Portland rallies to get bomb-sniffing dogs, weapons checkpoints


Four people have been arrested following rallies by right-wing groups and counter-protesters in the United States city of Portland, Oregon, on Saturday.

A police statement said weapons would be seized if the owner doesn't have the proper paperwork.

Counter-Protesters gather before a rally by the right-wing Patriot Prayer group in Portland, Oregon, U.S., August 4, 2018.

Throughout our country, and for a number of years now - and primarily because the establishment media fantasizes about, promotes, enflames and approves of the violence committed against the right (naturally, HuffPo opposes the unmasking law) - Antifa has been allowed to run rampant, committing countless acts of violence against everyday, peaceful supporters of President Donald Trump.

A reporter for The Oregonian/OregonLive was injured when he was struck by a projectile during rowdy protests between right-wing activists and self-described anti-fascists in Portland. Eder Campuzano said later on Twitter he was "okay".

Police push protesters back with tear gas and flash-bang grenades. Authorities say demonstrators threw rocks and bottles at officers.

Effie Baum, a spokesperson with Popular Mobilization, said her group was formed exclusively to mobilize counter-protesters for Saturday, OregonLive reports.

A giant group of people from several opposing political groups, including right-wing Patriot Prayer and self-described anti-fascists - or "antifa" - came face-to-face on either side of Southwest Naito Parkway, where police tried to keep them separated, according to KOIN. There were some arrests and reported injuries but it wasn't immediately clear how many of either occurred. "We've got to get them out of the way so we can truly march the streets with thousands of people, so that we can actually come together with liberals".

Patriot Prayer founder and rally organiser Joey Gibson speaks to his followers.

Saturday's rally was in stark contrast with two other rallies organized by Gibson this summer that ended in bloody fistfights and riots that sent one counterprotester to the hospital with a skull fracture.

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Saturday's incidents started with demonstrators aligned with Patriot Prayer and an affiliated group, the Proud Boys, gathering in a riverfront park.

It's the group's third such rally in Portland, which has again drawn self-described anti-fascist counter-protesters.

The charges against the four people arrested ranged from harassment, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, unlawful use of a weapon and other charges, police said. Police have also announced they will not respond to non-emergency calls in the city due to the demonstration in a Portland park.

Police "targeted Portland residents peacefully counter-protesting against racist far-right groups, including white supremacists, white nationalists, and neo-Nazi gangs", the OR chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Portland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America said in a statement.

"A lot of people at the top are laughing their asses off", Gibson told the crowd.

Portland police had threatened to seize weapons after Gibson changed the venue for this latest event from a federal plaza outside U.S. District Court to a waterfront park so some of his OR supporters could carry concealed weapons as they demonstrated. A large police presence surrounded the scene, with officers working to keep the groups separated.

Despite initial fears the rally could be the most violent far-right rally since Charlottesville, potential violence was largely kept at bay during the charged protests.

More than 1,000 people took part in a counterprotest against the rally, which included anti-fascists, labor groups, community groups, members of the clergy and the Democratic Socialists of America, the Guardian reported.

The counter-protesters were made up of a coalition of labour unions, immigrant rights advocates, democratic socialists and other groups. It called on officials to denounce what it called "the racist and sexist violence of Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys" and protect the city.