May Day march becomes riot after anarchists clash with police

2017 May Day riot in downtown Portland. (KPTV image)

Protesters squared 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.

Hundreds now in park blocks as #MayDay2017 rally begins. March to follow. #fox12oregon— Simon Gutierrez (@sggutierrez) May 1, 2017
Speakers denouncing ICE arrests, supporting workers' rights. #MayDay2017 #fox12oregon— Simon Gutierrez (@sggutierrez) May 1, 2017

Around 3:30 p.m. the march began to head out on the permitted route, at first without any issues.

Marchers on the move.#MayDay2017 #fox12oregon— Simon Gutierrez (@sggutierrez) May 1, 2017
May Day march underway in PDX.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 1, 2017
March has turned on to 4th avenue heading past city hall in PDX.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 1, 2017

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.

We're passing 4th and Main. March is peaceful from our perspective.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 1, 2017

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.

Anarchists committing acts of violence/property damage during #MayDayPDX march. Permitted group encouraged to separate from them.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 1, 2017
Rocks, lead balls and full cans of @pepsi being launched at police. Officers will be donning personal protective equipment. #MayDay2017— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 1, 2017
We've seen a few things thrown from the crowd and a few broken windows towards the back of the march.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 1, 2017
Rocks, colored smoke being thrown at Porland Police blocking the Morison.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 1, 2017
Rapid response team moving in.— Simon Gutierrez (@sggutierrez) May 1, 2017

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.

Police hailing crowd on loudspeaker. Citing "violent" behavior, permit for march has been cancelled. #MayDayPDX #fox12oregon— Simon Gutierrez (@sggutierrez) May 1, 2017
Portland Police announcing over a loud speaker the march permit has been canceled by the city because of things being thrown at officers.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 1, 2017
Permit for #MayDayPDX march has been cancelled, anyone remaining in streets may be subject to arrest.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 1, 2017
Due to actions of anarchists in #MayDayPDX march, permit was cancelled. Law-abiding participants asked to use sidewalks and leave the area.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 1, 2017

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.

Police have made arrests near Pioneer Courthouse Square and in the area of 5th Avenue and Jefferson Street near City Hall.

Several rioters arrested 5th and Jefferson.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 2, 2017
Several folks detained, taken into custody at 5th and Jefferson. The intersection is shut down.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 2, 2017
Numerous people have been detained in the area of City Hall. #MayDayPDX Anyone remaining in the area is subject to arrest.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 2, 2017
Just watched another arrest at 6th and Madison.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 2, 2017

TriMet noted that MAX and bus services would be delayed in the area due to the riot, and police advised that people stay away from the downtown area.

TriMet busses delayed in the area PD working on traffic control.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) May 2, 2017
If you do not need to come to Downtown Portland, please stay away. #MayDayPDX is now considered a riot.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 1, 2017

Police said more than two dozen people were arrested during the riot.

More than two dozen people arrested during #MayDayPDX riot. Full details will be released later this evening.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 2, 2017

Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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