cities.

Portland officials took steps this week to meet protesters’ demands, with the city council approving a November ballot measure to overhaul police oversight.

Many American cities have been the scene of protests since May 25, following the racist assassination of a black man named George Floyd.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly branded anti-racism protesters in the country as 'terrorists', and his promise to surge his paramilitary-style units from Portland to other Democrat-run cities in the coming weeks shows he is willing to employ the repressive tactics used by autocrats to vilify those who challenge them.   207/205

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