Portland’s Resistance leaders taken into custody

Student-led protest began at Holladay Park

Portland's Resistance leader Gregory McKelvey was taken into police custody for ignoring police orders during a protest march, November 21, 2016 (KOIN)
Portland's Resistance leader Gregory McKelvey was taken into police custody for ignoring police orders during a protest march, November 21, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — What began as a student-led protest against Donald Trump at Holladay Park turned into another full-fledged march through the streets and ended when the leaders of Portland’s Resistance were taken into custody.

Gregory McKelvey, Micah Rhodes and Kathryn Stevens were all arrested for 2nd-degree disorderly conduct, Portland police said Monday night. Rhodes and Stevens were also charged with interfering with a peace officer.

McKelvey and Rhodes, each 23, were arrested after police said they encouraged student protesters to disobey police orders from a loudspeaker during the march. McKelvey was arrested at SW 5th and Salmon, and the 24-year-old Stevens was arrested when she tried to interfere with his arrest.

Rhodes was arrested at SW 2nd and Madison.

They will be arraigned Tuesday.

The protest

About 50 high school students gathered at 4 p.m. with signs showing their displeasure with the president-elect. Speakers then also talked about other hot-button topics, including the Dakota Access pipeline and no-cause evictions in Portland. By 5 p.m., about 100 people were at the park.

Shortly after that, they began marching through the streets in Northeast Portland. As the march continued, more people joined. As they marched, they chanted now-familiar slogans: “The people united will never be divided,” “Whose street? Our street!” “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Women’s rights are human rights,” among others.

Police repeatedly used loudspeakers to try and direct the marchers away from traffic and allow them to continue marching. Quite often, though Portland’s Resistance leader Gregory McKelvey tried to get the marchers to ignore police orders, especially during their time on the Burnside Bridge.

As they marched into Southwest Portland, the marchers continued to ignore police orders. During a faceoff with police, McKelvey was taken into custody.

Shortly after that, the crowd moved to City Hall and got much smaller. About 50 protesters then marched to the Portland Police Bureau headquarters and sat on the curb.

The students maintain they organized Monday’s protest and only reached out to Portland’s Resistance for guidance. Portland’s Resistance is the same group that led the peaceful demonstrations-turned-riots a little more than a week ago.

This PPS student said he was one of the organizers of this anti-Trump protest, November 21, 2016 (KOIN)
This PPS student said he was one of the organizers of this anti-Trump protest, November 21, 2016 (KOIN)

Portland Public School officials were concerned about possible student protests this week, they said in a letter to parents on Sunday.

The letter said they are thankful last week’s walk out ended peacefully but that Portland Police warned them “there are some outside organizations encouraging students to participate in additional protests this week.”

Portland's Resistance leader Gregory McKelvey spoke at a student protest against Donald Trump at Holladay Park, November 21, 2016 (KOIN)
Portland’s Resistance leader Gregory McKelvey spoke at a student protest against Donald Trump at Holladay Park, November 21, 2016 (KOIN)

One of those organizations is Portland’s Resistance. Leader Gregory McKelvey told KOIN 6 News PPS students had been attending his group’s protests from the beginning, and they reached out to Portland’s Resistance for help organizing the protest.

Last week’s protest during school attracted more than 400 students.

The Portland Student Solidarity Protest had over 1,000 people ‘interested’ in the event on Facebook.