PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — About 200 people gathered in Grant Park in Portland Saturday night, then a large group of them marched down Sandy Boulevard smashing windows in what was labeled a march for abortion rights.
A flyer seen on social media labeled this a “direct action” and urged attendees to “Wear Black,” both common phrases used during the Portland protests that erupted in 2020.
“If Abortions Aren’t Safe Then You aren’t Either,” the flyer stated.
Official estimates said about 60 people, most of whom were dressed completely in black, began their march around 10 p.m. and immediately began breaking windows and scrawling graffiti.
Banks and coffee shops had windows broken by this “destructive group,” police said, along with damaging a Portland school van by breaking windows and tagging it.
A pregnancy resource center was vandalized with graffiti and broken windows.
A Tesla was seriously damaged on Northeast Hancock. A witness who saw it happen left a note on the car and tried to make a police report.
Authorities said the group cleared out around 10:45 p.m. That’s when police were able to take damage reports.
While there was a relatively heavy police presence at the scene during the vandalism, PPB officials said they “did not have resources to intervene in the moment.” They noted that at the same time as this was happening, there was a shooting and a stabbing in the East Precinct area and an impromptu dance party at Irving Park with about 1000 people that marched and blocked traffic.
“There were also calls about speed racers doing stunts in various parts of Portland,” officials said.
No arrests were made Saturday night, but that “does not mean that people are not being charged with crimes later,” they said. The investigations are ongoing.
Police are looking for help in 2 ways: Anyone in the area with surveillance cameras should check to see if they have anything that might be useful that happened between 10:06 p.m. and 10:40 p.m. Tips can be emailed: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secondly, if anyone sustained damage during this event, make a police report by calling 503.823.3333.
See photos of the damage done along Sandy Boulevard in a gallery.
This incident comes one night after 10 people were arrested in a so-called “Night of Rage” protest in Eugene on following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case. The unrest in Eugene started as a gathering near a pregnancy center and ended in 10 arrests, most for disorderly conduct.
Protesters also gathered in Portland Friday night. A crowd estimated at more than 1500 people voiced their displeasure over the Supreme Court decision. The gathering was peaceful.
However, around 11 p.m. a KOIN 6 News crew saw a separate group start marching, with some participants throwing glass bottles at the federal court house building and starting a street fire.
While the majority of the protest was peaceful, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell issued a statement saying “I respect the right to gather and demonstrate, and I urge everyone who does to do so peacefully.” Lovell continued “I urge you to reject any attempt to undermine your message by those who utilize the tactics of criminal destruction.”