A man carries a segment of fencing towards a pile of stacked metal fence segments, which lean against a concrete wall covered in graffiti.

A protester stacks pieces of fence in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse on July 18, 2020. The federal police presence has galvanized protesters, bringing out a larger group than on recent nights.

Jonathan Levinson / OPB

After a new cycle of protests and vandalism, fencing is going back up around the Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland.

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The fence came down briefly last week, in an effort to return the city to normalcy, federal officials said.

Then, the courthouse almost immediately became a target for vandalism — again. During a protest Thursday night, people smashed windows and spray painted the building. Federal officials responded by using tear gas against the crowd.

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security confirmed the fencing will go back up.

The Department of Justice has spent more than $1.5 million repairing damage to the courthouse after it became a target last year. The fence itself cost over $200,000.

The protests began as a mass movement against racial injustice, but in recent months have shifted in tone and involve smaller groups of people.

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