A radical left-leaning group that goes by the name “Antifa,” short for anti-fascist, stormed a a Patriot Prayer rally on Sunday in Portland. The mob was seen throwing punches, rocks, and bottles during the bloody confrontation.
The pro-President Donald Trump group, Patriot Prayer, organized the event called “Tiny’s Freedom March,” to honor a member — but the rally drew unwanted alt-left radicals.
One year ago, both groups clashed in the same area area. The violence resulted in 14 arrests.
Protesters from the Antifa group showed up to the rally wielding knives and pepper spray. They wore black and covered their faces. Some of the protesters reportedly were demonstrating against cops with a sign that read “F*** the police.”
Patriot Prayer organized their going away event for member Tusitala John Toesa — who is close with leader Joey Gibson — to take place at 5 p.m.
The Antifa group scheduled a counter-protest for 4 p.m. “To show Patriot Prayer, just as we showed them last year, that their violence and hatred has no place in Portland.”
“Officers have observed participants at today’s events at Terry Schrunk Plaza and Chapman and Lownsdale Square participate in assaultive behavior,” Portland police tweeted within minutes of the Antifa rally’s start.
According to witnesses, Patriot Prayer member tried to drown out Antifa by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Fox News reports, “The dueling rallies in Terry Schrunk Plaza, a swath of federal land in downtown Portland, escalated with shoving, punches thrown and at least one fire set on the Antifa side. Portland police sought to break up fights and separate the groups.”
Officers attempted to use pepper spray on the demonstrators as they threw fireworks, bottles, rocks and ball bearings at each other.
Officers have observed participants at today’s events at Terry Schrunk Plaza and Chapman and Lownsdale Square participate in assaultive behavior.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 3, 2018
“The intent of our presence today was to provide a safe environment for all participants, non-participants, and community members while ensuring the peaceful exercise of the First Amendment,” said Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw.
The Police Bureau attempted to communicate directly with group organizers through the use of social media, a loud-hailer, and person-to-person communication in an effort to encourage an environment in which Portland community members could safely practice their right to free speech and assembly.”
Officers continue to observe people participating in violent behavior. Weapons have been confiscated from protesters. Fireworks and bottles have been thrown at officers and participants. pic.twitter.com/SKLf85CDLK
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) June 4, 2018
Officers reported that weapons such as knives and fireworks were confiscated.
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Two men were charged with second-degree disorderly conduct according to KOIN-TV. One man was given a federal citation for failure to comply with lawful order, and another was arrested for refusal to give police their name.
Many people had to be treated for minor injuries, but no one was in need of hospitalization.
–The Horn editorial team