Willamette Week, “Black Bloc Marches Into Bar District After Portland Mayor Pledges Crackdown”

Along Northwest 21st Avenue, tipsy bar patrons at outdoor tables watched merrily, with one woman raising her fist.

By Justin Yau & Aaron Mesh, April 24, 2021

After a day in which the family of a man killed by Portland police called for an independent prosecutor, and the mayor promised a crackdown on police-abolition activists who smash windows during protest marches, a few dozen black bloc marchers entered the upscale Alphabet District as bars were nearing last call.

As Mayor Ted Wheeler warned Friday of a march starting in Couch Park, and said he would extend a state of emergency through the weekend, business owners in Northwest Portland and the Pearl District swiftly boarded up their windows, anticipating vandalism.

About 50 protesters arrived in Couch Park after dark and, at 9:15 pm, marched westward—into the center of outdoor dining and drinking on 21st Avenue. The group marched through the street to the beat of drums. Along 21st, tipsy bar patrons at outdoor tables watched merrily, with one woman raising her fist. Some bargoers joined in the chants. “Fuck Ted Wheeler!” they said, laughing.

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