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Anti-Trump Protest in Portland Declared a Riot After Citywide Destruction by ‘Anarchists’

Demonstrators in Oregon protest president-elect Donald Trump. Image courtesy of InfoWars.

Demonstrators in Oregon protest president-elect Donald Trump. Image courtesy of InfoWars.

Protests in Portland, Oregon turned violent overnight as demonstrators took to the streets for the third night in a row to denounce new president-elect Donald J. Trump. Widespread destruction throughout the city ultimately led authorities to deem the once peaceful protest a “riot.”

According to OregonLive, police declared the demonstration a riot over three hours after its 5 p.m. start, citing “extensive criminal and dangerous behavior.” Authorities said they informed the crowd of the designation, warning that rioting is considered a class C felony. The Portland Police Dept. later tweeted that 26 people had been arrested during the protest, which lasted into the wee hours of Friday morning.

In another tweet posted around 12:40 a.m., police seemingly blamed a concentrated group of “anarchists” — or people who reject the idea of government — from turning the peaceful protest into a violent one. The department tweeted that demonstrators were attempting to keep “anarchist groups from destroying property.”

Portland police spokesman St. Pete Simpson also told the Washington Post that anarchists “aligned with Black Bloc groups” to infiltrate the peaceful rally while “covered head-to-toe and carrying weapons.”

“Their tactic is go out and destroy property,” Simpson said of the unruly demonstrators. He asserted that peaceful protesters tried to stop the more violent ones but, “they’re not having any luck.”

But did “anarchists” really take over the anti-Trump rally or were things just bound to get out of hand? It depends on who you ask.

Teressa Raiford, a community organizer in Portland, said the rally began as a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, but things escalated later in the evening as protesters unaffiliated with the group began joining in.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Gregory McKelvey, a spokesman for the new Portland’s Resistance movement, asserted that his organization had nothing to do with the violence that erupted in the city Thursday night.

Per OregonLive, police reported that officers were “taking projectiles” as protesters hurled bottles and even fireworks at authorities. That’s when police deployed several non-lethal munitions like rubber bullets and flash grenades in an effort to disperse the large crowd.

The demonstration eventually moved into Northeast Portland, where at least 19 cars at the Toyota of Portland dealership were vandalized, a sales manager told the news site. Business windows on Northwest Lovejoy Street and elsewhere were also shattered.

“Nazism is coming to America,” Portland Anarchist Black Cross organizer Greg Clark told Buzzfeed News after police attempted to move in on protesters late Thursday night. “We’re one bad day away from a nuclear holocaust. Trump wants to indiscriminately murder the families of the people who are on whatever terrorist watch he keeps.”

Buzzfeed reports that the Portland Anarchist Black Cross also reportedly helped organize the protest, as group members marched through the city streets to denounce Trump as well as the U.S. government’s response to climate change, police violence, and racism among other things. Clark closed by stating, “We do not condemn the actions anyone took tonight.”

The police later advised peaceful protesters not wanting to be associated with the anarchists to disperse from the area immediately. An activist affiliated with Portland’s Resistance group said the organization was only looking to survive a Trump presidency with hopes that the city would “become a beacon of light for the rest of the nation,” NPR reports.

Less-violent protests against president Trump continued in cities across the nation like New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago.

Trump himself weighed in on the demonstrations, tweeting, “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”

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