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Portland police clash with protesters blockading house over evictions

Portland police clash with protesters blockading house over evictions
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Authorities in Portland, Ore., clashed with protesters Tuesday who were outraged over several arrests made near a home where a family was evicted in September.

In recent days, groups of activists have camped outside a house dubbed "Red House on Mississippi" — located on North Mississippi Avenue — expressing outrage about gentrification and the eviction of a Black and Indigenous family in September, The Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday, violence broke out between police and protesters in broad daylight near the home, with demonstrators hurling rocks at officers, spraying fire extinguishers, and damaging police cars.

Portland has been a location for frequent protests and demonstrations this year, some leading to violent brawls between officers and demonstrators. Much of the protests ignited following the death of unarmed Black man George Floyd in Minneapolis police in May.

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The owner of the property where the eviction took place issued a complaint that people were trespassing. Officers showed up at the location before dawn, arresting seven.

According to the Oregonian, which cited a website for the protest group, the house had belonged to the Kinney family since the 1950s.

The Kinney family had paid off the home but took out a new mortgage to pay defense lawyers after a family member was arrested in 2002, according to the activist group.

The house went into foreclosure and was sold to a developer at a 2018 auction, according to the group.

Activists said their presence at the site is an effort "to reclaim" the property for the family and save it from foreclosure.

Before making any arrests, police blocked streets and sidewalks near the property to help sheriff's deputies remove protesters from the property, a police statement said.

Officers stood nearby while a fence was erected around the house around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. It was later dismantled by the protesters to help create their barricade.

The police statement went on to note the department had received at least 81 calls about the property, with complaints ranging from reports of fights, gunshots fired, burglary, thefts, vandalism, noise violations, trespassing, threats, among other claims.

Following the brawl between law enforcement and activists, police found one suspect at the property with a gun and took them into custody, later discovering more firearms on the property.