Scenes from Wednesday nights march across the Morrison Bridge.
Scenes from Wednesday night's march across the Morrison Bridge. Steve Humphrey

UPDATE 12:08 AM:

Okay folks, we're calling it a night after listening to a few lovely birthday serenades to Breonna. This positive, non-violent demonstration may continue into the wee hours—and we'll give you an update in the morning. Sleep easy, Portland.

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UPDATE 11:50 PM:

A group has splinted off from the Justice Center crowd, but it's still not clear where they're headed. Pioneer Square? Maybe. Endless circles around downtown Portland? Also an option. Meanwhile, the group lingering in front of the the Justice Center is planning to sing "Happy Birthday" to Breonna Taylor at midnight. If she wasn't killed by police, Taylor would have turned 27 on June 5.


UPDATE 11:25 PM:

Despite threatening to use "loud volume sound devices,” Portland police haven't deployed any riot control tools since we last checked in. Instead, the past hour has featured a flag-burning (hoisted on the antlers of the elk statue), some dancing, and some seriously legit drum sessions (I don't think I've ever used this phrase, but I promise it's warranted).


UPDATE 10:35 PM:

Freelance reporter Tuck Woodstock has joined Blair on the scene covering the Justice Center rally! Here's a few of their first observations:

Portland police are clearly preparing to escalate their response to the chanting crowd—they're now advising all attendees with children to leave the area because people are allegedly throwing things over the fence and climbing on it.

Extreme stag makeover:


UPDATE 10:16 PM:

It’s official: The Waterfront Park party is over, the hot new place to be is the Justice Center. The majority of the demonstrators have now relocated to the fencing that’s surrounding the Justice Center. Officers have begun warning the public to stop tampering with the fence—if you recall, that’s how Tear Gas Tuesday began—but we’re not seeing any munitions or “riot control agents” being tossed into the crowd yet.

Here's the vibe:




UPDATE 9:44 PM:

According to a cryptic Portland police tweet, "criminal activity is now occurring" at SW 3rd and Main, near the Justice Center We're still unclear what kind of crimes they're referencing, but it sounds like there's definitely a second group of protesters in that area. Standby for more information.

Oh yeah, there's definitely some people there (don't worry, Blair's headed over to check it out):

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Here's what's boppin' back along the waterfront:


UPDATE 9:25 PM:

As the sun sets over Portland, rally-goers on the waterfront use their phone as lighters (or candles?) and wave them in the air as speakers yell chants. One man belts out "Stand By Me" across the crowd. No obvious police presence by the rally. All is calm, for now.


UPDATE 8:40 PM:

After crossing Morrison Bridge, the group of several thousand demonstrators marched down Natio Parkway to eventually settle at Southwest Waterfront Park, where they’ll listen to a new round of speakers. Like in previous nights’ events, there are several drones flying above the crowd—the Portland Police Bureau confirm that they definitely don’t belong to them. And also, they’d like whoever owns the drones to please cut it out.

Also, we're curious if these guys who've been "guarding" the downtown Nike store every night are, in fact, hired by Nike to do this job. At least one of the men participating is avowed Proud Boy Tusitala "Tiny" Toese, who was recently banned from participating in protests until 2022 by a Multnomah County judge.

UPDATE 7:50 PM:

The march has paused on the Morrison Bridge to allow for demonstrators to speak. “Black women and Black bodies are not disposable,” one 18-year-old woman tells the crowd. She says that she’s from Northeast Portland, adding: “I’m from one of the few Black families they couldn’t force out.”

(Not sure what she's referencing? Here's an excellent primer on the racist undoing of Portland's historically Black Albina Neighborhood)

Here's more from this NE native:


UPDATE 7:30 PM:

It’s the part of the early evening when the Southeast rally heads west. Eastside marchers are now crossing the Morrison Bridge, chanting “I can’t breathe” and linking arms. In the sky: Our reporter Blair has spotted a plane flying a “DEFUND POLICE” banner. In the water: Blair’s noticed a Portland Fire & Rescue boat. Here’s our evidence:

UPDATE 6:45 PM: Protests are slowing growing both outside Revolution Hall and in Pioneer Courthouse Square downtown. We’re seeing lively speeches and energized crowds at both so far (and EEEE! Damian Lillard has been spotted at the Southeast gathering!). Here’s a peek at the Revolution Hall scene:


And here’s the mood downtown:

Original Post:

It's Thursday, which means it's been a week since Portland erupted in protests following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. It's also the seventh day that the Mercury has been on the ground covering these dynamic demonstrations from (nearly) start to finish—and we're not planning on stopping anytime soon.

Last night, Portlanders marched across the Morrison Bridge and landed in Portland's Southwest Waterfront, where thousands of attendees listened to impassioned speakers and joined in chants and cheers. The crowd ended up in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center—still fenced off to the public after previous nights' rallies—where they remained for several hours, engaging in non-violent protesting. The night ended calmly, despite some scattered vandalism and fires reported by police in the early-morning hours. (The Mercury had a cameo in one such incident).

Like the past three nights, tonight's demonstration begins at 6 pm outside of Revolution Hall—at Southeast 13th and Stark—and is expected to eventually wind its way downtown. Our intrepid reporter Blair Stenvick will be our eyes and ears on the ground this evening, with a potential assist from reporter Bob Ham, and it'll be me, Mercury news editor Alex Zielinski, posting live updates here. Stay tuned.