Portland Small Crowds & Small Fires Around Chapman & Lownsdale

Portland, OR (STL.News) On July 12, 2020 people began gathering in Chapman Square and Lownsdale Square near SW 3/SW Main at about 6:00pm.  People socialized, ate food, banged drums and listened to speeches.  At about 10:00pm the group began blocking traffic on SW 3rd and on SW Main.  By 10:30pm a bonfire was burning in what used to be water troughs at the base of the old elk statue in the middle of SW Main.

The crowd remained in both parks and in the streets for the rest of the evening.  Throughout the evening people dragged plywood from nearby construction sites or boarded up buildings to keep the fire burning.  People fired Roman-Candle and bottle rocket fireworks toward the Justice Center.  People lit a large bonfire in the middle of the east crosswalk at SW Main/SW 3rd.  At one point people set wood on fire that members of the crowd had propped against the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse.  A person fired objects from a wrist rocket toward the U.S. Courthouse.

At about 1:30am the crowd gathered around the large bonfire in the crosswalk and built it up by burning plywood, cardboard, paper and other debris.

Portland Police Officers approached SW 3/SW Main at about 2:30am to make the scene safe so Portland Fire & Rescue could put out the bonfire.  Portland Police made public address announcements for the crowd to leave the area.  As Portland Fire & Rescue approached someone fired a ball bearing from a wrist rocket at the firefighters.  Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Deputies assisted Portland Police making the scene safe.  Once the fire was extinguished police and deputies disengaged.

Some in the remaining crowd congregated in the intersection and began moving park benches from Lownsdale Square into the intersection. Others moved more plywood and other debris into the intersection.  Portland Police made public address announcements to stop lighting fires for the safety of those present.  Some in the crowd ignored the announcements and built a new fire which others put out.  The crowd slowly dwindled over the next hour.