In Portland's 100 Days of Protests, a Quarter Saw Riots

Following months of unrest that has seen widespread destruction, death and the scorn of President Donald Trump, the city of Portland is bracing itself for a 100th night of consecutive protests this weekend.

Barring a period of calm that has not been seen since the end of May, protesters are expected to take to the streets of Portland for the 100th straight day on Saturday.

The nightly protests began in the wake of the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd in late May.

While Floyd's death sparked worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, Portland—a majority white city that has seen several violent clashes between the far-right Patriot Prayer and counter-protesters down the years—is the only one to see continuous demonstrations that are still going in September.

A large majority of the nightly protests have seen some sort of vandalism, fires, or acts of violence such as missiles and other projectiles being thrown at police.

According to Portland Police, a total of 25 demonstrations have escalated into rioting since May 29—the first night day of protests in the city.

The most recent night where a riot was declared was on August 31, when protesters gathered outside Mayor Ted Wheeler's home to demand his resignation over what they say is a lack of action over police reforms.

Police officially declared a riot was taking place after a fire was started at a ground-level business situated at the bottom of the apartment block where Wheeler owns a condo.

The arson attack resulted in Wheeler announcing he will be moving out of the apartment block for the safety of the other residents.

"I want to express my sincere apologies for the damage to our home and the fear that you are experiencing due to my position," Wheeler wrote in an email seen by The Oregonian. "It's unfair to all of you who have no role in politics or in my administration."

The riot came following a weekend of violence that saw 39-year-old Patriot Prayer supporter Aaron J. Danielson shot and killed during clashes between opposing groups.

In the wake of the latest riot in the city, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell desperately urged an end to the violence and asked officials to "draw a line in the sand" in order to end the unrest.

"As I've stated repeatedly, the nightly violence is coming at increased cost," Lovell said.

"It is not only that occupied buildings are being targeted. Gun violence is skyrocketing. Emergency calls for service are not being answered.

"This is impacting the safety of our entire City and urgent action is needed. Our elected officials need to do their part to draw a line in the sand and to hold people accountable. The violent behavior must end."

In terms of the number of riots, the month of August was by far the most unsettled in Portland, with 15 of the city's 31 protests being officially declared riots by police because of the level of violence and vandalism.

There were high levels of unrest during mid to late July as demonstrators opposed federal agents brought into the city by the Trump administration to help control the violence.

During this time, federal agents were recorded manhandling protesters and forcing them into unmarked vans.

There have been more than 675 arrests during the protests in Portland, but Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt previously confirmed that a majority of non-violent suspects will not face prosecution.

In a statement to Newsweek ahead of the expected 100th night of protests, a Portland Police spokesperson said: "We encourage people to demonstrate peacefully and look forward to working with members of the community who wish to join us to continue well documented reforms of the Portland Police Bureau, underway for the better part of the last decade.

"We also look forward to new ideas.

"We will continue to do everything we can to prevent crime, enforce the law, arrest people who commit crimes, and work to restore peace in the city."

Portland police walk past a dumpster fire during a crowd dispersal on August 14, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Nathan Howard/Getty

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