While the nation watched, multiple law enforcement agencies descended on Portland for a scheduled rally heavily championed by an InfoWars alum and member of the right-wing extremist Proud Boys group — and subsequent counterprotest— on Saturday. Though the rally’s message was steeped in hate, the flavor of the counterprotest was one of peace and joy, and pure Portland.
Arrests were made before noon, of course, with CNN reporting that police had already seized weapons, including bear spray. While the wannabe Nazis seemed to stick to black clothing and red MAGA hats, counter-protesters has no such uniform, with many taking a far different approach.
Despite the Southern Poverty Law Center’s designation of the Proud Boys as a hate group, Donald Trump, of course, branded those protesting the rally as the potential terrorists, without acknowledging the actual bad deeds committed by the far-right.
Just for you, dear reader, is a brief sampling of those supposed terrorists who so frighten the current White House occupant.
Clowntifa! The “Joey” in question is likely Joey Gibson, a Patriot Prayer leader who turned himself in to Portland Police Friday afternoon on felony rioting charges stemming from violence during the group’s May Day presence. Gibson was out on bail early enough to get a good night’s rest ahead of Saturday’s events.
That’s right, the Banana Bloc not only brought their own music, they held a limbo deathmatch.
White Flour for everyone (except those who live gluten-free lifestyles, of course)!
Dance like nobody’s watching … or maybe like a bunch of bigots are.
The Proud Boys and their friends clearly hoped for violence, but they got dancing unicorns instead.
That’s not to say the hatemongers didn’t have their own “dancing.”
Is it no surprise folks prefer the Banana Bloc?
All jokes aside, things did get heated every so often.
Okay. All jokes aside for real. There were conflicts.
The much-feared event was “officially” over by 12:45 p.m., according to a lengthy interview CNN should not have granted to Enrique Tarrio, a self-identified Proud Boy chairman. But with over a thousand in attendance, it was always going to take some time for the streets to clear.
Some counter-protesters didn’t seem to be in a hurry, like these dudes.
Remember, though: This “rally” was created on the spiderweb-thin premise of exposing “Antifa” as supposed terrorists. Nailed it!
Between the bananas, clowns, unicorns, and fighting Corgis, we can only hope the stable genius liked what he saw.
After the official event ended, the Proud Boys and other rally attendees had largely fled the area, but some, along with counter-protesters, maintained their presence on Portland streets, leading to “sporadic” skirmishes with each other and with law enforcement.
You can follow local and ongoing coverage of events after the rally and counter-protest at The Oregonian.
The Oregonian is reporting that the Portland Police Bureau has officially declared declared today’s events a “civil disturbance” as crowds continue to block streets. At least 13 arrests have been reported.
The Proud Boys, meanwhile, are threatening Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler with a monthly revival of today’s events, with their latest press release demanding that he “removes the scourge of violent domestic terrorists” from the city, ostensibly referring solely to Antifa, but not the white nationalists that the group counts among their own numbers.