Far-right rally and counter-protests in Portland end without violence on Saturday as daytime rallies are smaller and shorter than expected


A nationwide call for far-right extremists to descend on a Portland park on Saturday did not result in extreme violence with counter-protesters who heads of state and city feared

Gov Kate Brown declared a state of emergency ahead of the Proud Boys rally, in which organizers predicted thousands would attend In fact, 800 or fewer showed They were outnumbered by counter protesters at two nearby events

Three people who attended the Proud Boys event in Delta Park, north Portland, have been arrested on weapons charges, and Portland Police are investigating the assault of a man who had been punched to the ground and punched in the face as he was live streaming their rally But nothing has approached the level of violence, including a deadly shooting, which erupted the last time groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum staged simultaneous events in Oregon’s largest city there. at four weeks

Hundreds of law enforcement officers positioned themselves strategically on Saturday to separate the groups, after Brown handed over joint police command to state and county forces for the weekend. end Most nearby shops and restaurants closed before the Proud Boys met in Delta Park

A larger demonstration of at least 1,000 people opposing the Proud Boys took place in Peninsula Park, three miles away in North Portland

The opposing crowds never converged or confronted the police, who saturated North Portland as promised State police said officers carried out several road checks near the protests and someone had threw a rock at a soldier’s car, smashing the driver’s side window

Most of the day’s protests ended around sunset, although a growing crowd of dozens of left-wing protesters began to gather in the city center around 9 p.m.m MPs said shortly after some people in the crowd started fires and officers rushed to the scene

The absence of ugly confrontations, at least until 9:15 p.m., denied President Donald Trump the opportunity and the video footage he used so much to highlight one of his campaign themes: big cities ruled by Democrats are violent, lawless places where police run-ins leaves anti-fascists wrong The late-night crowds converged near the Federal Courthouse, as has been the case throughout the summer so that the police declared the rally to be an « illegal gathering » at around 11:40 pmm

Lt. Leo Besner said Officers confiscated firearms, baseball bats, shields and other weapons from the group’s pickup during the shutdown

The attack on the live broadcaster was filmed and typifies the most intense clashes that took place on Saturday morning and early afternoon Members of the heavily armed mob of Proud Boys supporters forced several people they thought they were « antifa » or « antifa press » to leave the park At least two people targeted were people of color

Police say they confiscated a shield, stones and other projectiles from participants in the opposing protest at Peninsula Park

The final tally of weapons seized and arrests during either event has yet to be disclosed

Chris Liedle, a spokesperson for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office speaking on behalf of the Special Unified Command organized by Brown, said the protests were « without serious violence » He thanked protesters on both sides for « demonstrating peacefully »

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler issued a statement after the events ended, defending the law enforcement response, saying the events « largely peaceful » were « a testament to planning and the concerted preparation of the Portland Police Department with our local, state and federal partners « 

« We will do everything we can to hold those who break the law accountable, » said Wheeler « Violence is not welcome in Portland

Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton had expressed reservations earlier in the week about helping Portland, citing Wheeler’s ban on tear gas use by Portland Police With state and county law enforcement in charge, officers were allowed to gas protesters on Saturday but did not use any force from 8 pm, much less poison gas

The officers had said in the days leading up to the opposing rallies that they would work to separate the groups It appears to have been running all afternoon and early evening Police have remained alert for potential small group violence under cover of night

Traffic control – like directing Proud Boy supporters leaving the Delta Park rally toward Interstate 5 northbound – was a key tactic Portland police have been criticized in the past for not preventing escalating clashes, especially in the city center, as people threw paintballs and stones at each other

Portland has a long history of bloody clashes between far-right and far-left groups, although they have occurred with increased frequency since the 2016 election, most notably at events hosted by the local right-wing Patriot Prayer group

But tensions between opposing factions turned deadly on August 29, when Aaron « Jay » Danielson, a member of Patriot Prayer, was gunned down by self-proclaimed anti-fascist Michael Reinoehl after remnants of a Trump mobile rally gathered. held in downtown Portland

Danielson’s murder was touted by organizers as the motivation for Saturday’s End Domestic Terrorism rally by the Proud Boys, named as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center Members describe themselves as « Western chauvinists » and often express their contempt for Islam, feminism and liberal politics. Most are also staunch supporters of President Donald Trump

Counter-protesters gathered in two organized protests which broke into a third event as the day progressed

A few hundred people attended the first counter-demonstration of the day It was hosted by black leaders at the historic marker honoring the now destroyed community of Vanport, half a mile from the Proud Boys event Chrissy Wood, 33, said she and other organizers with JUjeCE PDX made a conscious plan to avoid the Proud Boys

Instead, they organized the rally at the Vanport site to reflect on the history of the residential community, which was flooded in 1948 At the time of the flooding, about a third of the residents in the development were of Blacks The overall African American population of the Portland area was around 6%

The Vanport rally eventually turned into a caravan that traveled five miles to a second site, Irving Park in northeast Portland

Hundreds of people also gathered there for another round of speeches by Black Portlanders and others. One speaker, Lynn James, stood with a black blanket draped over her shoulders and her fist raised  » We had this opportunity to make a difference « , said James » And we have to make it count « 

Hip-hop artist Mic Crenshaw told the crowd that far-right provocation attempts won’t work « I want them to understand that when they come here with their violence, it won’t work « Crenshaw said

The event ended with a message to stay alert for Proud Boys members throughout the day and evening

In Delta Park, Proud Boys supporters gathered with guns, handguns, baseball bats, magazine snippets, knives or batons At least half of the crowd wore tactical gear or carried arms

Nearby, road signs under the control of Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the city’s transportation department, posted a flashing message: « Hate has no place here Lives black count « 

Armed militiamen and self-appointed security guards patrolled the park and crowds, who regularly chanted profanity targeting the antifa One of them asked to verify the credentials of the Oregonian reporters / OregonLive

Supporter Maureen Peltier said attendees came from as far away as Texas, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi She said many have come due to the frequent nightly protests in Portland, which often result in property damage and rapid police forces, and Danielson’s murder

« There seems to be a population of corrupt citizens who violate the rights of other citizens, and I oppose it, » said Peltier

Although organizers repeatedly told the crowd not to provoke ‘antifa’, some people in the crowd tried to force some people to leave. « This is our safe space, and I think it’s time we kicked you out, ”a woman shouted at a National Geographic reporter

The event ended around 1:30 p.m., after more than three hours Police blocked an exit from the park, forcing all drivers to take the same route

As a truck exited Delta Park, occupants in the back of the van shouted « You count! » to officers standing by their car as they exit the park Many Proud Boys members said they were planning to gather at a private barbecue in Vancouver, which they said was closed to media

Contributors: Mark Graves, Dave Killen, Sean Meagher, Beth Nakamura, Everton Bailey Jr, K Rambo and Andrew Theen contributed to this report

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World News – US – Far-right rally and counter-protests in Portland end without violence on Saturday as daytime rallies are smaller and shorter than expected

SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/far-right-rally-and-counter-protests-in-portland-end-without-violence-on-saturday-as-daytime-rallies-are-smaller-and-shorter-than-expected/?remotepost=339863

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