Portland, Oregon is not just a hipster bastion full of women’s bookstores and people raising urban chickens (although, in fairness, both are commonplace). It’s a place that is passionate about books (Powell’s Books is the largest independent book store in the world), beer, bicycles, strip clubs (there are more per capita than any other state in the US), food carts, and politics. As the largest city in a consistently blue state, it is little wonder that the recent election left citizens of Stumptown reeling. In response, several protests have been held, with the latest one ending in a riot. But, the organizer of that protest has, in true Portland style, established a group of volunteers to repair the damage done.
News from KGW, a local NBC affiliate, reports the protest began as chiefly peaceful; thousands of participants raised their voices in chants and blocked roads. However, as the march continued, there began to be confrontations with bystanders. Everything went sideways when a group of self-described anarchists joined in and began jumping on cars in a Toyota lot and smashing their windows. The entire assembly crossed into the Pearl District, a tony neighborhood in downtown Portland, and marred businesses, breaking windows and using graffiti.
Portland Resistance, the group that originally organized the event, penned a press release disavowing the destruction done and clarifying the group’s intent. They aim to redirect the fear, frustration, and anger of many Portland residents into a “united front for peaceful change.” The group has partnered with some local organizations and formed a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for small and local businesses that were affected by the riot. In one day, over $45,000 was pledged. In addition, volunteers from Portland Resistance have gathered to sweep the streets and clean the graffiti.
The group will be holding a “rally and heal-in” at the Portland City Hall to discuss the repair campaign and their goals moving forward.