Right-wing, anti-fascist groups clash in Portland, Latest World News - The New Paper

Right-wing, anti-fascist groups clash in Portland

This article is more than 12 months old

PORTLAND A rally by hundreds of supporters of the right-wing Proud Boys organisation was met by a similar number of "antifa" opponents, and isolated clashes broke out between both sides and between antifa and police as the gathering wrapped up.

At least six people suffered minor injuries, according to police. One person was taken to a hospital.

Officers said they seized weapons including chemical sprays, shields, metal and wooden poles, knives, and a stun gun from multiple groups.

At the peak of the demonstrations there were an estimated 1,200 protesters on the streets of the downtown district, said Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw.

Charges against those in custody would include disorderly conduct, interfering with police, resisting arrest, and unlawful use of a weapon, she said at a news conference.

Right-wing and anti-fascist factions have clashed in Portland several times in recent months, including at a rally that turned violent in July last year.

Hours ahead of Saturday's competing demonstrations, US President Donald Trump said "major consideration" was being given to designating antifa as a terrorist organisation.

"Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!" Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

Mr Ted Wheeler, Portland's mayor, said he was not concerning himself with tweets from Washington, and he praised the response by law enforcement.

"I'm grateful that this was largely a peaceful event," Mr Wheeler told reporters at the news conference.

"Police did an exemplary job of de-escalating the situation, keeping the extremists on both sides separated for the most part, and preventing people who wanted to engage in acts of violence from confronting each other." - REUTERS