Proud Boys, Lefties Gather in Portland

Mother Nature plays a role in keeping them apart
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2020 3:30 PM CDT
Proud Boys, Lefties Gather in Portland
Members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators kneel in prayer at a rally on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

A clash of left-wing activists and far-right Proud Boys seemed all but inevitable Saturday in Portland until the skies opened and everyone got wet, the Oregonian reports. A Proud Boys rally attracted roughly 500 people in Delta Park—many of them touting guns or tactical gear—as various left-wing groups assembled down the street to hear about Black shipbuilders who once lived there in subpar conditions. The Proud Boys, a loose group that sometimes turns to violence, had issued a nationwide call for demonstrators. Gov. Kate Brown responded by declaring a state of emergency. "The pattern of these particular groups is clear: to intimidate, instigate and inflame," she said of the Proud Boys, per the New York Times.

Law enforcement pledged to keep the groups apart and created a unified command under the state police and sheriff's office that enabled officers to use tear gas despite a city ban, per the Oregonian. But both rallies ended peacefully when rain began falling at around 1pm, and Proud Boys members left the park in trucks flying Trump flags. As the rain cleared later on, hip-hop artist Mic Crenshaw spoke to roughly 1,000 people at Peninsula Park about his experiences battling neo-Nazis in Minneapolis as a young man. "I want them to understand that when they come here with their violence, it's not going to work out," he said of far-right activists. The Proud Boys often describe themselves as supporters of President Trump and the police and opponents of antifa, per NBC News. (More Portland stories.)

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