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Portland police declare riot as protesters attack federal courthouse, destroy local businesses on New Year’s Eve

By Joel Abbott

Portland police declared a riot Thursday evening as a crowd of around 100 people turned violent, attacking a federal courthouse and causing damage to local businesses.

Shortly before midnight, the department warned that individuals would be subject to arrest and use of force if they did not disperse.

Many rioters chose to stay and confront the police, throwing firebombs, bricks, and commercial-grade fireworks at officers. Several officers were also hit with paint-filled balloons, which they believed may have contained a caustic substance since it “caused burning to the skin.”

In addition to attacking the courthouse, rioters also set fires in the streets, shattered windows, and destroyed the property of more than a dozen local businesses.

Officers managed to break up the riot around 2 a.m. after using impact munitions to disperse the crowd.

Before the riot, a protest had been promoted on social media by various groups, including the Youth Liberation Front, which said the event was “in solidarity with BLM” and told people to “get loud.”

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