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Videos: Federal officers deploy impact munitions, tear gas at downtown Portland protesters

The Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse building in downtown Portland. (Doug Beghtel/The Oregonian/TNS)

Federal officers on Thursday drove demonstrators away from the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in downtown Portland after members of the crowd started a fire and damaged the building.

Dozens of demonstrators assembled near the courthouse Thursday night. Some of those gathered started a fire and broke glass at the courthouse, according to reports from the scene.

Federal officers responded by deploying impact munitions, tear gas and smoke bombs, according to livestreams and independent journalists documenting the demonstration.

The officers drove protesters away from the courthouse before deploying the tear gas, according to reports. Afterward, officers could be heard on loudspeakers asking people not to set fire to the courthouse or otherwise damage the building.

Tensions soon escalated a second time, with demonstrators breaking courthouse windows and setting another fire outside the building.

Federal officers immediately shot crowd control munitions at someone who tried to break a window, then made an announcement ordering people off the property.

Officers then deployed more tear gas to push demonstrators away, according to reports, and at least one person had been detained as of 10:40 p.m.

Officers drove protesters away from the building once more shortly after 11 p.m.

Some demonstrators appeared to have been continuing protest efforts from earlier in the day, when a group gathered in opposition to the replacement and expansion of an oil pipeline that would go from the Canadian province of Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin.

Protesters say the new corridor would harm watersheds, wild rice lands and Anishinaabe treaty territories. They argue corporations should clean up an existing, old pipeline.

The demonstration also came after workers put wooden boards on windows of the courthouse earlier Thursday.

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