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As Portland Protests Turn Violent, It Is Important to Know How to Protect Yourself

The Portland area has active, involved residents, many of whom do not hesitate to come together and speak out over a variety of issues. For decades, protesters have taken to city streets as a way of affecting social change, while raising awareness in the community and among local officials. While largely peaceful, recent events have taken a more violent turn, resulting in serious personal injuries among participants. While this is unlikely to deter those who feel passionate about current events, it does make it more important than ever to take certain precautions, both to protect yourself and to ensure responsible parties are held accountable when injuries do occur.

Clashes Cause Injuries In Recent Protests

Downtown Portland was the site of recent protests that resulted in violent clashes among two opposing parties, which left multiple people suffering potentially serious injuries. According to a July 1, 2018 U.S. News & World Report, fights broke out in the aftermath of an otherwise peaceful protest over current immigration laws.

Following the morning’s activities, members of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer descended on the scene and staged their own march and rally. Violence broke out when they were confronted by counter anti-fascist protesters. The Portland police reported that members of both groups hurled rocks, bottles, and other projectiles as officers moved through the crowd, arresting suspects and seizing knives, clubs, and other weapons. In an effort to disperse the protesters and to prevent the situation from further escalating, flash bang grenades were eventually employed. In total, four people were taken to local hospitals, and at least one law enforcement official suffered injuries as a result.

Know Your Rights and Protect Yourself In Protests

While citizens have the constitutional right to peacefully assemble with like-minded people and to voice their concerns over public policies, serious injuries can result when interactions with counter protesters or even law enforcement officials become heated. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) advises protesters to be aware of their surroundings, to cooperate with police officers at the scene, and to respect the rights of counter-protesters, even if you strongly disagree with what they stand for. Your cell phone or camera can prove useful in documenting evidence, particularly if fights, violent attacks, or other incidents involving injuries do occur.

If you are attending a protest and suffer personal injuries, make sure to do the following:

  • Report it to law enforcement or local security immediately;
  • Take videos or photos of the person or group responsible for your injuries;
  • Get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the incident;
  • Get medical attention immediately, even if you think your injuries are relatively minor.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you suffered injuries in the course of attending a protest or other type of demonstration, reach out to the Johnston Law Firm. We can arrange a consultation with our Portland personal injury attorney, who can advise you on how to hold those responsible accountable so you can get the compensation you need to recover.  Call (503) 546-3167 or contact us online today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.