A suburban neighborhood in Springfield, Oregon saw police and residents stand up to reported “racial justice protestors” Wednesday night.
The protest started at Jessie Memorial Park in the Thurston neighborhood with about 200 people peacefully marching and chanting through the neighborhood.
Protesters started to march but then ran into a police barricade, this is when things got tense and escalated fast.
Our KEZI 9 News reporter saw police and protesters wrestling at the barricade line. Protesters continued to march back to Jessie Memorial Park where they were then met by counter-protesters. People from both sides came up to our reporter claiming they had been punched, slapped or hit with pepper spray.
The Register-Guard doesn't claim the marchers to be members of Marxist group Black Lives Matter, but referred to the activists as “racial justice protestors.” They do report that they chanted the slogan "Black Lives Matter."
Racial justice protesters had marched through part of Springfield’s Thurston neighborhood without incident for only about a half an hour Wednesday night before they found themselves met with a wall of police behind barricades blocking their progress.
Video on Twitter shows marchers clashing with police who set up a barricade. Several arrests were reportedly made.
The Register-Guard reports that after clashing with police, the “racial justice protestors” then had to deal with neighborhood residents.
The protesters eventually composed themselves and regrouped farther down the road to complete their march. But as darkness fell, more people claiming to want to protect the neighborhood from protesters came out into the streets to confront them.
“You’re not wanted,” one voice shouted at them.
“You’re in a residential neighborhood, dude,” said another. “Leave!”
Around 10 p.m. the rioters were ushered out of the neighborhood by police.
Springfield police officers ultimately came to usher cars out of the neighborhood, which many there saw as a victory over protesters who they treated like invaders.
As some of the last protesters drove off, they threw back at them one of their chants.
“Whose streets? Our streets,” chanted a crowd following them on foot.
Residents are driving Black Lives Matter protesters out of Springfield, Oregon. pic.twitter.com/TThrmL1IBg— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 30, 2020