Police declare riot in Portland after protesters pull down courthouse fence (VIDEOS)

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Law enforcement officers have begun pushing protesters away from Portland’s federal courthouse after demonstrators pulled down a fence surrounding the building.

Activists used wire cutters, power saws, and ropes to attack the fence on Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday morning. Videos show a group of demonstrators rocking the chainlink barrier back and forth, ultimately pulling it down. Projectiles and tear gas flew across the sky, in what one observer described as a scene resembling a battlefield. Several fires were then lit outside the courthouse before police declared a riot and emerged from the building. 

Federal agents then began to fire tear gas into the crowd as they pushed the protesters away from the building. Hundreds of demonstrators remained in the downtown area as they clashed with police. 

Daily demonstrations began in Portland nearly two months ago after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police in May. The protests have become increasingly violent in recent days. A black Trump supporter was stabbed on Friday night in the city. Activists have blamed the arrival of federal agents earlier this month as the reason for the spike in unrest, alleging that officers from the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies have used excessive force and unlawfully seized and detained individuals.

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