A May Day demonstration in Portland was shut down after protesters thought it’d be funny to pelt police officers with cans of Pepsi in a nod to the soda giant’s nixed ad starring Kendal Jenner.
If the anti-Trump, pro-workers rights rally started off peacefully, a number of black-clad protesters were spotted downtown Portland on Monday afternoon encouraging folks to “get rowdy.” Some of them were even burning small American flags, according to the Oregonian.
As tension rose, some protesters started hurling objects including full soda cans at police officers, hitting a Fire and Rescue paramedics, authorities said.
“Rocks, lead balls and full cans of @pepsi being launched at police,” Portland police tweeted.
Shortly after, the protest was rescinded and riot-geared cops flooded the streets to shut it down. Demonstrators were asked to leave or risk arrest.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 1, 2017
The brunt of the violence — including damaging windows and property, starting garbage fires in the streets and hurling rocks and drinks at police — was blamed on “anarchists” and antifas.
Authorities said the protest permit was cancelled “due to numerous incidents of thrown projectiles, incendiary devices and other unsafe conditions”. No injuries were reported.
Someone on Twitter claimed that earlier in the day police had ignored a protester offering them a can of Pepsi.
— doug brown (@dougbrown8) May 1, 2017
The gesture was linked on social media to the widely ridiculed “woke” Pepsi ad in which Kendal Jenner hands a riot officer a can of Pepsi during a social justice protest.
The corporation ended up puling the ad in April after facing a barrage of criticisms and ridicule. Advertisers were accused, among other things, of co-opting Black Lives Matter imagery and trivializing police brutality to sell soda.
A total of 25 protesters, aged 14 to 44, were arrested during the rally and face second-degree charges of disorderly conduct, riot, arson, vandalism, theft and assault.