Portland Protestors Use Angle Grinder to Cut Through Courthouse Fence

Video of Portland protesters' attempting to breach the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse using power tools and fireworks was shared widely on social media overnight. One person tweeted to his 146,000 followers footage of what appeared to be protesters trying to breach the courthouse using a handheld angle grinder.

"Portland rioters are using electric saws to cut through the courthouse barrier," the person tweeted. "Federal agents have yet to respond. This is the kind of agitation that brings them back out each time they retreat inside."

Andy Ngo tweeted to his 512,000 followers footage of protesters apparently throwing fireworks at the courthouse, writing: "Unable to break down the barrier, rioters throw explosive fireworks at the Portland federal courthouse."

Portland Police said in a statement that the unrest outside of the courthouse" has been deemed an unlawful assembly" and warned people to "disperse immediately."

Portland protesters
Protesters gather in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland. The city faced another night of unrest on July 24. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

"Failure to adhere to this order may subject you to arrest or citation, or riot control agents, including tear gas and/or impact weapons," police tweeted.

The city faced another night of unrest as thousands descended into the center of the city, preceding a tense face-off between protesters and law enforcement on Friday night.

A demonstration of several hundred started at around 9 p.m. local time outside the Justice Center next to the courthouse which has been the focal point for confrontations over many nights.

A few blocks away, around 1,000 people gathered at the waterfront and then marched to the Justice Center in solidarity where a number of groups gathered outside and from where Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, gave a speech. Healthcare Workers Protest, Teachers against Tyrants, Lawyers for Black Lives and the "Wall of Moms" were among the groups present.

Throughout the night, at least 4,000 people poured into the center city in the largest crowd since early days of the demonstrations nearly two months ago sparked by the death of George Floyd, The Oregonian reported.

Cars with Black Lives Matter decorations circled around the area which resonated to car horns being honked in sync with "Black Lives Matter" chants.

By 10:30 p.m. a "wall of veterans" stood in front of the courthouse and half an hour later, protesters' started to push the barrier protecting it, which was prevented from falling over by a concrete barricade.

Unable to break down the barrier, rioters throw explosive fireworks at the Portland federal courthouse. #PortlandRiots #antifa pic.twitter.com/4PRHBJhCpB

— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 25, 2020

Federal officers who had urged protesters to stop tampering with the fence, used tear gas and shot impact munitions, including pepper balls, toward the protesters on the front line.

A persistent group of protesters remained outside the courthouse until the early hours of Saturday morning and throughout the night, they shot fireworks at the building, the Associated Press reported.

Friday's unrest followed a judge denying a request to stop the actions of federal agents whose presence on the streets upon orders by the Trump administration that has sparked claims of federal government overreach.

U.S. prosecutors have charged 18 people who took part in the Portland protests a day after the Trump administration expanded the deployment of tactical police to Seattle.

This story has been updated with a new image of Friday's protests.