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Portland police declare 'unlawful assembly' during Peninsula Park abortion rights protest

The Portland Police Bureau said that it told marchers to leave the area after officers saw broken windows on a vacant business in the Piedmont neighborhood.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Demonstrators who gathered at Peninsula Park in North Portland on Friday night to protest the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade were ordered to disperse after the Portland Police Bureau said officers saw signs of vandalism.

The planned protest was identified as a cause for concern this week by nearby Holy Redeemer Church, where the Catholic clergy are open about their opposition to abortion. Parishioners and staff feared that this would make the building a target of vandalism. 

But on Saturday morning, Father Cameron Cortens and staffers took down boards installed the day before over the church's glass windows and doors, all of them undamaged. The church had hired private security to be on the property overnight as well.

Even though he was relieved that the church was not damaged, Father Cortens expressed concern about all the measures they had taken to protect the church.

"I certainly wish that we didn't feel that this had to be a necessity," he said.

Portland police said that demonstrators started gathering around 9 p.m. in Peninsula Park. Around 10:30 p.m., protesters took to the streets and marched along North Rosa Park Way and North Albina Avenue.

Credit: Portland Police Bureau
Unlawful Assembly Declared After Windows Broken in the Piedmont Neighborhood

By 11 p.m., police declared an unlawful assembly after finding broken windows at a vacant former coffee shop in the 6400 block of North Albina Street, according to PPB.

Portland police used a loudspeaker to order protesters to disperse, which they apparently did in short order. Police didn't find any other signs of damage, but took a report from a woman who said she was assaulted while recording video of the march.

No one was arrested in either case, but police asked for anyone with information to e-mail crimetips@portlandoregon.gov and reference case number 22-175841.

RELATED: 'What a shame': Nonprofit, businesses vandalized during weekend protests over Roe decision

RELATED: Thousands gather in downtown Portland to protest the overturning of Roe

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