A series of tense and violent dueling rallies by left- and right-wing protesters took over Portland’s downtown core near the Justice Center on Saturday.
Far-right organizers “with ties to fascist groups” (EDITOR’S NOTE – Are you kidding?) organized a noon event with the stated goal of “saying no to Marxism” at Terry Schrunk Plaza, drawing multiple plans for counter-protests from left-wing and anti-fascist groups. Another event, called the “Mother of All Back The Blue Rallies” launched at the Justice Center at noon.
By 12:30 p.m., protesters and cars blocked Southwest 3rd Avenue between Salmon and Madison Streets downtown.
Hundreds of people filled the park, streets and sidewalks representing both sides, and throughout the morning and early afternoon, both sides fairly equally used a variety of weapons and tossed numerous objects at each other.
At least one city official voiced concern about the chance for violence as the anti-Marxism event was organized and promoted by known far-right organizers in the area. And minutes before it began, Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted warnings for both sides to “peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights.”
Some of the people involved in organizing the event, as well as promoting it, are familiar faces in Portland, as they were involved in the infamous brawls between protesters in recent years.