National Guard Activated as Riot Declared in Portland

Protesters demanded every vote be counted
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 5, 2020 4:53 AM CST
Updated Nov 5, 2020 6:41 AM CST
National Guard Activated as Riot Declared in Portland
A couple listens to speeches during protests following the Nov. 3 presidential election in Portland, Or., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.   (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)

A riot was declared in Portland, Oregon, and protesters took to the streets in Seattle on Wednesday as people demanded that every vote in Tuesday’s election be counted. Hundreds were protesting in both cities against President Trump’s court challenges to stop the vote count in battleground states, the AP reports. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office declared a riot around 7pm after protesters were seen smashing windows at businesses. In the interest of public safety, Gov. Kate Brown activated the use of the state National Guard to help local law enforcement manage the unrest, according to the sheriff's office. Brown said previously she would keep state troopers, sheriff’s deputies, and police officers under a unified command into Friday in Portland to handle protests amid uncertainty over the winner of the presidential election.

Brown’s order places law enforcement agencies under the joint command of the Oregon State Police and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department, which allows those agencies to use tear gas if necessary to quell unrest. Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also police commissioner, banned the use of tear gas by Portland police earlier this fall. The AP reports that in a more peaceful gathering in New York City Wednesday, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and people of other faiths prayed and sang together in post-election solidarity outside a Manhattan church. "We are here together as we figure out how to make a just and loving democracy—no matter the outcome of this election,” said the Rev. Jacqui Lewis, pastor of Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village. (In Arizona, pro-Trump protesters gathered outside an election office.)

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