PORTLAND, OR — It was 1:45 a.m. on Monday and the streets in downtown Portland seemed like a battlefield due to the clashes between the Oregon State Police and people who have protested against racism for several weeks.
The presence of federal forces deployed by the order of President Donald Trump did not help to quell the fury.
But at that moment, an appearance dramatically changed the scene. A completely naked woman emerged from a group of protesters who had been pushed by police toward the intersection of Third Avenue and Taylor Street. She only wore a mask that covered her nose and mouth and a hat on her head. Not knowing the identity of this woman, some fans decided to call her “Naked Athena”.
The woman walked down the sidewalk, then about 30 meters from the officers she started doing a series of yoga and ballet poses under the gaze of officers. Finally, she sat with her legs and arms outstretched. The recording and photographs of the unusual moment went quickly viral on different social networks.
“Everyone seemed shocked and a little amazed,” said Dave Killen, photographer for The Oregonian / OregonLive. He explained that the officers shot peppercorns at the woman’s feet and that another protester ran in front of her with a homemade shield, but she dodged it.
However, the officers left 10 minutes later and with them the strange woman also left, according to Killen’s account.
Monday had been another hot night in Portland, as a group of people set fire to the entrance of a courthouse building while federal agents used tear gas to disperse them. In a video broadcast on the internet, protesters were seen tearing down the fence. A Portland police
statement said they ran to court and were repelled by federal agents.
“Dozens of individuals with shields, helmets, gas masks, umbrellas, bats, and hockey sticks approached the doors” of the court until federal officials came out and dispersed them,” Portland police said.
“At 1:34 a.m. people lit a fire within the portico in front of the federal courthouse. Others gathered around the fire adding wood and other debris to make it larger. At 1:42 a.m. federal law enforcement came out of the courthouse, dispersed the crowd and extinguished the fire,” said Portland Police.
A department statement said that police officers did not engage with the crowd and federal agents only came out of the courthouse periodically to keep the demonstrators at bay.