#MayDayPDX march permit pulled; more than two dozen arrested during downtown riots

May Day 2017 in Portland (KATU News photo)

More than two dozen people were arrested Monday in downtown Portland after a permitted May Day march took a violent turn, police said.

PHOTOS: Portland's May Day events take a violent turn

The day's family-friendly activities started peacefully at Shemanski Park, with a handful of anarchists hanging out at the fringes. Police confiscated many of their homemade shields and other stick-like objects.

The organizers of the rally had a permit with the city for a march throughout downtown starting at 3 p.m. It began peacefully, but after only about 15 minutes of the march, an anarchist group appeared to take over, tossing cans of Pepsi at police and medics. No one was injured.

About an hour later, the march permit was cancelled by police. Anarchists allegedly threw Molotov cocktails, rocks, lead balls and more Pepsi cans at law enforcement.

The event was declared a riot by 5 p.m.

Damage report:

A window was broken at the US District Court and countless other incidents of vandalism and violence have been reported throughout downtown.

A large fire was set at SW Morrison and 4th Avenue by anarchists, and it was quickly cleared by police officers in riot gear. A Portland Police car was vandalized and broken into, and a station full of Biketown bikes had their tires slashed.

Multiple businesses downtown had their windows broken, and someone tossed a flare into the Target store.

Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson told KATU News it appeared as though a larger, more organized group of anarchists was present at this event versus the past few years.

If you have any photos, videos or tips regarding any crimes committed during the riot, you're asked to call police.

Initial rally remained peaceful:

Friends Marian Drake and Martin Anderson attended the rally earlier in the day and watched from a nearby park bench as they held balloons supporting the International Workers Union.

"Things are so screwed up in this country. You've got a city right here that's full of homeless people and you've got a president ...whose budget is going to cut 40 percent to the EPA and end Meals on Wheels. We don't like those kinds of things," Anderson said.

Across the street, friends Josh Elms and Ryan Falck sported red scarves and carried small Soviet flags as they prepared to march in support of workers' rights.

Elms, a teacher's aide who teaches kindergarteners how to read, said it was his first political rally and march and Trump's election drove him to participate.

"This is the first actual protest that I've participated in because this year, with the election, I was flummoxed," he said. "I could not believe that the election went the way it did. I do not have words."

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