Civil unrest continued in Portland, OR, on Saturday night as demonstrations took place across the country in response to a number of nationwide police-involved shootings, including one in Southeast Portland that took the life of a homeless white male in his 30s earlier Saturday.
Law enforcement officials in Portland declared a riot for the third time last week as a group of approx. 100 demonstrators sought out to cause mayhem, engaging in violent rioting, property destruction, and multiple arsons—to name a few.
One of the major incidents that occurred Saturday night happened at First Christ Church, after rioters concealed their identity’s by wearing their militant black bloc uniforms busted out the windows to the church.
According to a Portland police report, the church is "a location known for their generosity in feeding over a thousand meals weekly to the homeless" and was also a site of damage last year as civil unrest unfolded in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
Due to the damage done to First Christ Church, the church will be unable to provide for the needy as the cost of repairs takes away from feeding the homeless.
Parishioners at First Christ Church surveyed the aftermath of the damage on Sunday and helped place plywood over the damaged windows, KGW 8 reported.
"Sometimes when windows are broken in a riot, it’s not a specific statement by one individual," lead pastor Cynthia McBride said. "It's more people who seem to be caught up in the angst of the moment."
McBride expressed frustrations regarding the cost of repairs as the church significantly suffered financially due to the coronavirus pandemic, money that would be better used towards fulfilling the church’s mission.
Another site of vandalism happened at the Oregon Historical Society, where windows were smashed for the second time this year.
"It is depressing on so many levels," museum director Kerry Tymchuk said. "We invested in windows that were impenetrable so they weren’t able to get in as they did last time and throw flares in to the building or steal things, which they did last time."
Fixing the windows will cost several thousand dollars.
According to the police report a group of "an estimated several hundred people" began marching after 9:30 p.m., smashing the windows to several businesses, including Nordstrom, Verizon, Nike, and set an Apple store on fire.
Protesters moved dumpsters into the streets which prompted police to declare an unlawful assembly and began breaking up the protest, KATU reported.
Police gave the group a chance to disperse and warned individuals that if they remained in the crowd they could face crowd control munitions and be subject to arrest.
"Antifa are telling their comrades to discard of evidence if they were involved in the arson attacks last night in downtown Portland," Andy Ngô tweeted. "Fires were set near propane tanks."