by Love and Rage Team
PORTLAND, OR – Built up for weeks, far-right groups like Patriot Prayer, a right-wing, pro-Trump group led by Joey Gibson, have descended on Portland for the planned ‘Freedom March‘. Gibson, a candidate for US Senate from Washington State, has targeted the city of Portland about nine times for marches due to its progressive, counterculture reputation. A Portland chapter of Patriot Prayer vowed that the “liberal-occupied streets” of the city will be “CLEANSED”.
Antifascists and counterprotesters have also shown up to confront the groups, including the Proud Boys, uniting under Patriot Prayer’s banner. Reports on the ground indicate that at least 1000 people from various antifa outfits, to the DSA, union members, faith groups, and other antiracists, part of the Pop Mob, are defending Portland from fascists.
The Portland branch of the Democratic Socialists of America, with a 200+ strong group, was reported to be one of the largest, if not largest, groups among the Pop Mob.
Though the Portland PD released a statement that they will be screening for weapons, and have disarmed some attendees, there remains a notable presence of them.
While the Portland police have also tried to keep the sides separated, there is consistency in their reported escalation of warnings against the numbers assembled to counterprotest.
Another aspect of the rally, something recently cooked up by militias and Proud Boys has been the concept of citizens arrest against antifascists whom they consider to be part of a terrorist organization. Groups have shown up with plastic ties to be used in these instances when counterprotesters are separated or snatched away from the crowds.
Portland General Defense Committee sharing the Pop Mob’s rendition of the Italian antifascist folk song, Bella Ciao:
We will be following the events as they unfold and updating this article accordingly.
And away we go:
Police begin using pepper spray and flashbangs to disperse antifascist counterprotesters.
Charges that police escalation is what leads to riots often appear in report backs from rallies where police are used to protect groups of fascists. Reports coming from Portland today seem consistent with this.
Some of the “non-lethal” means used to disperse counterprotesters. Police are making claims that objects were thrown at them.
Why would people assume that police support fascism?