Arrests, broken glass as Portland cops declare May Day riot
Portland police made multiple arrests as protesters marked May Day with broken glass and graffiti.
The nearly ritualized affair began after 9 p.m. Saturday, May 1, as no more than 150 black-clad protesters gathered at Shemanski Park on Southwest Park Avenue. Spontaneous chants of "f--- press" broke out as members of the group confronted several independent journalists.
"If you support anarchy you'd put your camera down and have a hell of a lot more fun," one hoarse voice in the crowd yelled. "There's like 12 anarchists and a f--- ton of press."
But it was windows, not cameras, that ended up getting smashed as the crowd departed the park and marched past City Hall into downtown Portland.
Authorities declared an unlawful assembly over a crackling public address system as soon as a Starbucks coffee shop's windows were smashed, and subsequently declared a riot after a second Starbucks received a similar treatment. In all, a third Starbucks near Pioneer Courthouse Square also had its windows broken. A window was shattered at Spa Sasse on Southwest Alder Street as well, and someone spray painted "Happy May Day" on the side of a Hilton hotel, though this was hardly the only evidence of fresh paint to be seen.
Officers on bicycles and the rapid response "alpha squad" then made at least two targeted arrests as the demonstrators returned to Shemanski Park. One protester using a Portland Loo found themselves stuck behind police lines as officers chucked away their shield propped outside the public toilet.
Court documents have not been filed yet for the May 1 arrests, though police have credited an "undercover law enforcement officer" with observing and communicating to uninformed officers the identity of a man arrested for smashing the windows of a Starbucks on April 20, according to a probable cause affidavit. An arrest made during an April 16 demonstration was based on the report of "a person known" by Detective Sean Macomber.
Around 50 protesters also gathered that night outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Southwest Portland, drawing a visible presence from federal officers. Several peaceful rallies and marches were held earlier in the day, though one daytime march to ICE heated up after a motorist slammed into several people in the crowd while driving into a nearby apartment building's underground parking garage.
A counterprotest planned for noon at City Hall fizzled, with only one conservative in attendance. He was ID'd by police as Michael Isaacs, 26, after being arrested on charges of menacing and second-degree disorderly conduct.
The first day of May, though not much celebrated here in America, is known as International Workers' Day throughout much of the rest of the world.
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