More than two dozen people have been arrested after rioting broke out during a legal May Day rally in Portland. Full cans of Pepsi, along with Molotov cocktails, rocks, smoke bombs and fireworks were thrown after anarchists started committing "random acts of vandalism" during what was a peaceful protest in the city in Oregon.
A paramedic was hit by one can in Shemanski Park, Portland Police Department confirmed. The throwing of the Pepsi appears to be a parody of the much-ridiculed advert in which model Kendall Jenner appears to defuse tension at a Black Lives Matter-esque protest by offering a police officer a can of the soft drink. The advert was quickly pulled after heavy criticism.
In total, 25 people including a 14-year-old boy, were arrested for offences such as rioting, disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer. Police warned residents via Twitter to stay away from downtown Portland while they dealt with the rioting, which also included anarchists destroying police cars and attempting to set fire to businesses.
Police told everyone who was taking part to leave the streets after cancelling the permit for the rally as the violence began, warning there were "unsafe conditions for lawful participants and families".
A Portland Police spokesperson said: "On Monday 1, 2017, 25 people were arrested after a permitted May Day rally and march devolved into a riot after dozens of suspects committed numerous criminal acts including disorderly conduct, riot, arson, criminal mischief (vandalism), theft, and assault.
"Early in the march, which was scheduled to travel through downtown Portland and return to Shemanksi Park, rocks and projectiles were being launched at police officers and paramedics, including a full Pepsi can that struck a Portland Fire & Rescue paramedic assigned to assist the Portland Police Bureau's Rapid Response Team (RRT).
"Shortly after that, the situation devolved into a full-scale riot with random acts of vandalism to downtown businesses, cars, and public and private property. Various fires were set in the street and in garbage cans, a police car was spray-painted and vandalized, and there were attempts to set at least one business on fire. Numerous projectiles were thrown at or launched at police and firefighters including rocks, bottles, ball bearings, fireworks, smoke bombs, and road flares."
Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman said: "I'm very proud of the professionalism of Portland police officers, Portland firefighters and the members of the other law enforcement agencies that worked to keep the peace in downtown Portland under very difficult circumstances.
"Unfortunately, the actions of the lawbreakers undermined and covered up the message of the law-abiding individuals who worked to peacefully get their message heard on May Day."
May Day rallies in the US are usually pro-labour and pro-worker demonstrations, but many this year also contained protests against President Donald Trump, especially his anti-immigration stance. Thousands took part in rallies across the US, in cities such as Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.