Thousands of protesters moved through the streets of downtown Portland on Thursday night to speak out on a wide range of issues, including the election of Donald Trump.
People turned out in droves, gathering first at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Thursday was the third night people have protested in the city since Trump won the general election. Police estimated the crowd at around 4,000 people during its peak.
Traffic was heavily interrupted as protesters moved across the other major roadways. The protest remained largely peaceful, but marchers at times clashed with bystanders. A person smashed the windshield of one woman’s car during an altercation, and graffiti was spray painted on buildings and at least one vehicle during the march.
Later in the evening, what appeared to be a small subgroup of self-described anarchists began to damage cars at a Toyota dealership and ignite fireworks, before moving through the Pearl District and damaging several businesses.
Around 8:30 p.m., Portland Police said they considered the action a “riot.” The police bureau said in a tweet authorities arrested “at least” 26 people.
“Due to extensive criminal and dangerous behavior, protest is now considered a riot. Crowd has been advised,” the department tweeted. Police later revised the number, saying 26 people were detained but only 25 had been arrested.
Loudspeakers downtown warned protesters that they could be arrested.
Officers in riot gear guided the peaceful protesters in the group toward Pioneer Courthouse Square again around 10 p.m.
Several people who ignored those orders were detained by police.
Early in the evening, many people carried signs reading “Not My President,” “Love Trumps Hate” and “Save the Earth.”
Portland activist Greg McKelvey, who has helped manage actions with the group Don’t Shoot Portland, announced Thursday that several are groups would be working together under the new name, Portland’s Resistance.
“In order to survive President Trump there needs to be a strong resistance. Our group believes that Portland has an opportunity to become a beacon of light for the rest of the nation,” McKelvey wrote in a press release.
However, he said the group would also focus on more than Trump, including police brutality, rent control, LGBTQ issues and homeless rights.
McKelvey said he planned to leave the protest as it became more violent throughout the evening.
Peaceful protests took place across the nation in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and several other cities, with thousands of people marching.
President-elect Trump initially took to Twitter to question the spontaneity of the actions, calling them “professional protesters, incited by the media.”
Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
He then painted the protests in a more positive light in a later tweet.
Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
This article was updated Nov. 11, 2016, at 11:20 a.m. with the police department’s revised arrest numbers.