Many of the demonstrations have turned violent and destructive with people spray painting threats and obscenities on anything and everything including buildings, monuments, and trees.
Portland, Oregon was one of the cities hit pretty hard by vandals and rioters. A group of people being hailed as “the angels of Portland” came together to clean up the damage that had been left in the wake of the protests.
Jacob Dahlberg of Portland Community College organized the group after seeing a live-stream of the protests while doing homework, according to The Daily Beast. A group of vandals had broken off from the mass of peaceful anti-Trump protesters and began to destroy the city.
“I just couldn’t believe my eyes,” Dahlberg reportedly told The Daily Beast. “I knew there was going to be some sort of need for people to take action.”
Dahlberg, 26, decided to lookup any organizations that were planning to go out and repair the damages. After his search came up empty, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
“I just created an event page that has now gone viral,” he said.
He created the Portland Cleanup Volunteer Exchange on Facebook and soon had 2,000 followers with people ready and willing to do damage control throughout Portland’s streets.
The group assembled on Friday and began following the route of the march to locate and clean graffiti. “We have to make this right,” one of the volunteers named Stephanie Pettro said.
In addition to cleaning “F*** Trump” off concrete and trees, the volunteers removed the words “Kill Trump” from the side of a building.
“My hands are pretty sore from it,” Pettro said of all the scrubbing. “It was very tough on my hands. I actually have spray paint stuck to my skin.”
One important element she pointed out is that, political views were not an issue among the group that came together for the cleanup. Although they were wiping away anti-Trump sentiments, many of the volunteers — including Pettro — didn’t vote for him.
“When we were all cleaning it up, it didn’t really matter how or what we voted,” she said.
Another volunteer named Vee Reyes brought her mom, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend to the cleanup. She expressed some frustration with the vandals who caused the damage in the first place.
“They’re making us look like horrible people destroying things,” she said. “They don’t know what they’re fighting for, just breaking things, destroying. They’re making it worse for everyone.”
The group has received praise for their work after posting photos from the cleanup on social media.
Although Trump’s election symbolizes a devastating division that exists within our country, these “angels of Portland” serve as a valuable reminder that unity is still possible, and great things can be accomplished when people put their differences aside to join forces against negativity.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @thedailybeast