A group of right-wing rally-goers in Portland clashed with left-wing protesters on Sunday, leading to an exchange of fireworks and bear mace between the groups.
The "Summer of Love" rally, which was attended by members of the Proud Boys, took place a year to the day that pro-Trump demonstrators clashed with left-wing counterprotesters in the city and was characterized by little police presence, according to local reports.
The demonstrators gathered in the parking lot of a former Kmart around 2 p.m. on Sunday, with speakers addressing a crowd of more than 100 people, according to local CBS affiliate KOIN. Some attendees were wearing tactical vests.
Local reports indicate that antifa counterprotesters arrived at the event around 4 p.m., leading to an escalation between the groups as demonstrators began igniting fireworks. The clash reportedly led those involved into a nearby four-lane roadway, with people firing paintball guns, using smoke devices, and spraying bear mace on one another.
— Ryan Haas (@ryanjhaas) August 22, 2021
A white van of left-wing protesters drove into the parking lot that hosted the rally and crashed near the entrance of the parking lot. Proud Boys members shot the van with paintballs and hit it with baseball bats before returning later to flip the van over, according to the Oregonian.
The Portland Police Bureau initially said there were no immediate arrests following the incident, but detectives were reviewing evidence to determine whether any charges would be brought.
However, police later announced that a suspect was arrested near a downtown protest following reports of an individual firing a gun. Officers booked Dennis G. Anderson, 65, into jail on unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon charges but did not confirm a connection between the shooting incident and the gatherings. No injuries were reported in connection to the shooting.
Anti-fascists are burning what's left of their wooden barriers. People are packing up in earnest. pic.twitter.com/z3nbEIici8
— Tim A. Gruver ☕📰 (@T_TimeForce) August 23, 2021
Police were described in local reports as taking a hands-off approach to the Sunday clash after Chief Chuck Lovell said Friday that his officers would not intervene directly to stop the encounters.
The bureau said in a statement that, instead, the department was "prepared to monitor this event and may make arrests for crimes when resources allow," adding, "that does not always happen in the moment."
The Washington Examiner reached out to the police bureau for comment but did not receive a response.
Portland police have struggled to maintain officers and add additional staff in recent months, including to its newly created violent crime control unit. The city remains a target for police reform efforts among its elected officials and outright anti-police hostility among some protesters.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: Right-wing demonstrators clash with antifa at weekend Portland rally