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World News

Portland Police declare gathering near city building as 'unlawful'

(Reuters) - Portland Police late on Sunday declared a demonstration in the northeastern part of the city as an “unlawful gathering” and ordered crowds to disperse from an area near a building housing offices including the police, or risk facing arrest.

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"To those near the Kelly Building, this has been declared an unlawful assembly due to criminal activity," Portland police wrote on Twitter bit.ly/3gKwGsO.

“Failure to adhere to this order may subject you to arrest, citation, and/or the use of crowd control agents including, but not limited to, tear gas and/or impact weapons”.

The overnight demonstration followed a fatal shooting amid weekend street clashes between supporters of President Donald Trump and counter-demonstrators in downtown Portland.

Governor Kate Brown said on Sunday night that Oregon State Police would send personnel and resources to Portland to help keep the situation in the city under control.

“We all must come together — elected officials, community leaders, all of us — to stop the cycle of violence,” Governor Brown said in a statement which laid out plans to end the nightly protests.

Demonstrations against racism and police brutality have swept the United States since the death in May of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Tensions between rival protest groups have roiled downtown Portland every night for nearly three months following Floyd’s death.

The Trump administration in July deployed federal forces to Portland to crack down on the protests.

On Sunday, Trump denounced Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, as “weak”. The president has often said that cities run by Democrats have descended into chaos.

Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Gareth Jones

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