Portland police make more than 24 arrests as May Day march turns ugly
PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — Protesters are squaring off with police in downtown Portland after officers reported rocks, smoke bombs and cans of soda being thrown at them by marchers.
The protesters started the afternoon holding a rally in Shemanski Park before the planned march through the streets of downtown Portland.
The rally organized by the Portland May Day Coalition kicked off at around 2 p.m. with speakers denouncing recent arrests by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents and discussing workers’ rights.
Around 3:30 p.m. the march began to head out on the permitted route, at first without any issues.
Just before 4 p.m., the Portland Police Bureau reported that rocks were thrown at officers near Southwest 4th Avenue and Columbia Street, though there were no injuries. Other parts of the march continued on peacefully.
The incidents between the police and protesters started to escalate, though, with officers reporting a medic was hit with a can of soda and that windows had been broken at the Green/Wyatt Federal Building.
The PPB suggested that the permitted marchers separate from the “anarchist” group performing acts of vandalism. They also reported that officers were putting on “personal protective equipment” due to more projectiles being targeted at them.
Just before 4:30 p.m., the PPB pulled the permit for the march, citing actions by anarchists. Officers advised that “law-abiding participants” use the sidewalks to leave the area and warned that anyone remaining in the streets would be arrested.
Officers have deployed impact munitions against the protesters who were throwing projectiles and have warned nearby business that chemical munitions may be deployed and that HVAC systems should be turned off.
Police also reported that anarchists started a fire near Southwest 3rd Avenue and Morrison Street and that they have been throwing incendiary devices including fireworks and Molotov cocktails at police. Officers say they also have destroyed a police vehicle and are destroying windows and property around the area.
Officers also said three people were arrested near Pioneer Courthouse Square and advise that people stay away from the downtown area.