Hours After Biden Inauguration, Federal Agents Use Tear Gas in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — Protesters within the Pacific Northwest smashed home windows at a Democratic Get together headquarters, marched by way of the streets and burned an American flag on Wednesday in a strident problem by antifascist and racial-justice protesters to the brand new administration of President Biden, whose promised reforms, they declared, “gained’t save us.”

In Portland, Ore., traces of federal brokers in camouflage — now working beneath the Biden administration — blanketed streets with tear fuel and unleashed volleys of welt-inducing pepper balls as they confronted a crowd that gathered outdoors an Immigration and Customs Enforcement constructing close to downtown. Some within the crowd later burned a Biden-for-President flag on the street.

One other tense protest in Seattle noticed dozens of individuals push their method by way of the streets, with some breaking home windows, spray-painting anarchist insignia and chanting not solely about ICE, however the many different points that roiled America’s streets final yr beneath the administration of former President Donald J. Trump.

“No Cops, Prisons, Borders, Presidents,” stated one banner, whereas one other proclaimed that the battle over racial justice, policing, immigration and company affect within the nation was “not over” merely as a result of a brand new president had been inaugurated in Washington, D.C.

“A Democratic administration isn’t a victory for oppressed individuals,” stated a flier handed out throughout the demonstrations, throughout which protesters additionally smashed home windows at a store typically described as the unique Starbucks in downtown Seattle. The communiqués used expletives to sentence Mr. Biden and “his silly” crime invoice, handed in 1994 and blamed for mass incarcerations within the years since.

Hours after the inauguration of Mr. Biden, federal brokers in Portland used tear fuel and different crowd-control munitions to disperse demonstrators who had gathered to protest the cruel arrest and detention practices wielded by federal immigration authorities beneath the Trump administration.

Mr. Biden has signaled that immigration goes to be a key concern of his presidency, utilizing some of his first executive orders on Wednesday to finish development of the border wall and bolster this system that gives deportation protections for undocumented immigrants who had been introduced into the nation as kids.

The battle in Portland capped a day of demonstrations within the liberal metropolis, the place completely different teams of protesters both decried Mr. Biden or referred to as for activism to stress the brand new president to take forceful motion on immigration, local weather change, well being care, racial justice and earnings inequality.

Earlier within the day, a bunch of about 200 individuals — a mixture of racial justice, antifascist and anarchist activists — marched to the native Democratic Get together headquarters, the place a few of them smashed home windows and tipped over rubbish containers, lighting the contents of 1 on hearth. “We don’t need Biden — we would like revenge,” stated one signal, referring to killings dedicated by cops.

In a metropolis that has seen months of demonstrations over racial injustice, financial inequality, federal regulation enforcement and company energy — and among the harshest regulation enforcement responses to such protests — protesters have vowed to proceed their actions regardless of who’s president. “We’re ungovernable,” one signal within the crowd stated.

In Seattle, about 150 individuals marched by way of the streets. Some spray-painted buildings with an anarchist image and broke home windows, together with at a federal courthouse. They chanted each anti-Trump and anti-Biden slogans.

One member of the group handed out fliers to individuals on the road that stated, “Biden gained! And so did company elites!” The fliers defined {that a} “Democratic administration isn’t a victory for oppressed individuals” and that “Biden is not going to save us.”

“I got here out right here as a result of it doesn’t matter what occurs, Biden and Kamala aren’t sufficient,” stated one of many protesters, Alejandro Quezada Brom, 28, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris. He stated the brand new president must know that “the stress’s not off” for progress on immigration and policing reforms.

Seattle cops adopted the group and started to encompass it as evening fell. A minimum of two protesters gave the impression to be arrested.

At one more demonstration in Portland, individuals gathered to listen to audio system who celebrated Mr. Trump’s departure but additionally referred to as for continued stress on the brand new authorities.

“The battle has simply begun,” stated Ray Austin, 25. He stated that the injury executed by Mr. Trump couldn’t be undone by the likes of Mr. Biden and that the nation wanted a groundswell of individuals demanding extra.

Audio system on the occasion referred to as for a Inexperienced New Deal to battle local weather change, a “Medicare for All”-style medical health insurance system, overhauls of police departments to deal with racial disparities and different elementary modifications. However that occasion was extra subdued than others across the metropolis.

Within the aftermath of George Floyd’s demise in Minneapolis final Could, protesters in Portland mobilized on the streets nightly, a lot of their ire focused on the mayor and the police power that repeatedly used tear fuel to subdue them. The crowds swelled throughout the summer season after Mr. Trump issued an govt order to guard federal property and agents wearing camouflage brought a crackdown to the city.

These conflicts have since subsided, however protesters in Portland have continued to mobilize.

Mike Baker reported from Portland, and Hallie Golden from Seattle.

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