Organized protests of planned oil pipeline turn into violent riots in Portland, Oregon

On March 11th, in downtown Portland, after an organized protest of a planned oil pipeline quickly evolved into a series of chaotic riots, violent clashes between the rioters and deployed law-enforcement teams emerged.

On Thursday night, in Portland, a group of passionate citizens organized to protest both the Chauvin trial and Oregon’s plan to construct an international oil pipeline between Alberta and central Wisconsin. However, reportedly, as the quiet political protest quickly became overrun by exploitative groups of rambunctious rioters, turning the public display into a lawless uproar. Reports of the riots detailed rioters setting fire to stationary automobiles and shops, smashing windows of nearby buildings, and more. Later, the riots drew closer to a Portland federal courthouse. At the courthouse, as rioters began breaking windows and attempted to set the building on fire, federal law enforcement squads were deployed to silence the civil unrest. As a result, law-enforcement and the rioters engaged in a violent clash. Such clashes involved the drawing of tear gas, detonating smoke bombs, and the firing of rubber bullets. 

Investigations of reports of the riots have raised questions as to the motives and causes of the riot. While half of the rioters cited the construction of the Oregon pipeline as the reason for unrest, the other half claimed they were protesting the trial of Derek Chauvin– the officer charged with the third-degree murder of George Floyd. 

Additionally, it was reported that the violent turn of events was expected among Portland citizens. Allegedly, many business owners across the Portland metropolitan area boarded up their shop windows in an attempt to prevent possible attacks by rioters. Thus, this leaves many crediting the cause for the riots as being related more so to the Chauvin trial, due to the trial being public knowledge and the rioters targeting the federal courthouse. As Portland has seen riots in their city, time and time again, oftentimes, rioters have targeted police stations, courthouses, and other public infrastructure. This event begs the question: are riots and civil disobedience displays just normal for modern America?




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