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blair Stenvick

Update, 12:10 am

After our last update, PPB managed to clear the area around the fence without too much use of force. Here's some video Tuck captured of police pushing protesters out of the area they'd deemed closed:

And here's PPB leaving after they pushed people out, as protesters cheer:

Bob says he still sees and hears police cars whirring around downtown, but activity seems to have mostly died down. We're calling that a wrap for our nightly coverage, and we'll see you again tomorrow.

Update, 11:45 pm:

Well, that escalated quickly—our team is reporting flash bang grenades and arrests. Check out this video Bob caught:

The crowds have somewhat dispersed, but Tuck is staying with a group that's marching downtown. They've just exited the area PPB declared closed.

Update, 11:20 pm:

This crowd never seemed to gel into a cohesive protest tonight—instead, there are small groups clustered around different parts of the fence. The group at SW Madison and 1st is trying to barricade the door to a garage that is housing cops in riot gear:

Tuck's observed at least one pepper ball or rubber bullet from their perch at SW Jefferson and 2nd.

PPB just declared a civil disturbance, and are telling people to leave the area or be subject to use of force. It's unclear if it's the barricading or something else that triggered this call.

Bob reports that things are tense at SW Madison and 1st, and police appear to be getting ready to use crowd-control munitions.

Update, 10:50 pm:

It continues to be a comparatively thin crowd at the Justice Center tonight. Tuck tells me different people with megaphones are attempting to organize chants and marches, but "they just don't have the numbers." This could be because of rain, protest fatigue, or the fact that people have been putting all their energy into the city council budget decisions—or some combination of all three. (That said, I don't want to erase the marches that happens on the Eastside tonight, including this kids' march.)

Things are getting a little intense around a parking garage on SW Madison and 1st:

"A young Black person is on the megaphone at the Fence, trying to remind protesters that they’re here for Black lives and not to mess with a fence," Tuck observed about half an hour ago.

Update, 9:50 pm:

Well, friends, this is the most uneventful night of Fence Watch I've been a part of covering so far. There's been some chanting and marching, but I'm guessing we won't see much more activity until around 11 pm.

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Some scenes and observations:

Also:

Update, 8:50 pm:

First, I want to note that people are marching in Portland for the 15th straight night in a row! If you want to know more about the Eastside march tonight, I suggest peeping this story from the Oregonian. Spoiler: Protesters are not happy about the Portland City Council's budget plans!

Speaking of budget plans! If you're wondering what the heck happened at that budget vote today, just go ahead and read this from Alex.

Meanwhile, it looks like crickets so far at the Justice Center. The crowd there seems to be assembling later and later with each passing night. Tuck says, "Literally, there are like 75 people here, mostly chilling on benches."

Oh, and in totally-unrelated-to-protests-but-still-very-important news:

First post, 7:30 pm

Hello, friends, and welcome to another night of Mercury's coverage of protests against police racism and brutality. We've got another potentially long night ahead of us, with a march from Revolution Hall to Grant High School currently underway, and another night of fence-watching at the Justice Center that ought to get started in earnest around 9 pm.

Last night, we saw protestors snatch up fencing from around the federal courthouse and use it to block traffic briefly. There were murmurs of the area becoming an autonomous zone like the one in Seattle, but that fizzled out pretty quickly.

Today, Portland City Council failed to pass a 2020 budget that would include a reduction in funding for the Portland Police Bureau (PPB)—though not nearly as much as advocates are calling for. The council should vote again on the same budget next week. We'll have a story with more details on that soon from City Hall expert Alex Zielinski.

Mercury staffer Bob Ham and esteemed freelancer Tuck Woodstock will be on the ground reporting live soon. Time to switch out your iced coffee for a CBD seltzer (or is that just me?) and stay tuned for more updates in a bit.