Four people were arrested on Sunday evening during violent clashes in Portland. The fighting erupted between Patriot Prayer and a consortium of local Antifa groups during a rally arranged by Patriot Prayer.
Patriot Prayer was celebrating “Tiny’s Freedom March”, a rally to say goodbye to “Tiny” Tusitala John Toese before he goes home to Samoa. (Fox News) The Antifa groups responded with an open call for protesters on Facebook:
We will not allow racists and fascists to parade through Portland’s streets, threatening activists and targeting at-risk communities. No matter how many times they try to sneak back in, this city will stand united against them. We ask the community to join us at 4:00 pm on June 3rd in Terry Schrunk Plaza, to show Patriot Prayer, just as we showed them last year, that their violence and hatred has no place in Portland.
The two groups have a history of aggression. The Patriot Prayer Facebook page, for example, features not only people dressed in American colors and MAGA hats but also one wearing a “Fuck Antifa” shirt… not a normal message for a group celebrating peaceful discussion and prayer, as the founder and promoter describes Patriot Prayer. Another is wearing a Pepe the Frog t-shirt, a well-documented symbol for the racist elements of the alt-right movement.
Antifa, meanwhile, is claiming to stand against fascism by being fascists, and using as their excuse the fact that when known racist groups have stated their intention to participate in Patriot Prayer rallies, the racists have not been prevented from joining. (ItsGoingDown)
The practical difficulties of keeping racists who aren’t showing overt signs of their views from a public rally are being ignored by Antifa. Meanwhile, Patriot Prayer is feeding into the accusations with actions such as featuring a Pepe-wearing man on their public pages.
The tensions were worsened by the planned rally which had taken place earlier in the day, a 2 PM anti-police brutality rally. Some of those activists were reportedly still present for the Patriot Prayer and Antifa actions.
The clashes resulted in police reporting violence from both groups, in the form of physical brawls as well as pepper spray and fireworks being used as weaponry. (Portland Police) Minor injuries were reported from the attendees, with no hospitalization required. Four people were arrested:
The following people were arrested today and will be arraigned in Multnomah County Court on June 4:
36-year-old Jonathan D. Feit was arrested near Southwest 2nd Avenue and Southwest Columbia Street on charges of Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree
32-year-old Andrew Arbow was arrested at Terry Schrunk Plaza on charges of Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree.
In addition, one person was given a federal criminal citation by Federal Protective Service (FPS) officers and released:
43-year-old Gregory N. Isaacson was detained at Terry Schrunk Plaza, cited and released for Failure to Comply with a Lawful Order.
Late in the day, the Federal Protective Service also arrested a fourth person in connection with today’s events. Officers with the Portland Police Bureau Central Precinct are assisting with this investigation. At this time the suspect has refused to provide his name and will be lodged at the Multnomah County Jail.
One key point missed by much of the reporting, however, is that Patriot Prayer was engaged in a lawful assembly with all requisite licensing, no matter what the motivations were for some of their attendees; and their official, stated goal is peaceful. The Antifa groups were there merely to interfere with a lawful assembly, and their stated goal was disruptive. Even if both sides have morally questionable members, the side on which propriety lies is Patriot Prayer.