Protestors clash with Alt-Right at racist rally organized by senate candidate
Tensions were high in Portland over the weekend as two protest groups came to blows and a riot broke out in the city between the right-wing Patriot Prayer group and local anti-fascist activists.
The protest started at the Terry Schrunk Federal Plaza organized by Joey Gibson, U.S. Senate candidate for Washington and leader of the right-wing, Vancouver-based group, reports Yahoo News.
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The two groups clashed and the hundreds of protestors erupted in violence with people from Patriot Prayer seen throwing blows, chucking trash cans and swinging flag poles at counter protestors.
Dozens of weapons were seized, including knives, clubs and chemical sprays and several protestors were arrested.
In a statement, Portland police’s deputy chief, Bob Day, said: “Portland police planned for today’s protest so that people could exercise their first amendment rights to speech and assembly. We seized numerous weapons early on, and interceded and separated people when necessary.
“However, once projectiles, such as fireworks, eggs, rocks, bottles and construction equipment were thrown and people were injured, we ordered people to disperse.”
According to a statement by the Portland police department, four people were taken to area hospitals by ambulance, one with a serious but not life-threatening injury and the other three with non-serious injuries.
A spokesman for Rose City Antifa, the counter-protest group, said they were “not surprised by the level of violence, given Patriot Prayer’s rhetoric on social media in the lead-up to the rally.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote last year that Patriot Prayer had “trolled the Northwest with a series of rallies designed to provoke violence.”
Last year a rally in San Francisco was cancelled before a rally took place, because of anticipated violent clashes.
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