Members of the far-right Patriot Prayer group and the white nationalist Proud Boys group clashed with Antifa demonstrators in Portland Saturday evening, resulting in several skirmishes during what has turned out to be a weekend of right-wing violence on both coasts.
The altercations began Saturday afternoon, when the far-right groups organized a “Flash March for Law and Order” under the leadership of Joey Gibson, a political activist and former Republican candidate for Senate in Washington.
The march was planned in response to a demonstration against police brutality last week, when an elderly driver pushed his car through the crowd. The incident resulted in no injuries, but angered many protesters who chased the car and beat the vehicle as it was stopped, accusing the driver of attempted to mow them down. Nearby police did not intervene.
Patriot Prayer members called for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to step down for what they saw as a failure of leadership at last week’s police brutality demonstration. Gibson and members of his group were soon outnumbered by Antifa and Black Lives Matter counter-protesters when they ventured to the memorial of Patrick Kimmons, the 27-year-old black Portland resident who was killed by officers last month.
“I hunt Antifa cowards,” reads T-shirt of participant at Patriot Prayer rally in downtown Portland. I’m here. So are several known Proud Boys from the area. Will be sending updates as needed. pic.twitter.com/s1TekwNGSa
— Shane D. Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) October 14, 2018
“Say his name! Patrick Kimmons!” the counter-protesters shouted, according to the Portland Tribune. “Go home, Nazis!”
The protesters and counter-protesters continued to taunt and confront one another, with reporters on the scene describing “rumbles,” “brawls,” and confrontations with pepper spray. Witnesses posted videos on social media showing violence several blocks away within a smaller group of demonstrators.
Huge brawl just happened and police came in to firenless lethal rounds on people. Right-wingers were clubbing people w clubs outside of Kelly’s Olympian, way worse than NYC last night. proud Boys and Patriot prayer and Antifa just had a huge wild fight pic.twitter.com/a750y2ai7J
— Mike “Vampire Hunter B” Bivins (@itsmikebivins) October 14, 2018
The Oregonian reported that Portland police saw protesters and counter-protesters armed with hard knuckle gloves, knives, and guns. They made no arrests, but an investigation is ongoing.
Saturday’s violent protest follows a similar one in New York on Friday, when the white nationalist hate group Proud Boys took to the streets following a speech by its founder Gavin McInnes. Members of the group were seen brutally beating several people while shouting “faggot” and “cocksucker.”
The Proud Boys often participate in violent political brawls with counter-protesters. As ThinkProgress’ Luke Barnes previously reported, supporters of the group are regular participants at far-right rallies in Portland and the Pacific Northwest.