Friday, November 11, 2016

Police in Portland declared the city’s protests a “riot” Thursday night as throngs shut down streets, smashed windows, vandalized cars and set small fires into the early morning hours as part of a wave of protests in cities across the country against the election of Donald Trump.

Around 4,000 people took to Portland’s streets at the peak of the demonstration, confronting drivers, spray painting buildings and smashing electrical boxes with baseball bats, Pete Simpson, public information officer for the Portland Police department, told The Washington Post. By early Friday morning, at least 29 people had been arrested in Portland, police said.

Police used pepper spray and “rubber baton rounds,” among other things, in efforts to disperse protesters.

What began as a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest at about 6 p.m. escalated as the night wore on due to demonstrators not affiliated with the group, said Teressa Raiford, a community organizer in Portland.

“They’re not coming to show solidarity, they’re coming because they know there’s going to be a big crowd,” Raiford said. “They don’t respect our movement.”

Simpson said anarchists “aligned with the Black Bloc groups” infiltrated the peaceful demonstration “covered head-to-toe and carrying weapons.”

“Their tactic is go out and destroy property,” Simpson said. Peaceful protesters tried to stop the more violent individuals, but “they’re not having any luck,” Simpson said.

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