Weapons seized and arrests made at right-wing rally in Portland

A road closure sign is seen in downtown Portland Ore. Friday Aug. 16 2019 in advance of a rally as the city prepares for crowds. In the past week authorities in Portland have arrested a half-dozen members of right-wing groups on charges related to

'Portland is being watched very closely': Trump stokes tension over far right rally

"Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an "ORGANIZATION OF TERROR"," the president wrote from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Saturday morning.

Neither Fox & Friends nor President Trump expressed their concerns over that aspect of Saturday's events.

On Friday night, Patriot Prayer leader and Proud Boys member Joey Gibson was arrested on rioting charges resulting from a clash between the alt-right groups and the far-left group Antifa in the city of Portland back in May.

Flag-waving members of the Proud Boys, Three Percenters militia group and others gathered downtown, some also wearing body armour and helmets. Local anti-fascist protesters - known as antifa - will also likely be there to oppose the right-wing groups.

Portland, one of the most liberal U.S. cities, is an antifa stronghold and the local Rose City Antifa had urged people "to defend Portland against far-right attack". Portland is again expected to be a flashpoint because of a right-wing rally planned Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in the liberal city. Such counter-protesters have clashed with far right activists in the OR city throughout the Trump era, some of them wearing "black bloc" attire and face masks. During Saturday's activities, the police seized various types of weapons, including bear spray, shields and metal poles.

According to Joe Biggs, a former staff member of InfoWars and the Proud Boys' protest organizer, the event was successful.

"We believe these arrests allow us to hold those committing violent acts accountable, while at the same time deterring others from acting", said Police Chief Danielle Outlaw at a 6 pm press conference.

But hundreds of people remained downtown and on nearby streets, and there were skirmishes throughout the day.

Police in Portland, Oregon have arrested at least 13 people as a right-wing group marched to a downtown waterfront park and anti-fascist counter-protesters scuffled with officers who tried to keep the two sides apart.

"Antifa" is a collective term for a loose affiliation of anti-fascist groups.

A video of that attack went viral and allegedly led the Proud Boys to organise Saturday's event.

In a video he livestreamed on Facebook, Gibson accused the police of playing politics by arresting him but not the masked demonstrators who beat up conservative blogger Andy Ngo at a June 29 rally that drew national attention. None of Portland's almost 1,000 sworn police officers will have the day off, and more than two dozen other agencies, including the Oregon State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will help local authorities.

"To those of you who plan on using Portland on August 17 as a platform to spread your hate, you are not welcome here", Wheeler said.

The offbeat tactic, refined from years of experience with extremists targeting Portland, accompanies a broader effort this week by community leaders to maintain the progressive city's brand.

"This was a dynamic event with demonstrators frequently moving from one part of the city to another", Mayor Ted Wheeler said at an evening news conference.

Randy Blazak, a leading expert on the history of hate groups in OR, said many of today's anti-fascists trace their activist heritage to a group that fought with neo-Nazis in Portland's streets decades ago, and they feel this is the same struggle in a new era.

"It's not surprising that Trump would side away from the folks who are the peaceful protesters working to safeguard their city from domestic terrorism".

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