Goggles soon become a necessity. Two masks help shield your throat from the invisible, sharp air, and as the first sounds of a mortar erupts, ski helmets begin to emerge from neighboring backpacks. A couple hundred feet from the crowd a group of kids spray paint the face of a pig and write some profanity about their mayor, Ted Wheeler.
Then, "The Wall of Mothers," dressed in yellow, linking arms around the outside of the protest—many are armed with baking soda water in spray bottles (a nice remedy to neutralize burning eyes when exposed to tear gas) and some have shields to protect from rubber bullets. To the left is a cooler of water bottles, volunteers are passing them out to passing protesters, and in the distance the smoke from Riot Ribs mixes into the tear-gas-stained air.
Welcome to the pinpoint of American news and politics: Portland's Federal Courthouse.