In Portland, spirits are heating up as they await the results of the presidential election

Protesters armed with assault rifles burned American flags and marched, without violence despite the post-election confusion, in the streets of Portland, in the northwest of the United States, on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. The liberal enclave in Oregon feared armed clashes after months of tense protests between far-left activists, far-right militiamen and federal police.

After incumbent President Donald Trump proclaimed his re-election to Democrat Joe Biden, as key states did not finish their counting, activists gathered outside Portland Federal Court, the epicenter of anti-racist protests. strained having enameled the summer.

“We don't like any of the candidates - I shamefully voted for Biden - but if Trump takes over for four years, people are going to go berserk,” a young protester said as two American flags burned outside the building.

Anti-Trump slogans

Many chanted anti-Trump and anti-Portland mayor Ted Wheeler slogans re-elected on Tuesday, while others danced to loud hip hop. The FBI warned of the risk of armed clashes linked to the presidential election, but no activity by far-right groups was visible.

In the early hours of Wednesday, the police had not opposed the protesters.

The evening began with a peaceful three-hour march bringing together 400 people as part of the "Black Lives Matter" movement against racism and police violence, headed by half a dozen people equipped with assault rifles, knives and a gun.

Protesters exchanged the latest election news as it fell. "I heard Trump is in the lead now," said organizer Ty Ford, 20. "It's going to be a riot. When it does, it's going to get crazy."

The atmosphere was sometimes relaxed when protesters tried to convince residents watching them from their windows to join them in the street.

“Hey, stick your heads out the window, tell us how the election is going - and then maybe you could put on your shoes and come help us start a revolution,” one activist shouted.

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