A visible leader of the new group Portland's Resistance was arrested Monday night, amid a protest largely comprised of Portland Public Schools students.
Gregory McKelvey, a Lewis and Clark law student who's been a central presence in anti-Donald Trump protests that have flourished since November 8, was arrested not long after 6 pm, after police had repeatedly tried to dictate marchers' route through town.
The exact reason for McKelvey's arrest was unclear, but police had warned marchers that deviating from the approved route or getting too near to officers trying to dictate that route could result in arrest. Local activist Cameron Whitten captured McKelvey's arrest on a livestream of the protest, and said it seemed the police had specifically targeted McKelvey and another activist, Kathryn Stevens, even though others were engaged in the same conduct.
Earlier in the night, cops suggested "adults" present in the crowd of students were urging them to disobey police orders.
Adults in protest march encouraging @ppsconnect kids to block traffic. March remains on Burnside Bridge. #pdxtraffic
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) November 22, 2016
The student-organized protest began at Holladay Park in Northeast Portland this afternoon, then morphed into a march. Demonstrators briefly blocked the Burnside Bridge, but the size of the action—far smaller than massive protests Portland's seen in recent weeks—received a lighter touch from police. Bike cops, rather than officers in riot gear, sought to control the march.
As of 6:30 pm, protesters had gathered outside of the city's Justice Center.
Update, 9:27 pm:
Cops have issued a release about the arrest of McKelvey and Stevens, as well as the subsequent arrest of Micah Rhodes, another organizer with Portland's resistance, near the Justice Center.
"During the march, police officers observed McKelvey and Rhodes actively encouraging and directing student protesters to counter lawful police orders which were being broadcast over a loudspeaker by police," the release says. "At Southwest 5th Avenue and Salmon Street, officers arrested McKelvey then arrested Stevens after she attempted to interfere with McKelvey's arrest. Rhodes was arrested later at Southwest 2nd Avenue and Madison Street."
All three of the organizers faces charges of disorderly conduct in the second degree. Stevens and Rhodes are also accused of interfering with a peace officer.
Here's a video showing the tail end of McKelvey's arrest.
The arrests have spurred outrage online, from people who think they had political motivations one day before Mayor Charlie Hales is scheduled to host a March for Hope on the waterfront.
PLEASE RETWEET: my statement on tonight's arrest of @GregoryMcKelvey, @prydekittie, & Micah Rhodes: https://t.co/kEgDZAoKwb @MayorPDX— Cameron Whitten (@CameronWhitten) November 22, 2016
@Pdx_resistance @MatPDX @dirquez @GregoryMcKelvey @portlandmercury Messed up after mayor agrees 2 march w us tmw! 🙈 saw video. Escalation 😡— Philip J. Wolfe (@philipjwolfe) November 22, 2016