Published: Wed, August 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Portland braces for far-right rally and antifa counter-demo

Portland braces for far-right rally and antifa counter-demo

Earlier this week, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and other city officials, including Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, condemned white supremacy, hate and violence.

Police officers detain a protester against right-wing demonstrators following an "End Domestic Terrorism" rally in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019.

In Portland, Ore., yesterday, opposing groups converged for demonstrations including far-right figures from across the nation and local antifascists. "We did not show preferential treatment, but rather facilitated a de-escalation of potential conflict", said Outlaw.

"That group of Antifa there in Portland needs to be exposed for who they are", Biggs told the Associated Press Tuesday.

"We do not want him here in my city".

The president also chimed in, condemning the protests in a Saturday morning tweet. "And Portland, being a very progressive community, is always going to be at or near ground zero when it comes to this battle". "Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!".

Clint Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterterrorism expert, has said that the country doesn't take white nationalism seriously enough and suggested legislation to designate white supremacy as domestic terrorism. A group of Antifa protestors were screaming at police, with one guy even telling offers to "commit suicide".

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Portland police said their main goal during the protests was to keep people safe and support their Constitutional rights of free speech.

One person was injured and transported via ambulance, and three other people were evaluated by medics, Portland Police spokeswoman Lt. Tina Jones said.

Also expected at the Saturday event are members of the American Guard, Three Percenters, Oathkeepers and Daily Stormers.

A video of that attack went viral and led the Proud Boys, who have been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, to organize Saturday's event.

The city's mayor said the situation was "potentially risky and volatile" but as of early afternoon, local time, most of the right-wing groups had left the area via a downtown bridge and police used officers on bikes and in riot gear to keep black-clad, helmeted and mask-wearing anti-fascist protesters from following them.

Isolated clashes broke out between the two sides but law enforcement largely kept them apart. Portland Police said all of the city's 1,000 officers were on duty for the gathering that was publicized on social media and elsewhere for weeks.

While most of the Proud Boys left the waterfront by 1 p.m., a few lingered and engaged in shouting matches and fistfights with left-wing protesters.

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