PORTLAND, Ore. ― Police did a good job on Saturday preventing what could have been the most violent far-right rally since last year’s deadly “Unite the Right” gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia — all they had to do was protect the proto-fascists who came to town, and use riot control weapons, flash-bang grenades and chemical irritants against anti-fascist counter-protesters.
For hours, dozens of officers in full riot gear stood across a closed section of Naito Parkway along the Willamette River, keeping the two sides apart. On one side of the parkway, in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, stood hundreds of out-of-towners belonging to the Proud Boys — a punch-drunk far-right group of self-described “Western chauvinists” dressed in helmets and body armor — and those aligned with Patriot Prayer and its leader Joey Gibson, a Republican Senate candidate from Washington state who has held a series of increasingly violent rallies in the Pacific Northwest since 2017. Both groups have deep ties to white supremacists.
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