People attend a protest against racial inequality and police violence in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday. Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/Reuters
Thursday night’s protest passed off without major incident or intervention by the police in the absence of federal officers.
On Wednesday, Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, agreed with the White House that the state police would take over responsibility for guarding the courthouse after weeks of escalating protests. She said that “Trump’s troops” were behaving like an occupying army in Portland and provoking unrest with heavy-handed tactics.
In the absence of confrontation, and with the state police remaining largely unseen inside the courthouse, tensions quickly eased. Without the federal forces to draw attention, protest organisers kept the focus on Black Lives Matters and reform of the Portland police.
Some in the crowd worked to avoid trouble by stopping demonstrators from lighting fires and shooting fireworks at the courthouse as they had done on previous nights.
Dan Thomas, an African American man, stood in the street shouting at people not to cause a confrontation with the state police.
“Attacking the federal building is not Black Lives Matter. Leave it alone. You’re playing into Trump’s hands,” he said.