PORTLAND, Ore. — The Proud Boys, a far-right group, and various left-wing anti-fascist groups held rallies in North Portland on Saturday.
The crowd was estimated to be in the thousands, which is why the permit was originally denied.
Portland Tribune reporter Zane Sparling captured video of an assault that took place at the rally. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office has tweeted to say they are investigating it.
The crowd began to disperse around 1:40 p.m. Portland police stopped a car leaving Delta Park with an obscured license plate. At the stop, officers retrived weapons and shields. A criminal citation was issued.
In response to the Proud Boys rally, multiple anti-fascist groups in support of the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at around the same time at North Portland's Peninsula Park, about three miles away.
Another group, Safe PDX Protest, met at Delta Park before the Proud Boys rally began.
Alyssa Pariah and Effie Baeum were co-emcees of the event in support of Black Lives Matter and anti-fascism on Saturday afternoon. They are with Democratic Socialists of America and PopMob Popular Mobilization.
The crowd began dispersing at around 3 p.m.
There was also a caravan that met at Vanport Historical Marker and made its way to Irving Park. It was a black-led and organized event in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese said police were expecting a crowd of 1,000 to 3,000 people at the Proud Boys demonstration. As of Saturday afternoon though only several hundred were in attendance at Delta Park.
On Saturday, Mayor Ted Wheeler issued a statement thanking the community and law enforcement for a mostly-peaceful day:
The safety and well-being of our community is always a top priority. Thank you to our police officers and law enforcement partners for ensuring the demonstrations have remained largely peaceful throughout the day. It’s testimony to the collaborative planning and preparation Portland Police did with our local, state and federal partners.
I also appreciate the efforts of employees who stepped up to support our police and ensure we were keeping the public informed and safe: Fire, Parks, Emergency Management, Transportation, Development Services, Management and Finance, Housing, Council offices, City Attorney and Homeless Services, to name a few. City employees care deeply for this community. Their commitment to protecting Portlanders, particularly the most vulnerable, shows.
Once again, thanks to our police officers for their service, to our partners for responding to our request for mutual aid, and to our community for respecting others’ rights under these extraordinary circumstances.
As the evening unfolds, I urge people to remain peaceful. We will do everything possible to hold those who break the law accountable. Violence is not welcome in Portland.
A large law enforcement presence was in attendance, as Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office were ordered by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown to assist the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), taking the lead in crowd control during the anticipated demonstrations. Brown declared a weekend state of emergency for Portland citing the demonstrations by the Proud Boys as her paramount concern.
Additionally, OSP announced Saturday morning part of PPB's Rapid Response Team (RRT) was deputized as Federal Marshalls. This means if anyone attacks these newly appointed officers individuals could face federal prosecution for assault.
Brown said law enforcement will not tolerate any kind of violence during this weekend's events and that anyone who engages in criminal activity will be charged, prosecuted and held accountable.
"This is a critical moment," Brown said Friday. "We have seen what happens when armed vigilantes take matters into their own hands. We've seen it in Charlottesville, we've seen it in Kenosha, and unfortunately we've seen it in Portland.
"The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer groups have come to Portland time and time again from out of town looking for a fight and the results are always tragic. Let me be perfectly clear: We will not tolerate any kind of violence this weekend. Those stoking the flames of violence, those coming to Portland looking for a fight will be held accountable," Brown said.
City, county and state leaders urged anyone coming to Portland intent on picking a fight to stay away, and the legislature's Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) caucus asked counter-protesters to avoid the far-right rally.
As groups of people began to disperse there were traffic delays reported by TriMet and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
Bus lines were also impacted by the demonstrations and TriMet along with the sheriff's office asked drivers to avoid the area.
Portland has seen protests nearly every night since Memorial Day, and one person, Aaron "Jay" Danielson, was shot to death following competing rallies in downtown Portland on Aug. 29.
Two weeks earlier an alt-right protestor reportedly fired two shots from a car leaving the scene of clashing downtown rallies. Nobody was injured in that shooting.