CHOP 2.0: Portland protesters create own ‘autonomous zone’

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Protesters in Portland have apparently begun to copy former efforts in Seattle to establish “autonomous zones” as they were seen setting up tents and barricading streets.

Demonstrators were seen in a video early Wednesday setting up in downtown Portland’s Lownsdale Square, an area that is across the street from the federal Pioneer Courthouse, as they restored barricades the police had dismantled and reportedly threw glass bottles at officers.

According to the Portland Police Department, a “couple hundred demonstrators gathered at Revolution Hall in Southeast Portland and marched all throughout downtown Portland before ending their march at Pioneer Square” Tuesday evening, they said in a statement.

Some headed to the Justice Center after this, and around 9:15 p.m., began to physically block traffic by standing in the road.

“Over the next several hours, the demonstrators began to set up barricades at Southwest Main Street and Southwest Salmon Street at Southwest 3rd Avenue. The barricades blocked the entire lanes of traffic and consisted of industrial kitchen appliances, road blockades, and flashing traffic signs,” the press release read.

“During this time, the demonstrators lit a fire where the elk statue once stood, and another small fire was reported at Southwest Madison Street and Southwest 3rd Avenue,” police said.

The police news release noted that about 1 a.m., the demonstrators “in an organized effort” walked to the Central Precinct “in an attempt to disrupt officers as they walked in from the end of their shift,” Fox News reported.

The Twitter page for the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front noted a barricade for establishing the Chinook Land Autonomous Territory, or CLAT, in downtown Portland.

“People are needed here ALL night long, especially in the early morning! Get on over rn! Bring some tents,” the caption of the tweet said, along with images of signs reading, “ACAB,” an [“All Cops Are Bastards,”] and “Black Trans Lives Matter.”

The group, which describes itself as a “Decentralized network of autonomous youth collectives dedicated to direct action toward total liberation,” posted several tweets and videos, urging demonstrators to stand together to hold the area.

Another video showing the tents and barricades in the park invited people to “come check it out.”

Portland Police reported that after 1:00 a.m., after an attempt to remove barricades, demonstrators returned to the area.

**WARNING: Graphic Language**

“As the officers disengaged, the demonstrators threw glass bottles and pointed lasers at them. After officers left the area, the demonstrators lit a fire to what was left of the barricade. Several minutes later, a demonstrator extinguished the fire and several demonstrators began to rebuild the barricade.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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