Police in Portland, Oregon arrested 25 May Day demonstrators who participated in a full-scale riot where protesters set bonfires, shattered business windows and attacked police and emergency personnel Monday, the Gateway Pundit reports.
Among those arrested and charged with riot are three minors, ages 17, 17, and 14, who were later released to their parents.
The city-permitted demonstration initially began with a peaceful march. But 90 minutes into the rally, authorities declared the gathering a riot when black-clad protesters started throwing Molotov cocktails, smoke bombs and other missiles at police.
May Day is International Workers’ Day where protesters around the world celebrate it by demanding better working conditions, but has expanded in the U.S. in recent years as support for immigrants.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Tuesday, “In Portland we respect peaceful protest, but we do not and cannot support acts of violence and vandalism.” “That’s not political speech. That’s crime,” Wheeler said.
The Portland May Day Coalition, a coalition made up of nearly 50 organizations that organized the rally and march, addressed the incident on Facebook saying the police “chose to violently escalate a peaceful march.”