Protesters take to the streets in downtown Portland over prisone - KPTV - FOX 12

Protesters take to the streets in downtown Portland over prisoner rights, other issues

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Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in downtown Portland Friday evening, snarling traffic and having a few clashes with officers.

Police say the demonstrators were from different groups, including Black Lives Matter, and that they were protesting prison labor policies and other issues.

After hours of protests, police made arrests after people tried crossing Southwest 3rd Avenue while drivers were passing by despite warnings by officers.

Officials with the Portland Police Bureau report that two people were arrested, while FOX 12 cameras spotted other protesters helping a man after he had been pepper sprayed.

The coalition of protesters started late in the afternoon blocking a few downtown streets. TriMet had to shut down several MAX lines for about an hour because of it.

The PPB tweeted out that protesters threw items at police, then send a message out saying a protester had damage a car with someone inside.

Protesters then moved into the AT&T store. That was when police started to jump in, urging protesters to move out of the streets and to sidewalks, or face consequences.

Protesters said they wanted for people to listen to their issues, but did not think the methods used by police were appropriate.

“Yes it’s inconvenient, yes it’s inconveniencing people, and that is important to be pointing out,” protester Erica Wegner said. “It’s a way to make people sit and listen and hear our message.”

“We’re going to stand here to peacefully protest, and our police are going to show up as the gasoline in riot gear inciting the riot from my estimation,” protester Deborah Hall added. 

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