Since the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, protests have spread across the United States, and not all of them were peaceful. From the start, President Donald Trump blamed Antifa and violent anarchists for taking advantage of the protest movement to start chaos on the streets of major cities like Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Philadelphia.
Over the last four years, a lot of protests have become violent in Portland. Still, many people say that the recent violence is because of the federal agents in town. The Trump administration cited threats to the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Federal Courthouse by protesters as the reason for their presence in the city and sent in federal law enforcement under to protect federal property.
Opposition to federal involvement came from all of Oregon’s executive branch. Attorney General Rosenblum tried to sue the Trump administration for infringing on the state’s law enforcement responsibilities and jurisdiction, bringing into question whether President Trump’s order was lawful in the first place.
While the presence of federal agents upset protesters in Portland, there were plenty of examples of violence already in the city. Dozens of videos surfaced, showing demonstrators throwing light explosives, firecrackers, frozen water bottles, and other items at federal agents. Many were arrested and charged with arson for throwing explosives and firebombs at the courthouse.