- Associated Press - Saturday, January 21, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Police used incendiary devices to disperse a crowd in Portland and a man was shot and critically wounded in Seattle as protests against the inauguration of President Donald Trump turned violent.

Seattle Police said they removed a 32-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the abdomen at a University of Washington demonstration Friday night against a far-right commentator. People in Seattle marching against Trump had just walked to the campus where the rally against Milo Yiannopoulos was taking place Friday evening. Yiannopoulos writes for right-wing Breitbart News and is known for leading a harassment campaign that resulted in a lifetime ban from Twitter.

Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said the man who was shot arrived at the hospital at 9 p.m. and that he was in surgery and in critical condition. The Seattle Police Department released a statement early Saturday saying a person of interest in the shooting had turned himself in to University of Washington police. He was being questioned. No other details were immediately released.

In Portland, police used “flash-bang” grenades and tear gas Friday night to disperse a rowdy crowd. Authorities said some people in the crowd - that at one point numbered in the thousands - threw rocks, bottles, flares and “unknown liquid” at officers. The city’s entertainment district was closed following the incident.

By about 9:25 p.m. the crowd dwindled to about few dozen around the city’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, where earlier a small group of protesters burned American flags.

At first the flag burners, many of them masked and clad in black, had trouble because of the rain, but using lighter fluid they torched at least half a dozen flags. An ember briefly fell on the jacket of one participant but the fire was quickly put out.

The crowd in Portland then marched through downtown. Later, police announced the protest had become unlawful after some were seen armed with clubs and sticks and were throwing unknown liquid at officers.

Police said five people were arrested during the evening protests in Portland. Earlier in the day, police arrested another man who was wanted in connection with a November protest-turned-riot. When Billy Ellison, 18, was arrested he had a torch, knife and gas mask, police said.

He was booked into jail on two counts of interfering with public transportation.

Earlier in Seattle, protesters from Capitol Hill and Central District neighborhoods streamed downtown for an afternoon immigrant and refugee rights rally. Carrying signs that said “Fight Racism & Sexism” and “Resist Trump,” people from the earlier rallies met at Westlake Park downtown Friday afternoon.

People rallied and listened to speeches before resuming a march Friday evening, blocking traffic in some downtown areas.

Seattle officers at the park had confiscated wooden poles, heavy pipes and hammers, Seattle police said on Twitter.

About 200 protesters gathered on the Capitol steps in Olympia, carrying signs that included “Resist Trump” and “Not My President.” Later Olympia police reported that about 100 people marched through downtown, causing some traffic disruptions.

In Portland, there was a student walkout at Portland State University a couple of hours before the flag-burning.

Loren Ford and his wife, Judy Arter, stood watch with a sign that read “Impeach Trump.”

The couple traveled to Portland from the small town of Lebanon, Oregon to protest because they felt Trump was not fit for office due to conflicts of interest and his rejection of intelligence community reports that Russia had been involved in influencing the election.

“I think he needs to be investigated right off the bat,” Ford said.

Patricia Elliott, of Portland, said she felt compelled to attend the march and could not bring herself to watch the inauguration earlier on TV.

“I’d feel like I was saluting to fascism, for example, and I don’t want to participate in that at all.” she said.

Some businesses in Portland’s downtown announced they would close early because of the anticipated crowds. Owners of some establishments boarded up windows to prevent damage.

Portland protests after Trump’s election last November turned violent when a small group of demonstrators smashed windows, spray-painted buildings and started small fires. The demonstration caused about $1 million in damage, police have said.

The organizer of the Friday protest said he met with newly elected Mayor Ted Wheeler to discuss how to keep the rally peaceful.

The event’s goal is aimed at Trump and at putting pressure on local elected officials to make Portland “a sanctuary city, not just in the immigration sense of the word, but in every sense of the word,” said Gregory McKelvey.

“I probably wouldn’t have had a meeting with the mayor if I couldn’t put 10,000 people in the streets,” he said.

___

Baumann reported from Seattle. Associated Press writer Rachel La Corte contributed from Olympia, Washington.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide