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Portland police declare New Year's Eve protest a riot as demonstrators 'throw Molotov cocktails' at cops

A RIOT was declared in Portland last night after a New Year's Eve gathering turned violent.

Police shared pictures of the trash-strewn streets and said they were pelted with fireworks and Molotov-style cocktails.



They retaliated with tear gas and pepper spray after declaring the incident an "unlawful gathering" around 10.30pm, before later declaring it a "riot."

According to police, a group of around 100 people gathered at the Portland Federal Courthouse last night.

It is not clear what the demonstration was for, or if there was a motive behind it – however, a flyer was left behind that read, "In Solidarity with BLM," and "No Streamers, No Megaphones, No Masters" was found at the scene, reports DailyMail.com.

Police said an investigation has been launched, although no arrests have been made.

Footage shows police moving in to break up the crowd as fireworks were set off in their direction.

A police spokesperson said: "A gathering in downtown Portland has devolved into a riot,' Portland Police tweeted at 11:37 p.m. local time.

"Participants have thrown multiple firebombs at officers and launched commercial grade fireworks at the Federal Courthouse and Justice Center."

The spokesperson continued: "At least two Molotov cocktail-style firebombs were thrown, and large, commercial grade aerial fireworks were launched at the Federal Courthouse and the Justice Center.

"Some individuals tried to use tools to break into the Justice Center at 1120 Southwest 3rd Avenue, but were not successful."




The statement added that some emergency workers had to be called from other incidents to attend to the violence.

The force said officers were also attacked with "large rocks, full size bricks, and frozen water bottles."

"Some officers were targeted by paint balloons that may have been laced with a caustic substance as it caused burning to the skin," the statement from claimed.

"Some law enforcement officers suffered injuries, although no Portland Police officers were hurt," the force confirmed.

Authorities had previously told participants they would face "riot control agents" if they did not leave the area.

"If you do not leave you are subject to arrest, citation, and/or the use of force, including but not limited to impact weapons and tear gas," cops posted on Twitter.

KOIN reported another confrontation also took place on South-West Main street.

Pepper spray and non-lethal ammunition was used to control the crowd, the network reported – although police dispute this.

A Starbucks window was also allegedly smashed and a crosswalk sign set alight.

Throughout the night, buildings including Portland City Hall, Portland Police Bureau, Oregon Historical Society, and TriMet were damaged, said the network.

Taking to Twitter after most of the violence was over, police wrote: "Much of the crowd has broken up into smaller groups and spread out downtown.

"A large amount of burned debris will continue to block Southwest Main Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues."

Cops said most of the crowds had dispersed by 2am, adding: "No CS gas was deployed by PPB during this event, but inert smoke and some impact munitions were used."





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