Portland's peaceful protesters want to make good.
In the wake of a "riot" on the part of a minority of Anti-Trump activists last night—which saw widespread property damage in the Pearl and Lloyd districts, and which ended only after riot cops used pepper spray and less-lethal munitions—the new group Portland's Resistance says it will help undo the damage.
In a press release early this morning, group organizer Gregory McKelvey announced his group would be volunteering today "to clean up our city that was vandalized by individuals who are not connected to our group."
Details of those plans remain sketchy. McKelvey pointed the Mercury to an event listing on his group's Facebook page, but one doesn't appear to exist. (There was a separate cleanup effort organized by Pearl District residents.)
What is clear is that Portland's Resistance is having success in generating money to clean up at least some of the damage from last night. A GoFundMe page set up less than 10 hours ago has already generated more than
$9,000 $10,000 $32,000 from more than 1,000 people. The money is targeted at "small and local businesses," possibly as opposed to banks and Starbucks franchises that were also damaged.
Still, that's likely a fraction of the money it will take to repair broken windows at businesses all through the Pearl, and a host of broken windshields at a Toyota dealership on NE Broadway, to say nothing of the "Fuck Trump" graffiti that sprouted up everywhere last night.
McKelvey has repeatedly disavowed those actions, pointing out that a vast majority of the thousands of people marching in the streets last night was peaceful. McKelvey was also very clear in his instructions at the outset of the protest, though, warning people not to interrupt protesters who were, for instance, setting things on fire.
"If you see someone being destructive, move away from them," he told a large crowd gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square. "Do not yell at them. Do not censor their activism."
This morning, Mayor Charlie Hales and Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler also issued their first statements on last night's destruction.
"Although the majority of over 4,000 protesters last night were peaceful and followed Portland Police safety instructions, anarchists shut down these voices by spreading violence and fear," said Hales, who applauded the actions of police to tamp down the property destruction. ""Riots and violence in our streets are completely unacceptable. I hope that all Portlanders will help our local small businesses recover."
Wheeler, in part, said: "Last night, what started as a peaceful protest ended in violence and vandalism. While this was caused by a small group of people among thousands, such a conclusion is unacceptable. None of us – protesters, business owners, or the community at large – can afford for this to happen again."
McKelvey's group is calling on activists to meet at 5 pm at City Hall, for a fourth consecutive day of post-election demonstration.