A group of white supremacists marched in Portland, Oregon on Saturday in what could be one of many violent rallies this summer. Plans are underway to repeat the mayhem they created in the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia demonstration.
Authorities arrested four people during Saturday’s event, at which Patriot Prayer, a pro-Trump group, squared off against counter-protest groups that are part of the anti-fascist movement, or antifa, KOIN-TV reported.
Patriot Prayer had a permit to hold a “Freedom and Courage” rally that the police revoked when the groups began to scuffle. Law enforcement officials used pepper spray and pepper balls to disperse protesters and counter-protesters who were clashing.
“Today was good in terms that we showed that there’s a political move right now to have the police stand down in order to impact free speech in some of these big cities,” said Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, who organized the rally.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service gave approval in June for the Charlottesville rally organizer to hold another event in August, this time across the street from the White House, to mark the one-year anniversary. The event is described as a “white civil rights rally” for 400 people at Lafayette Park.
Antifa forces intend to continue organizing counter protests to confront the white supremacists. A group called Eugene Antifa called on its supporters in a Facebook post to confront Patriot Prayer on Saturday.
“It is very important that antifascists keep up the pressure so that we can stop them once and for all,” the Facebook page said.