PROTESTERS TARGET WHEELER: More than 200 people on Monday night marched to the Pearl District condominium tower where Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler lives to demand his resignation.
The night’s event started with a sardonically festive scene. Monday was Wheeler’s birthday, and some in the crowd wore party hats. Before the march began, a contingent sang “Happy tear gas to you” to the tune of the birthday song in a reference to his police bureau’s use of irritant gases to disperse protesters.
The demonstration quickly turned destructive as some in the crowd lit a fire in the street, then placed a picnic table from a nearby business on top of the fire to feed the blaze. People shattered windows and broke into a ground-floor dental office took items including a chair, also added to the fire, and office supplies.
Shortly after 11 p.m., a bundle of newspapers was set ablaze and thrown into a ground-floor storefront in the residential building.
Around the same time, police arrived and warned over a loudspeaker that the gathering had been declared an unlawful assembly, then a riot. Officers ordered people to leave to the west.
The 16-story building contains 114 residences — but the fire didn’t appear to spread and was quickly extinguished. Police used crowd-control munitions and released smoke into the air as they pushed the crowd west.
They ultimately arrested nearly 20 people. Police later said arson investigators were looking for the person who started the fire.