Area residents, business owners, and city employees congregated early Saturday morning to clean up downtown Fargo after a peaceful daytime march changed to nighttime rioting, resulting in property damage to various businesses including several restaurants.

A volunteer surveys the damage to the Hotel Donaldson on Sunday, May 31, in downtown Fargo.
David Samson / The Forum
A volunteer surveys the damage to the Hotel Donaldson on Sunday, May 31, in downtown Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

People showed up as early as 7 a.m. to begin cleaning along First Avenue North, a street hit hard by rioting. As protesters clashed with police, they broke windows of businesses, spray-painted sides of buildings, and overturned dumpsters and set them on fire Saturday night.

Owner of the Pounds restaurant Alan Kasin offered his restaurant as a base of operations where peopled received bags, gloves and brooms to help. Kasin said his restaurant provided water for those who helped.

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Dalton Luther, one of the community organizers, said the cleanup started at the intersection of Broadway and First Avenue and branched out to other streets as needed.

People focused on cleaning up walls as well as the streets.

A Fargo police academy recruit helped to clean up pizza sauce at First Avenue North.

Organizers of the cleanup said the community response was quick and massive, so much so they instruct the public to stay home, among concerns for residents' health and safety.

The Downtown Community Partnership and city officials also instruct people to stay home as most of the community has been completed, but encourage residents to support downtown businesses by shopping at their establishments while practicing social distancing.

The Fargo police department instructs residents to report any vandalism caused by yesterday's protest, by calling 701-235-4493. Records staff will be taking these reports via phone until 3 p.m. today, Sunday, May 31. Reports after that time can be made Monday, June 1.