The founder of the controversial group known as Patriot Prayer Joey Gibson is running as a Republican for U.S. Senate for the state of Washington hoping to unseat the Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell.
On Saturday Patriot Prayer held a planned rally at the Salmon Street Fountain in Portland, Oregon at 12 pm to show support for Gibson’s campaign which turned into another “dueling protest” in downtown Portland with chaos erupting after what is known as the “Rose City” Antifa group planned a “counter protest” pledging “to keep Patriot Prayer and other affiliated groups out of this ultra-liberal city” KATU 2‘s local news reports.
On Friday, KATU 2 reported that “Portland police ask demonstrators to leave weapons at home ahead of downtown rallies” reminding everyone of Portland’s city code that it is unlawful to carry a loaded weapon without an Oregon concealed carry permit and that, “Anyone who participates in illegal behavior, including acts of physical violence will be subject to arrest or citation.”
The Mayor issued a statement prior to the event.
“There are many planning to attend demonstrations this weekend at Waterfront Park. I continue to strongly reject the idea that violence or hate speech are legitimate means to a political end. Chief Outlaw and I have serious concerns about the potential for violence at this weekend’s demonstrations. It is particularly troubling to me that individuals are posting publicly their intent to act out violently. We don’t want this here. The Police Bureau has put forth significant effort into preparing for tomorrow’s demonstration and will do their best to provide a safe environment.”Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler
“Chief Outlaw will be in command of the Portland Police Bureau’s response for Saturday’s demonstrations. I have complete confidence in her leadership and the Police Bureau’s ability to appropriately manage this challenging situation.”
People from both sides begin showing up about 10 am in Portland’s downtown Waterfront area. KATU describes “Hundreds of people with the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) group kicked off their day with a demonstration outside City Hall before marching to Tom McCall Waterfront Park.”
Outfitted in riot gear Portland police held both groups apart for several hours by shutting down nearby roads, areas, and crosswalks keeping both groups on opposite sides when before long police began ordering the group on the west side to “leave the area or face arrest.”
By 1:30 both groups began marching south towards Hawthorne Bridge keeping to their own sides, but police stopped them short from crossing onto or over the bridge.
Gibson’s group has left it’s Vancouver, Washington area to rally in Portland. This is the third clash in recent months. One held in March the Homeland Security was allowed into the city to control the groups, but since then the Portland PD has been on their own. The first two ended in riots and bloody fist fights, with the last one in June, as TNB informed readers, ended in 4 arrested after that violence broke out, as did this time as well.
Portland police were ready and prepared this time “setting up fences and barriers around Tom MCall Waterfront Park Saturday morning, as well as weapons check points with bomb-sniffing K9s.”
Saturday’s episode however turned to groups clashing with police throwing bottles and rocks at officers according to the KATU while the AP reports police officers, “acting mostly against” the Antifa group, “using stun grenades and what appeared to be rubber bullets against them” resulting in a review of accusations over the officer’s use of force.
The AP further reports the Oregon chapter of CAIR along with Portland’s chapter of DSA issued a joint statement saying police “targeted Portland residents peacefully counter-protesting against racist far-right groups, including white supremacists, white nationalists, and neo-Nazi gangs,” and called on officials to investigate.