Shane Burley, August 24, 2021
The far right Proud Boys haven’t stopped holding rallies in progressive urban areas, but their ability to draw crowds and take over city centers is being checked by antifascists looking to halt their growth.
On Sunday, August 22, a number of people associated with the far right “Patriot” movement held a rally in Portland, Oregon, featuring the Proud Boys, members of Patriot Prayer and unaffiliated supporters. One of its key organizers was Audra Price, a member of a Pacific Northwest–based “police supporters” group known as COPS NW, which organizes anti-Black Lives Matter rallies. Some of the organizations associated with the far right rally, such as the Proud Boys, are at the core of the recent spate of far right violence that has plagued both Portland and other cities around the country. As expected, numerous organizations and autonomous organizers prepared a series of interventions to challenge the far right rally, refusing to let the far right activists return to the city without objection.
This clash between the far right and antifascists comes exactly a year after another clash, in which Proud Boys and other far right groups rallied on the steps of the Justice Center in Portland in an effort to challenge the Black Lives Matter groups that had been demonstrating there through the summer. On that day, police stood blocks away, refusing to intervene as projectiles were hurled at antiracist protesters and guns were drawn on unarmed activists.