Purported Antifa activists late Friday smashed windows and hurled snowballs at police officers after gathering downtown.
Some 30 to 50 people gathered at Director Park around 8 p.m. before marching to the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct, the bureau said in an incident summary. After arriving, the group began throwing objects and yelling at officers.
When police went outside to move their cars in an effort to prevent them from being damaged, “the officers were pelted with icy snowballs by participants,” the bureau said.
Video footage captured by reporters on the ground showed the crowd initially throw snowballs at police cruisers as they drove around before hitting officers on foot. The crowd chanted, “Quit your job!”
According to reports, the crowd consisted, at least in part, of members of the far-left, anarcho-communist Antifa network. The network is vehemently against the police, frequently calling for the abolishment of police departments and jails. The crowd was shown shouting at the officers as they retreated back inside the building.
Police tried de-escalating the situation by attempting to remain “out of sight as much as possible,” the bureau said, but “officers were forced to monitor in case the group became more violent or caused damage to city property.”
“While officers were occupied with that, there were calls stacking up in the precinct, including numerous calls for welfare checks on houseless community members who were exposed to the frigid weather. Among other duties, officers were facilitating getting those individuals to warming shelters if they wished,” it said.
The hostile group soon surrounded police cars approaching the station and blocked traffic.
Later in the night, the crowd moved away from the station and went on a short march. They smashed windows at a medical clinic and a Starbuck’s and sprayed graffiti on a Nordstrom.
The graffiti read, “ACAB Includes Joe + Kamala.” ACAB is a common Antifa slogan that stands for “all cops are [expletive].” The group is opposed to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
The situation unfolded as the PNW Youth Liberation Front, an Antifa-affiliated group that helps organize actions in Portland, shared posts on Twitter calling for an insurrection.
One post denigrated another that had labeled protests as good and insurrections as bad.
The crowd dissipated by 11:30 p.m. No arrests were made and no injuries were reported. Anyone with information about the suspects who vandalized the businesses and harassed officers were asked to email the bureau.