Protesters gather, damage Democratic headquarters in Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A group of protesters carrying signs against President Joe Biden and police marched in Portland on Inauguration Day and damaged the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon, police said.
Some in the group of about 150 people smashed windows and spray-painted anarchist symbols at the political party building. Police said eight arrests were made in the area. Some demonstrators carried a sign reading, “We don’t want Biden, we want revenge!” in response to “police murders” and “imperialist wars.” Others carried a banner declaring “We Are Ungovernable.”
Police said on Twitter that officers on bicycles had entered the crowd to contact someone with a weapon and to remove poles affixed to a banner that they thought could be used as a weapon.
Police said the crowd swarmed the officers and threw objects at authorities, who used a smoke canister to get away.
The group was one of several that gathered in the city on Inauguration Day, police said. A car caravan in the city celebrated the transition of presidential power and urged policy change, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Another group gathered around 5 p.m. in northeast Portland with speakers talking about police brutality.
Portland has been the site of frequent protests, many involving violent clashes between officers and demonstrators, ever since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. Over the summer, there were demonstrations for more than 100 straight days.
Mayor Ted Wheeler has decried what he described as a segment of violent agitators who detract from the message of police accountability and should be subject to more severe punishment.
A group of about 100 people also marched in Seattle on Wednesday, where police said windows were broken at a federal courthouse and officers arrested three people.
The crowd called for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and, outside the federal immigration court, several people set fire to an American flag, The Seattle Times reported.