On Saturday, a right-wing rally took place in Portland, Oregon, organised by right-wing groups Proud Boys and The Three Percenters.
Named “End Domestic Terrorism,” the rally called to label Antifa – an international conglomerate of left-wing activist groups - as a “terror group", according to a Proud Boys statement, cited by LauraLoomer.com.
As people gathered at the rally location in Oregon’s Waterfront Park, Antifa members clad in black clothes, faces covered with masks and glasses, were seen in the crowd.
According to police, Antifa infiltrated the right-wing groups so as to stage provocations. Posts instructing how to infiltrate opposing group were circulating on social media prior to the event.
Antifa Flyer Threatens False Flag Terrorism Upon Innocent Americans This Weekend As Portland Prepares For Total Chaos - Leftist Terrorists Threaten To Dress As Trump Supporters While Carrying Out Violence pic.twitter.com/aKrBZSmTg0— Ben Golan (@elapoides) August 16, 2019
Police confiscated a number of weapons, including bear spray, metal and wooden poles, and shields from both sides of the fracas.
Demonstration Update https://t.co/lfiiBDEhL3— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 17, 2019
Officers have seized multiple weapons from different groups at the rally. Bear spray, shields & metal/ wooden poles @PortlandPolice #Fox12 #Portland #PortlandProtest pic.twitter.com/pVX1dh9eqC— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) August 17, 2019
Police also erected concrete barriers and closed streets and bridges in an unsuccessful bid to keep the two groups apart.
#Update: Just in - #Portland police are holding back #Antifa, as they seen trying to avoid police to get to the other side of the park at the side of the Proud Boys. pic.twitter.com/uXxCDPXWS3— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) August 17, 2019
Despite police efforts, violent clashes took place during the event. Multiple videos published online show Antifa members breaking windows and doors on Proud Boys vehicles using hammers and spraying pepper spray inside bus interiors. In one video, an Antifa member is seen throwing a hammer at a man inside a bus.
Which ones are supposed to be the Nazis? This is Portland antifa ladies and gentlemen at their hateful best..— TheSpeaker2018 (@TheSpeaker2018) August 17, 2019
Antifa is the paramilitary arm of the Democrat Party. This domestic terrorism should be outlawed.pic.twitter.com/Afu9MIjIL6— Ali Alexander (@ali) August 17, 2019
Another video shows a man allegedly beaten unconscious by left-wing activists, as a purported partner is curled over his body to protect him.
Middle-age man was maced and beaten by an antifa mob. He was knocked unconscious to the ground. His partner or spouse was trying to protect him as mob still surrounded them. No police. #PortlandProtests pic.twitter.com/eAhrMSEKU1— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) August 17, 2019
US President Donald Trump said Saturday that the Portland demonstration is “being monitored very closely", adding that “major consideration is being given to naming Antifa an ‘Organization of Terror'".
Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2019
According to Portland police, at least 13 men were arrested during the clashes; one man from Waterfront Park has even reportedly been hospitalised, the police said, without providing details. Law enforcement officials later said over 1,000 people attended the event. The entire Portland police force of 1,000 was on duty for the gathering, Fox News reported Saturday.
While protesters in Hong Kong flooded the streets, blasting our Star Spangled Banner to fight for their freedom, Antifa took to the streets of Portland waving the hammer and sickle and throwing American flags on the ground. pic.twitter.com/JRYSVqzs1P— Young Americans Against Socialism (@YAAS_America) August 17, 2019
Joe Biggs, the organiser of the “End Domestic Terrorism” rally called the event a success, adding that the two right-wing groups “wanted national attention and [they] got it".
"Go look at President Trump’s Twitter", Biggs said. “He talked about Portland, said he’s watching Antifa. That’s all we wanted ... Mission success".
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, commenting on the event, said that the city is “prepared” for any kind of protests, and warned that people who engage in violence “will be held accountable” regardless of their political views.
“We support people's rights to demonstrate, but we don't care about who you are or your politics are", he said. “We don't want your hatred, we don't want your violence, but if you come here, we're going to be prepared".