A white supremacist group held a rally Saturday that appeared to be a warm-up for the upcoming Unite the Right rally in the nation’s capital, which will likely recreate the violence and chaos of Charlottesville.
Police arrested at least four people allegedly involved in the clash between the right-wing extremist group Patriot Prayer USA and anti-racism counter-protesters who showed up at the rally to oppose them, KOIN-TV reported.
This comes as the Washington, D.C., chapter of Black Lives Matter organizes its counter-protest against the “White Civil Rights” rally scheduled for Aug. 12 near the White House.
In Portland, Patriot Prayer supporters and opposition protesters, many of them members of various anti-fascist organizations, stood on opposite sides of the street hurling insults, rocks and bottles at each other. Police officers in riot gear struggled to keep them separated.
The confrontation came as white supremacy groups across the nation are preparing for a repeat of their watershed 2017 rally in Charlottesville that ended in the death of an anti-racism activist. White nationalists plan to meet in the District of Columbia days from now for Unite the Right 2, USA Today reported.
Patriot Prayer and other like-minded groups argue that they simply want to use their First Amendment right to express their view that there’s a civil right crisis in America for white people. But counter-protesters argue that the racist organizations have a different agenda.
“All of their rallies are resistance to our progress. They are not simply debates. White supremacist rallies have left a trail of blood in D.C.,” said Makia Green, an organizer with Black Lives Matter D.C., according to USA Today.
Indeed, white nationalist groups have shown that they’re committed to using violence to change the national landscape. There was a significant rise in violence during 2017 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.