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Portland Anti-Trump Protest Declared a ‘Riot’ on Third Night of Unrest

mBy Nico Lang

Twenty-six people were arrested in Portland after local police declared a “riot” following three consecutive nights of protests in the Oregon city.

Thursday night’s demonstration, which was organized by a coalition of groups calling themselves “Portland’s Resistance,” began as a peaceful gathering. Thousands of protesters took the streets, chanting “Not my president!” and blocking through-traffic. The scene became violent, however, when groups not affiliated with the protest began joining in, vandalizing property and starting fires, as Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.

A small subset of the estimated 4,000 protesters shattered the windows of local businesses, threw beer bottles at police officers, and damaged parked vehicles, including doing a reported thousands of dollars in damage to a used car lot. Others set fire to a dumpster.

The destruction has been blamed on local anarchist groups. As the vandalism escalated, the Portland Police Department tweeted, “Those not wanting to be associated with anarchists should leave the area immediately.” Law enforcement attempted to direct those who didn’t want to be associated with criminal actions to a safer area.

According to authorities, many peaceful demonstrators attempted to intervene. “Many in crowd trying to get anarchist groups to stop destroying property,” Portland officers tweeted.

Portland’s Resistance, in the hours following the property destruction, disavowed the damage in a Facebook post, claiming that they would be organizing efforts to help pay for the rebuilding effort. “The violent actions that occurred last night had absolutely nothing to do with our group,” the group stated in the press release.

Demonstrations, some violent and others peaceful, also occurred in cities like Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis as crowds came together to protest Trump’s upset victory on Tuesday’s election.

In Oakland, Calif., a crowd estimated at over 1,000 people hurled firecrackers and Molotov cocktails at officers, as CNN reports. Eleven people were taken into custody in the east bay city, which was peppered with “Kill Trump” graffiti in the early hours of Thursday morning, while another 185 demonstrators were arrested in Los Angeles.

Trump, who had previously been silent on social media since becoming the president-elect, blamed the media for inciting “professional protesters” to denounce an “open and successful presidential election.” “Very unfair!” Trump tweeted.

He struck an entirely different tone just hours later.

“Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country,” Trump said on Twitter. “We will all come together and be proud!”

Many have pointed out the discrepancy between Trump lashing out against protesters and his own reaction to Barack Obama’s victory in the 2012 election. On Twitter, the billionaire businessman instructed those upset about the president’s win to march on Washington in order to “stop this travesty.”

“We can’t let this happen,” he tweeted, adding: “Our nation is totally divided!”

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