PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) – Scores of right-wing and anti-fascist demonstrators squared off on Saturday in Portland, Oregon, where four people were injured in similar rallies on June 30.
Right-wing supporters of the Patriot Prayer group gather during a rally in Portland, Oregon, U.S. August 4, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Police tried to keep the two sides apart as protesters chanted and hurled insults at each other. Authorities set up a security perimeter around a waterfront park and officers frisked attendees and confiscated flag poles and other potential weapons.
Clashes after similar protests in Portland in June sent four people including a police officer to the hospital. [nL1N1TX0A5]
Among the right-wing marchers, some of whom wore body armor and carried shields, were members of the Patriot Prayer group founded by Joey Gibson, a conservative Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate in November’s midterm elections.
They were opposed by counter-protesters, some dressed in black with face masks, who shouted anti-Nazi slogans.
Using a Portland Police Bureau sound truck, an officer told people gathered in and around Tom McCall Waterfront Park that no firearms were allowed, and that officers would use reasonable force to curtail any “assaultive behavior.”
Police said on Twitter that they had seized multiple items that could be used as weapons, and that they are “observing people in helmets and protective padding.”
Meanwhile, due to the events at the park, officers were only responding to emergency service calls, the bureau said.
Reporting by Lee van der Voo in Portland; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Alistair Bell