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Protests at Portland State University (PSU) continued to escalate on Wednesday evening, as tensions rose between pro-Palestinian demonstrators and university officials. According to reports, a group of protesters, some clad in black, marched through Downtown Portland around 6:30 p.m., vandalizing multiple buildings along the way.

One PSU student reported seeing individuals dressed in black smashing windows at the campus safety office and spray-painting graffiti on the building. Another student journalist captured video footage of people in black using hammers to break windows at a nearby Starbucks.

Expressing disappointment, Workers United, the union representing the Starbucks employees, released a statement condemning the damage to the store, stating that it resulted in “union partners being briefly displaced.” The union also mentioned that they had negotiated with Starbucks to ensure all union workers were back at work in a repaired and safe store, with compensation for any lost hours.

After regrouping outside the university library, tensions within the crowd intensified, leading to physical altercations. A woman, identified as Eily, shared her experience of being assaulted by at least a dozen people after attempting to film the incident. Her boyfriend, Cletus, added that they were not there to cause harm but became targets when they did not comply with the group’s directives.

Portland police also reported the use of fireworks during the protests, adding to the already volatile situation. Despite no immediate arrests being made, police stressed that individuals could still face charges for their actions.

PSU President Ann Cudd issued a statement emphasizing that while the university will be open on Thursday, the library will remain closed. She also warned that anyone still in the library was committing criminal trespassing and needed to leave immediately.

In response to the ongoing protests, Portland Police Chief Bob Day assured the public that efforts were being made to de-escalate the situation. He also stated that the police would take necessary action to hold individuals accountable for their criminal conduct.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt also released a statement condemning the destruction and violence at the protests, adding that his office would prosecute cases related to the incidents.

KOIN 6 News obtained photos of the damage caused by the protesters inside the university library. The library was occupied by protesters on Monday evening, and despite calls from city officials and PSU leaders to leave the premises, the occupation continued. On Tuesday evening, KOIN 6 reporter Elise Haas entered the library and documented the extensive vandalism, including graffiti, smashed computers, and broken glass.

According to the protesters, they have no plans of leaving the library in the immediate future and cited various individual reasons for their presence. However, the university has remained closed through Tuesday, and the PSU Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting to discuss the ongoing situation.


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