Portland police declared yet another riot on Tuesday night after protesters torched the city’s famous Multnomah Building.
The 200 strong mob vandalized and set fire to the county office that promotes ‘cultural traditions and diversity’ on the 83rd consecutive day of protests
They could be seen throwing stones through the windows, followed by flaming materials. Some were carrying shields and wearing helmets and gas masks, according to law enforcement.
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Police tweeted to tell protesters the the ‘gathering had been declared a riot’, ordering those who were there to disperse.
RT reports: The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said that demonstrators had “repeatedly smashed first floor windows with rocks and threw burning material” into the Multnomah County Building, which houses the county’s Office of Community Involvement. Photographs show the outside of the building was vandalized with graffiti.
Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese said the destruction was “reprehensible” and “serves no legitimate purpose.”
County Chair Deborah Kafoury similarly denounced the vandalism, describing the government building as “the heart of our county.” She expressed regret that the protesters had set fire to the Office of Community Involvement, noting that the space is used by “community members who have been marginalized by the traditional political process.” The building serves as a venue for residents celebrating “their cultural traditions and diversity,” and the office’s lobby hosted the first same-sex marriage in the state of Oregon, Kafoury said.
Portland police arrived at the scene and guarded the building as firefighters worked to put out the blazes. The Oregon city has been rocked by weeks of protests, with many of them turning violent and several instances of arson and other forms of vandalism.