“Antifascist counter-demonstrators immediately began lobbing eggs, half-empty water bottles and firecrackers at the conservative marchers”
Last summer, we covered the cancellation of a planned Patriot Prayer rally in San Francisco. The event was cancelled after “Californian leaders, including House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D), … adamantly opposed a rally organized by the Patriot Prayer group on the grounds that it is ‘alt right’ and ‘white supremacist’.” Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson ably refuted these allegations at the time.
Gibson, who is running for the U. S. Senate in Washington state, was in Portland, Oregon yesterday with over a hundred of his Patriot Prayer group for an announced, permitted rally.
Masked, black clad antifa fascists showed up to “counter-protest” and apparently just happened to have eggs and firecrackers with them because these items, along with other things, were lobbed at the Patriot Prayer group. Police eventually declared a riot and revoked Patriot Prayer’s permit.
Portland Police declared a riot Saturday after tensions between the right-wing Patriot Prayer group and local anti-fascist activists came to a head and broke out in violence.
The afternoon began with a permitted rally at Terry Schrunk Federal Plaza organized by Joey Gibson, U.S. Senate candidate for Washington and leader of the right-wing, Vancouver-based group.
A counter-demonstration by masked local anti-fascist groups gathered nearby among a heavy police presence. Officers seized weapons such as utility knives, clubs and chemical sprays, detaining several protesters early on.
. . . . Things turned ugly shortly after 6 p.m., when Patriot Prayer protesters spilled into Third Avenue to begin their permitted march through the streets of Portland.
Antifascist counter-demonstrators immediately began lobbing eggs, half-empty water bottles and firecrackers at the conservative marchers, prompting federal police to fire paintballs filled with pepper spray into the crowd.
Here’s some footage from the Daily Mail:
The attacks on the Patriot Prayer demonstrators were unprovoked, and Gibson claims that the police, already in riot gear before the event started, stood down and didn’t do enough to protect them from the antifa fascists.
“Today was good in terms that we showed that there’s a political move right now to have the police stand down in order to impact free speech in some of these big cities. Portland’s the last city on the West Coast that’s doing that, so we just have to keep hitting it — I don’t see what else to do other than that. We’ll make Portland so ugly in terms of how they allow these protesters to charge us when we have a permit. The police stood down, we were told they would not stand down, so we have to challenge it,” organizer Joey Gibson said before leaving.
. . . . “Portland Police planned for today’s protest so that people could exercise their First Amendment rights to speech and assembly,” said Deputy Chief Bob Day in a press release. “We seized numerous weapons early on, and interceded and separated people when necessary. However, once projectiles, such as fireworks, eggs, rocks, bottles and construction equipment were thrown and people were injured, we ordered people to disperse.”
Though reports seem clear that it was antifa fascists who instigated violence by throwing objects at Patriot Prayer members, they claim to be opposing “Patriot Prayer’s violence.”
A group called Eugene Antifa created a Facebook event called “Defend PDX: Patriot Prayer’s violence must end”
“It is very important that antifascists keep up the pressure so that we can stop them once and for all,” the Facebook page says.
“There will be a significant law enforcement presence in Downtown Portland, due to past threats and acts of violence between these different groups, both locally and nationally,” Portland police said.
Police were already dressed in riot gear before the 4 p.m. start time in preparation for the protests.
I attended a lot of Tea Party rallies throughout the early years of the Obama administration, and I don’t recall ever seeing police in riot gear. Then again, we weren’t throwing things at people or attempting to instigate violence. Funny how that works.DONATE
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