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And in Portland...

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  • And in Portland...

    Portland protests peaceful after federal officers scale back presence

    Thousands of peaceful protesters marched in the streets of downtown Portland this week, much as they have for the last 60 days, marching, chanting familiar slogans like "Black lives matter" and "defend Black lives."

    Conspicuously missing from the demonstrations were dozens of federal officers who used tear gas and non-lethal munitions against protesters gathered outside the U.S. courthouse since early July.

    Tensions have largely calmed since Wednesday's announcement that federal agents would take a step back from policing the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse — a deal that Oregon officials hoped would ease friction between law enforcement officers and protesters who vowed to continue demonstrating until the agents left.

    The courthouse became ground zero for nightly protests in July after the Trump administration sent officers from the Department of Homeland Security to protect federal property. Prior to the agents' arrival, protests focused on police brutality, systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. But tensions flared after federal officers showed up at the urging of President Donald Trump to "dominate" ongoing unrest.

    Protests outside the U.S. courthouse escalated each night for much of July, beginning with peaceful marching, chanting and singing and ending with tear gas after some demonstrators began throwing fireworks at the courthouse or attempting to breach a steel fence.

    On Wednesday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced that federal agents would reduce their presence in downtown Portland and hand over crowd control to state and local police. Homeland Security officers were not seen Thursday and Friday nights.
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

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