Portland protest scene relatively calm after US drawdown

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The first nightly protest in downtown Portland after a deal was struck for the withdrawal of federal agents guarding a courthouse was largely peaceful and ended Friday without any major confrontations between state police and demonstrators.

The scene outside the federal courthouse that started with yet another demonstration Thursday night stood in sharp contrast to the two weeks of violent clashes between the protesters and the agents sent by President Donald Trump to quell the unrest in Oregon’s largest city.

State and local officers stepped up their presence as part of the deal between Democratic Gov. Kate Brown and the Trump administration to draw down the number of U.S. agents at the demonstrations that have taken place in the city for more than 60 days following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Portland’s federal courthouse became a target of protesters, with the demonstrators trying to tear down a fence that was erected to protect it, lighting fires at the courthouse’s entryway and hurling objects at the agents holed up inside. The agents most nights fired tear gas in return.

But at Thursday night’s protest, there was little violence and few signs of confrontation as several thousand people gathered near the courthouse, the Oregonian newspaper reported.

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