PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Demonstrators from several opposing political groups clashed Saturday afternoon in downtown Portland, drawing a large police response.
Demonstrations started at around noon with dozens of people — many dressed in black clothing with face coverings were quietly milling around Lownsdale Square at SW Main and 3rd.
At least 3 right-wing groups were involved, including the Proud Boys, another organized by activist Haley Adams and the “HimToo Movement” and members of Portland’s Liberation movement. A large number of supporters with Rose City Antifa gathered in opposition.
“There is a split between the Proud Boys and some of the other patriot groups, they are doing their own thing today,” said Kerry Hudson with the patriot group.
“I’m mostly here because the Proud Boys came to town and I came to defend Portland,” Antifa supporter Lloyd Kimeldorf said.
Portland police said ahead of the marches there were no known permits or plans for any street marches.
Officers, many on bicycles and others in full riot gear, watched at a distance.
The situation started to grow tense as left-wing activists started walking and chanting “Proud Boys are not welcome here, no hate, no fear.” At around 1 p.m. Portland Police officers in riot gear prevented them from marching into SW Salmon Street.
Meanwhile, a smaller group of right-wing demonstrators gathered in Pioneer Courthouse Square, holding American flags and remaining largely quiet.
Anti-fascist marchers moved to the Waterfront Park before ending up at Pioneer Courthouse Square, where officers worked to keep opposing groups separated.
Clashes between opposing groups had remained largely verbal, though officers said some marchers were injured “by others in the crowd” and milkshakes and eggs were thrown at authorities. There were also reports of a people being sprayed with pepper spray, though it wasn’t clear who was on the receiving end.
Authorities eventually closed the square and ordered everyone to move out of the area. Police declared the protest a civil disturbance and unlawful assembly. The square was closed for about an hour.
Patriot group organizer Haley Adams said she was disgusted by the police actions during the protest.
“What I saw today, I am completely disgusted,” she said. “Law enforcement coming after our people and then, they are telling me to leave when I’m standing there like, listening to our speakers?”
Police tweeted that some of the milkshakes thrown during the demonstration contained quick-drying cement. Anyone hit is encouraged to report it to police.
Three people were arrests during the protests. One arrest was related to the cement milkshakes.
Gage Halupowski, 23, faces charges of 2nd-degree assault and assault of a public safety officer. James Stocks, 21, is charged with harassment and Maria Dehart, 23, was charged with 2nd-degree disorderly conduct and harassment.
The demonstrators and police dispersed around 4 p.m.