close
close

Police Return to Portland State University, Retake Library, Make More Arrests

Portland police officers, dressed in riot gear, stormed the Portland State University campus again Thursday night, arresting several protesters who had returned to the school’s library after police had cleared it. the same day.

The unrest on this urban campus of more than 21,000 enrolled students began early in the day when police cleared the Millar Library of pro-Palestinian protesters who had occupied the building for more than two days.

But The initial assault on the library. It was just the beginning of an intense and chaotic day on and around campus, as protesters and police clashed and officers made more arrests.

At least 30 people have been arrested, seven of them students.

After a tense hours-long standoff between protesters and police, police left the area shortly after 5 p.m.

Once they were gone, people stormed towards the library and tore down the fences that had been placed around it. Police said several people returned to the library.

People were going into trash bins and appeared to be recovering pieces of wood and other objects.

Tensions eased, although not for long. Shortly before 7 p.m., many police officers invaded the campus once again. They announced over a loudspeaker that anyone in the library would have to leave or risk arrest.

As the crowd thinned, many people remained and more than a dozen officers stood guard directly in front of the library entrance.

Suddenly, a line of police moved forward and the people in front of the library ran and scattered through the streets. However, the police detained several people and detained them.

Police said they returned to the library and arrested the people who had returned inside.

Police said they could arrest more people to prevent them from returning to the library.

In an email to KATU, Portland Police Bureau spokesman Mike Benner said abandoning the library was the bureau’s plan once the school raised the fence.

“In addition, our staff worked long hours under extremely difficult circumstances. We are monitoring the situation,” he wrote.

Portland State’s campus was officially closed on Wednesday and Thursday, but a university spokesperson said the school planned to have an open campus on Friday.

During an afternoon news conference, Portland city leaders said those arrested would be prosecuted.

By late afternoon, protesters linked arms and refused to move. Protesters also threw water bottles at officers. Bottles of water were scattered on the street.

At one point, someone drove a car into a crowd of protesters on Southwest Hall Street. Police said the driver used some type of chemical agent, such as pepper spray, and then fled.

Apparently, people destroyed the car by breaking the windows and scattering objects all over the street.

Portland police said PSU officers detained the driver, a man. He was taken to a hospital under police mental health custody.

Police said six of their officers were injured during clashes with protesters on Thursday, with most suffering minor injuries.

THE RAID AND INSIDE THE MILLAR LIBRARY

Around 6 a.m., officers showed up on campus, and police later confirmed that was when they entered the library.

Shortly before 9 a.m., people inside the building ran out. Some were arrested, but most managed to escape.

The police action came after several attempts by Portland State University President Ann Cudd to get protesters to leave. Cudd offered students a deal earlier this week to leave the library without consequences in hopes of reaching a peaceful resolution.

Cudd said the protesters rejected the deal and after spending three nights at the library, the police moved in.

“We encountered many roadblocks. A lot of things get in our way to slow us down,” said Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Sgt. Kevin Allen.

Protesters had set up barriers outside Millar Library and many more inside the building.

“Officers entered the building and took the elevator to the top of the building,” Allen said. “We secured the upper floors and then slowly, carefully and deliberately made our way through the building as they went.”

Cudd said Thursday that it didn’t need to come to this and reiterated that they gave everyone inside the library the opportunity to leave peacefully.

Police said they were working to find other protesters who camped out at the library and arrest them.

Portland police provided video from inside the library after it was cleaned. There was graffiti all over the walls and furniture, such as a bookshelf or a desk, was overturned. Tarps were also placed over the windows.

There was also evidence of more vandalism. Someone spray painted “Blood on your hands” on the books. There were also tents and chairs piled up. The fire extinguishers were apparently removed from the wall.

Protesters began gathering at PSU last Thursday. On Friday, the protest gained momentum with protesters demanding that the university cut its ties with Boeing, as that company sells weapons to the US military and Israel. In response, the university said it was pausing its relationship, which it says is philanthropic, with Boeing.

This is breaking news and will be updated as more information becomes available.