A scene from last nights protest, with tear gas in the air.
A scene from last night's protest, with tear gas in the air. Alex Zielinski

UPDATE 12:45 AM: Well, that was another depressing and unnecessarily violent night. As usual, the evening started with inspirational marches and speeches, and ended with riot police defending a fence, firing flash bangs into the crowd, arresting people, and attacking those trying to film it. Here's an example:

Here's another example, where a reporter identifies himself as the press and is pepper sprayed in the eyes anyway (watch the last minute of this):

Cory is being taken to the hospital to have doctors examine his eyes for damage. We'll update you on his condition tomorrow. [Update: We hear he is safely at home now, but his eyes still hurt.] By the way, this is the SECOND time this week that this same reporter has identified himself as press and was attacked by police anyway.

Here's the narrative that the police are feeding to the press tonight:

Apparently this was the reason that, not one person who launched a firework, but over a thousand citizens were gassed (UPDATE: with a currently unknown substance) and flashbanged while practicing their first amendment rights.

And with that, we're signing off for the night. But rest assured we'll be back tomorrow to continue bearing witness to this truly awful time in our city's history.

UPDATE 12:20 AM: After police began indiscriminately throwing flash bangs into the crowd, our reporters smartly called it a night. But it's easier said than done getting out of town.

Things are crazy and hectic on the streets.

Maybe that live feed wasn't such a great idea after all?

UPDATE MIDNIGHT: Crowds are on the move downtown, running from clouds of what everyone assumes is the tear gas police aren't supposed to use unless it's a life-threatening emergency.

Meanwhile and STRANGELY the Portland Police live feed is on a quiet street far from their baton-swinging co-workers.

The police are firing flash bangs into the crowd, so we are pulling our reporters off the street due to the dangerous circumstances.

UPDATE 11:45 PM: And the police have started firing munitions at the crowd at 11:35.

Tear gas fills the air. (UPDATE: Police are claiming this was not CS gas, but aren't revealing what it was. We're investigating.)

And the police are on the march.

UPDATE 11:30 PM: A bit of confusion about which direction protesters are supposed to leave... not that most of them are leaving anyway.

It's time for the 11 pm stand-off—a situation we've grown used to over the last few nights. However, as I was watching the Portland Police live feed, they said, "Get ready to move!" and the camera froze. Then it came back on again. And they still haven't moved. We're in a holding pattern.

Here's someone who allegedly was shot by a police munition.

UPDATE 11:05 PM: One person reportedly shot by a police pepper bullet.

UPDATE 10:50 PM: A new addition to the nightly protests: PIE TINS!

A lot of water bottles are coming over the fence... but that's about it, according to the cops' own live feed. Thanks for providing that, btw!

UPDATE 10:20 PM: If you're tired of seeing this angle all the time...

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The Portland Police are running their own LIVE STREAM of the protest from their perspective!

It's mostly boring, but when they announced "Will you please stop throwing animal feed over the fence," I lost it!

UPDATE 10:05 PM: And this is how it starts—the clear disconnect between what is life threatening and non-life threatening behavior.

And here they come:

UPDATE 9:35 PM: Still no signs of the cops on THE FENCE™ at the Justice Center. (Wouldn't it be nice if they realized that people don't throw plastic water bottles at riot cops who aren't there?)

And now a public briefing from the Portland Police (most of which you've already read here, except for the molotov cocktail propaganda stuff):

In more interesting news, look at this beautiful crowd at Irving Park.

It's 9:35, Portland... AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!


Maybe if they didn't buy so much riot gear, they could afford one. #SweetBurn #DidNotTakeEdibleDuringBreak

And in case you wonder why Irving Park was chosen as a landing spot for one of the night's largest protest groups...

Back at the Justice Center, the crowd has grown larger, but there's a visible lack of cops on THE FENCE™.

Meanwhile the Lownsdale Square gang is circling back around and heading back east (most likely to the Justice Center).

UPDATE 8:50 PM: We're back from our break, and—OH SHIT. It's my first sighting of a La Piñata Takos burrito since we were forced out of our office by COVID! Ohhhhhh how I miss you.

Meanwhile, the Rev Hall faction has completed their long march to Irving Park!

And the Lownsdale Square gang have moved on from Pioneer Square to... well, we're not sure yet. We'll update you on that later.

UPDATE 8:20 PM: We're all gonna take a quick snack and pee break (and I've been told to hold off on the edibles even though my employees are not the boss of me), and we'll be back in about 20 minutes! Until then, here's a public service announcement from our ace reporter/helper tonight, Tuck Woodstock.


UPDATE 8:10 PM: Meanwhile in SEATTLE... jeez! These guys get an early start!

Oh, and that mysterious group of demonstrators that were crossing the Burnside? Looks like the cops confused them with the Revolution Hall gang heading north to Irving Park. HEY THESE LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE PRACTICING THEIR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS ALL LOOK ALIKE.

Meanwhile, back in Pioneer Courthouse Square... THIS guy sure walked into the wrong open mic!

And at the Justice Center—where we always end up eventually—our Blair Stenvick is checking up on the emotional stability of THE FENCE.

UPDATE 7:45 PM: As the Rev Hall faction continues their march northward to Irving Park, the ever-growing Lownsdale Square marchers have landed in another familiar spot: Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Meanwhile... looks like another large group of marchers are descending on downtown via the Burnside Bridge.

UPDATE 7:20 PM: The march from Lownsdale Square has kicked off, and armed cops are already on the scene. "Just because I'm dressed like I'm ready to kill people, why do they assume I'm ready to kill people??"

Hold on... looks like that small crowd of 200 is really starting to grow!

Portland's art game is ON POINT.

Blair Stenvick

UPDATE 7:05 PM: The march from Revolution Hall to Irving Park in Northeast Portland has kicked off, and we'll check back in with them later.
Courtesy KOIN

Meanwhile, our Blair Stenvick and Tuck Woodstock are downtown with the Lownsdale Square gang:

In other news, Mayor Ted Wheeler's decision NOT to ban tear gas in Portland as he hinted he might last night is... ummm... not going well.


UPDATE 6:45 PM: Defying the occasional cloudbursts, a very large crowd is gathering at Revolution Hall in SE Portland—the spot of the nightly kickoff. Breaking from tradition, tonight's march is scheduled to head to Irving Park (707 NE Fremont) where we'll be hearing from various inspirational speakers.

By the way, if you suspect you may have a run-in with the cops, keep these tips in mind:

Courtesy KOIN

At Revolution Hall, speakers are thanking people for coming out and continuing to support the movement. "We don't have an end date" for stopping these protests, they say. "No justice, no peace. We're here until that happens. Bring more people with you... text 50 people you know, because we're going to be out here every day at 6 pm."

ORIGINAL POST 6 PM: Hello, and welcome to the NINTH night of the Mercury's protest liveblog coverage! (Time off? Who needs it?) For those just joining us, Portland has been turning out in the thousands practically every night for the last week to support Black lives, and to protest against systemic racism and the police brutality that ended the lives of Black Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The nights have roughly started off the same, with thousands marching into downtown, followed by inspirational speeches, loud protests in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center, and ending with riot cops chasing protesters around town and firing tear gas and various munitions.

Last night was a little different: Mayor Ted Wheeler (to his credit) came out to talk in person to protesters and took a lot of guff for his trouble. However, he also bemoaned the police's use of tear gas, saying we should follow in the footsteps of Seattle who banned tear gas in their city for 30 days, and that his office would have "an announcement" about that today. Well, that "announcement" wasn't much to write home about—in fact, Mayor Wheeler's suggestion wasn't much different than what is already being enforced, that the police should only use tear gas under life-threatening emergencies. Unfortunately, the Portland Police feel like their lives are being threatened a LOT these days. Mostly by plastic water bottles.

(Frankly, way back in time when I performed in punk bands, I had much worse thrown at me... mostly because our band was terrible. BUT I WASN'T WEARING RIOT GEAR.)

Anyway! Let's see what happens tonight. Did Mayor Wheeler's wishy-washy announcement give the green light for even more tear gas? Or will the rain dampen everyone's spirits? Stick with us to find out! Tonight the Mercury will be represented on the ground by the reporting smarts of our Blair Stenvick and the esteemed Tuck Woodstock. Follow them on Twitter for minute-to-minute updates, and this liveblog for the overview. Good luck to all out there, and I hope you all brought your running galoshes.

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