PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Portland gained national attention this week when the head of Homeland Security toured the vandalized Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse, the federal courthouse in downtown Portland.
Acting secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said the City of Portland "has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob."
But what does downtown actually look like right now?
FOX 12 took a walking tour to see and talk to locals about what they think of their city now.
Overall, downtown looks a lot different.
The federal courthouse is covered in graffiti.
In contrast across the street the Justice Center which has also been the center of protests is cleaned up and doesn't have a lot of graffiti on the building.
The windows and doors are still boarded up at the Justice Center.
Near the federal courthouse FOX 12 spoke with a veteran named Conner.
Conner lives in Portland and says the way people have described downtown Portland is exaggerated.
One of my biggest complaints is I see people on Twitter all over comparing this to a war zone. I have been in war zones; this is not it. This is people expressing their First Amendment, a right that I served for," Conner said. "It's two blocks people are keeping it localized to the Justice Center and the Hatfield Courthouse. They're not trashing all of downtown, they're not looting, they're not rioting. That was one night of some bad people, and everybody was all like don't judge all cops by a few bad cops, don't judge all protesters by a people that broke a few things."
But business owners like Frank Baccellieri, an insurance agent who's worked downtown for 40 plus years says Portland is not the same.
"It's become much more difficult. I know there's a fair amount of people that won't come downtown that used to," Baccellieri said. "The vibrance is gone. The city is not the way that it used to be obviously."
Many businesses around Pioneer Square are boarded up.
The square itself didn't appear to be vandalized.
There's graffiti on some buildings, but not everywhere.
Pioneer Place and surrounding businesses were also hit with vandalism during protests.
Many storefronts now look like a work of art, with boarded up doors and windows are covered in murals.
FOX 12 spoke with Rufus Williams, who was out selling Black Lives Matter t-shirts.
He's not from Portland but he comes here often, and he had some reflections on Portland's current climate.
"I look at it good and bad. The reason why I say good and bad because the bad part is it took a tragedy to get to that point. The good part is somebody got some pretty good artwork, somebody got some skills," Williams said.
Some business owners also told FOX 12 it's not just the vandalism but it's the violence and concerns about safety that is keeping many from heading downtown right now.
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