PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — About a hundred people dressed in black gathered in downtown Portland near Jamison Square Park in downtown Portland Saturday for a different protest tactic — to ‘beautify’ the city.
Social media posts indicate that the agenda behind tonight’s demonstrations is to focus on cleaning up trash and hanging up flyers meant to educate the public on the wrongdoings of Portland Police Bureau.
Demonstrators also passed out bags of candy with notes that read, “Antifa loves you.”
The event Saturday was much quieter and more docile than what has been seen in recent weeks where some demonstrators lit fires, tagged buildings and broke windows.
Despite the change in tactics, the message appeared consistent with what the group has voiced in the past: Abolish Portland Police Bureau and Recall Mayor Ted Wheeler.
On Thursday, Wheeler held an online Town Hall to discuss the vandalism that has been so pervasive over the past 10 months.
He said last week that his was against anarchism and all forms of vandalism.
“The community is sick and tired of people engaging in criminal destruction and violence and doing it under the guise of some noble cause,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said during a news conference.
But others who support the demonstrations say that city leaders have never bothered to listen to them.
During last week’s town hall, Javier Reyes defended the vandalism and blamed city leaders, in part, for not following through on a list of “demands” which included further defunding the police and Wheeler’s resignation as mayor. He said, “You expect the people who are upset enough to break a window to meet you halfway when you won’t even step down from your position on this?”