Portland 'ground zero' for protests between right, left-wing

18 Août, 2019, 13:59 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Joey Gibson

At least four people have been arrested after skirmishes between the rival groups broke out.

Portland police officers patrol a barricade between opposing groups at a rally in downtown Portland Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Three Percenters is a militia group whose members pledge protest and armed resistance against attempts to curtail certain constitutional rights. By late morning, Portland police had said they already seized items like bear spray, shields and metal and wooden poles from "multiple groups".

An unidentified Rose City Antifa member flicks off to the police during a demonstration between the left and right at Pioneer Courthouse Square on June 29, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. Some wore body armor and helmets.

Meanwhile, black-clad, helmet and face-mask wearing anti-fascist protesters were also among the several hundred people seen on the streets.

In addition to the Proud Boys, the white nationalist American Guard and the Three Percenters, a far-right militia, have all said they will have members in Portland.

Outlaw was joined by Mayor Ted Wheeler, who condemned the Proud Boys' pledge to continue visiting Portland until the local anti-fascist groups are silenced.

President Donald Trump had tweeted that the city was "being watched very carefully".

And he indicated that naming antifa "an organisation of terror" was being considered.

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Its leaders say the goal of the Portland rally was to have the so-called antifa movement declared a domestic terror organization, news reports said.

The State Department maintains a list of designated foreign "terrorist" organisations, such as al-Qaeda, but there's no comparable designation or list for USA groups.

Wheeler responded to the president's tweet in an interview with CNN, saying, "frankly, it's not helpful". The Oregonian reported that a group of left-wing demonstrators attacked a bus carrying a group of Proud Boys out of downtown Portland, breaking some windows.

Portland police are reportedly stationing the majority of their forces near the protests, in the event the demonstrations turn violent. Also on hand were people dressed in colorful outfits and those who attended a nearby prayer service, holding signs that said slogans such as "No Trump, No NRA".

"Antifa" is a collective term for a loose affiliation of anti-fascist groups.

In a video he livestreamed on Facebook, Gibson accused the police of playing politics by arresting him and other right-wing members but not the masked demonstrators who beat up conservative blogger Andy Ngo at a June 29 rally.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a major civil rights organization, has classified Proud Boys as a hate group.

Gibson's attorney, Multnomah county Republican chair James Buchal, said in a statement the charges were "part and parcel of the dishonest campaign by Portland leaders to blame out-of-town demonstrators for violence that began and persists because antifa wants to shut down any rightwing demonstrations in Portland". It's either too much, not enough, you arrested this group and not this group, ' said police spokeswoman Tina Jones.

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