Hundreds of people attended this Saturday a march called by the far-right group ‘Proud Boys’ in Portland (USA), while within walking distance hundreds of activists demonstrated against racism under the motto of ‘Black Lives Matter’ (Black lives matter).
Local police arrested three people during the neo-Nazi march and is investigating an assault on a citizen who was broadcasting the event by video and was allegedly forcibly knocked to the ground and then hit in the face, according to local media The Oregonian.
Police also confiscated far-right protesters baseball bats, paintball guns and shields.
‘Proud Boys’, famous for its misogynistic and anti-Islam rhetoric, is considered a hate group by the civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center, demonstrated this Saturday in Delta Park, what is separated by five miles from Irving Park, where the protest against racism was held. Between both groups there was a strong police device with dozens of agents.
This Friday the governor of Oregon, Democrat Kate Brown, declared the state of emergency for Portland throughout the weekend and announced that the State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, which includes Portland, would be tasked with coordinating a heavy police operation.
“We will not tolerate any kind of violence and tragedy this weekend. Violence is never the answer, “Brown warned.
The demonstration called by ‘Proud Boys’ had less influx than expected, since in principle that organization hoped to bring together several thousand people.
That group was one of those that organized a neo-Nazi march in the city of Charlottesville (Virginia) in 2017, an event that claimed the life of a woman and injured dozens.
They describe themselves as a association that fights for freedom of expression and supports the president of the United States, Donald Trump, in his attempts to “restore law and order.” His demonstration this Saturday sought to end the “domestic terrorism” that, in his opinion, are exercised by left-wing activists in Portland.
‘Proud Boys’ advertised their march on Facebook for weeks until, finally, on Friday the company announced that I had blocked their communications.
Since May and for four months, Portland lived night after night numerous demonstrations against racism in response to the May 25 death of African American George Floyd, suffocated by a white police officer and whose loss sparked a wave of protests across the United States.
In mid-August, Portland also became a magnet for far-right groups that began to organize marches on its streets, which led to clashes with left-wing activists.
On August 29, during one of those far-right marches, a member of the anarchist group Antifa supposedly killed a Trump supporter with two shots and a member of the far-right Patriot Prayer movement.
The violence has increased in the US in recent weeks. On August 25, during anti-racism demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a 17-year-old supremacist shot with a semi-automatic rifle to three people and ended the lives of two of them.
This Saturday’s demonstration in Portland occurred in another moment of high stress after massive protests against racism in Louisville (Kentucky).