More than 100 anti-fascist demonstrators in Portland attacked police and vandalized the city’s Democratic Party of Oregon building Wednesday afternoon, breaking several windows in the process, according to police.
Before descending on the offices of the Democratic Party of Oregon, the crowd scuffled with police on bikes, who were monitoring the area where the group had told supporters to meet.
Police say the demonstrators used similar language in flyers announcing the Jan. 20 event as other rallies held months prior that “were punctuated by violence and destruction.” The fliers advertising a gathering at Revolution Hall discouraged live streaming or police, according to the city’s police bureau.
When the crowd gathered outside Revolution Hall, a music venue in the city, dozens of demonstrators started pushing against police and snatched one of the officers’ bikes in the melee. When other officers came to assist colleagues in the area, the demonstrators began blocking police when they tried to leave, the department said.
Reuters reports that one of the banners held by the demonstrators said, “We don’t want Biden. We want revenge for police murders, imperialist wars, and fascist massacres.” Some members of the group then moved dumpsters into the street and lit them on fire before the crowd started to disperse.
State capitols across the country were already on high alert on Wednesday for President Biden’s inauguration. Many state and law enforcement officials feared similar riots to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. would occur in their cities. For most of the nation, the day was quiet.
Portland has been a hotbed of anti-police and racial justice demonstrations. In summer, the city experienced more than 100 days of demonstrations and protests that turned violent.
Following the skirmish with officers on Wednesday, police arrested eight people between the ages of 18 and 38, some of whom were armed with knives and long poles, the department said.