posted at 3:01 pm on May 2, 2017 by John Sexton
Yesterday I wrote about riots in Paris where masked anarchists threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police. But the anarchist violence wasn’t limited to France on May Day. In Portland, Oregon, protesters had permission to march on an approved route through the city yesterday. However, after just 15 minutes, a group of anarchists took over and began throwing objects, including cans of Pepsi, at police. The use of Pepsi cans may be a coincidence or this may be a response to the Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner in which protesters were shown to make peace with police through the sharing of a can of Pepsi. From KATU 2:
It began peacefully, but after only about 15 minutes of the march, an anarchist group appeared to take over, tossing cans of Pepsi at police and medics. No one was injured.
About an hour later, the march permit was cancelled by police. Anarchists allegedly threw Molotov cocktails, rocks, lead balls and more Pepsi cans at law enforcement.
The event was declared a riot by 5 p.m.
This video from KOIN 6 captures the moment police canceled the march. As you can see, there were initially families with young children participating:
Once the march was canceled the police began chasing the anarchists through the streets as the anarchists set fires and vandalized businesses. A window was broken at the federal building. Windows were smashed at a Target store and someone threw a flare inside apparently attempting to set the building on fire. At least two Wells Fargo bank branches were spray-painted and locks were sprayed with a what appears to be expanding foam sealant.
You can see much of the vandalism take place in this clip by KOIN 6 (starting around 3:15) where a Target store is vandalized. Shortly afterward anarchists vandalize a police car. The reporters who were watching this happen were clearly appalled by what they were seeing. “That’s $50,000 of taxpayer money right there,” one of the anchors says. The reporter on the scene replies, “Yeah, that’s right, Dan, that’s you and I and Jennifer, we’re funding this right here. This is our money being burned here.”
Also worth noting in the clip above, something which the reporters didn’t even mention. About 55 seconds in police walk past a sign that has been spray painted with the message “Kill Cops.”
The Mayor of Portland issued a statement on Twitter criticizing the violence and praising the police response:
— Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) May 2, 2017
Finally, it’s worth noting what never seems to follow these incidents: A national discussion of left-wing violence. The same national media which is always eager to talk about a ‘climate of hate’ on the right, is just as eager to carefully distinguish between peaceful protesters on the left and violent anarchists (also on the left). But as I’ve suggested before, the two groups have a symbiotic relationship. Given the number of violent incidents we’ve seen this year (the inauguration, Berkeley, etc.) at some point the media might want to speculate just a little bit about the climate of hate on the left.