Shane Dixon Kavanaugh of OregonLive.com describes a demonstration billed as a march for “law and order” in the streets of Portland that descended into chaos as rival political factions broke into bloody brawls downtown Saturday night.
Members of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer and their black-clad adversaries, known as Antifa, used bear spray, bare fists, and batons to thrash each other outside Kelly’s Olympian, a popular bar on Southwest Washington Street.
Antifa used bear spray, bare fists, and batons to thrash each other outside Kelly’s Olympian, a popular bar on Southwest Washington Street
The melee, which lasted more than a minute, ended when riot cops rushed in and fired pepper balls at the street fighters.
The Portland Police Bureau reported seeing protest and counter-protest participants outfitted with hard knuckle gloves, knives and firearms earlier in the evening. Police said they made no arrests Saturday night, but will continue to investigate.
The wild scene unfolded amid mounting tensions among both groups, fueled in part by a pair of national news stories.
A march in Portland against police brutality last week drew headlines after law enforcement’s hands-off approach to the event was blamed for an encounter between protesters and an elderly driver, which outraged many, including Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson and his supporters.
Far-left activists associated with Antifa and other radical hate groups attacked the Republican Party headquarters in New York City late Thursday evening; vandalizing the historic building and warning the incident was “merely the beginning.”
Our attack is merely a beginning. We are not passive, we are not civil, and we will not apologize
The New York GOP released shocking images immediately following the assault; writing “The New York Republican New York City headquarters at the Metropolitan Republican Club was physically vandalized last evening with broken windows, spray-paint and more.”
The attackers left an ominous note at the scene, saying “The U.S. government has established concentration camps around the country for Latino people, shamelessly murdering black people, and continues its war machine that has slaughtered Muslim people with impunity for decades.”
“Our attack is merely a beginning. We are not passive, we are not civil, and we will not apologize. Those of good conscience and clear mind know this state of oppression cannot remain. The US fascist political system is one of the most savage institutions in history and we will combat it relentlessly until all are free of American barbarism,” adds the note.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.