Around 150 people marched through Portland’s Pearl District in what’s called a «direct action» event, smashing windows of businesses like Starbucks, Chipotle, Umpqua Bank and Urban Pantry and tagging them with graffiti, KION-TV in Portland reported.
One vandal wrote «banks suck» on Umpqua Bank’s façade, a Portland Tribune reporter tweeted.
The marchers were protesting the Biden administration’s immigration policy and the federal agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The White House received progressive pushback this month when it reopened a Texas shelter meant to house unaccompanied teenage migrants. Amid the blowback, the administration has claimed the shelter «won’t stay open very long.»
Ahead of Saturday’s unrest, several Portland business owners had boarded up their storefronts in anticipation of the planned protest, FOX 12 in Portland reported.
«We have removed everything that could possibly cause damage tonight,» Jim Rice, owner of Fields Bar and Grill, told the station. The restaurant was already damaged on Friday. It was unclear if it suffered any further damage Saturday.
«When these people come through, and we’ve lost an entire day of business which means that’s impacting my team member’s wages. This has been going on for nine months,» he continued. «Where are our resources? When do we get enough resources to finally go after and fix this?»
Profanity-laden slogans and messages like «No kids in cages» were spray-painted all over ICE’s nearby field office.
Windows were also broken at a grocery store, restaurant, shipping business, and several coffee shops, police said.
Portland police began arrests around 10 p.m. ET and warned the protesters if they didn’t disperse they could be subjected to tear gas and impact munitions, KGW-TV in Portland reported.
Police noted in a news release that while tear gas was restricted it could be used following an ignored warning.
Officers were also constrained in their ability to respond to the incidents because of several shootings across the city, the release said.
Officers made two arrests: A 31-year-old was arrested for criminal mischief in the first degree and a 17-year-old was detained for interfering with a peace officer and escape in the third degree.
The department said it may arrest more of the rioters.
Portland has faced months of anti-police protests and rioting that was inflamed by the police-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.