If the past is any indication, 2018 will see another round of violence from Pro-Trump white supremacy groups.
In a recent incident, police arrested four people on Sunday (June 3) after anti-racism organizations clashed with members of the far-right group Patriot Prayer in Portland, Oregon, the Portland Mercury reported. Authorities said the two groups threw pepper spray, bottles, rocks and other objects at each other.
Patriot Prayer, whose leader Joey Gibson is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Washington state, organized the so-called “freedom march” in honor of longtime member Tusitala “Tiney” Toese, who is moving out of Oregon. Toese is one of the far-right group’s most violent members and has been arrested multiple times for assault and other violent crimes.
In 2017, Patriot Prayer held a “Trump Free Speech Rally” at the same Portland location that turned violent and ended with dozens of arrests. It was one of many white supremacist rallies last year, including others in Berkeley, California, and Boston. The chaos and violence ignited by the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia—which led to the death of an anti-racism protester—was a watershed moment in the surge of white nationalist violence.
Indeed, 2017 saw a significant rise in violence from neo-Nazi, KKK and other white nationalists. The number of murders by members of those groups more than doubled last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. Far-right extremists were responsible for 59 percent of all extremist-related fatalities in the United States in 2017—an increase of 20 percent from 2016.
If this trend continues, 2018 could reach a high-water mark for white supremacist violence.