OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — A clash of diametrically opposite viewpoints erupted into a riot at an Oregon City park Friday afternoon in a situation a reporter described as “giant medieval clashes.”
OCPD Chief Jim Band told KOIN 6 News the incident began to escalate shortly before 4 p.m. The Proud Boys had Clackamette Park reserved, as they have for the past few weeks, when a group of people, including members of antifa, came to confront them.
There were minor injuries but no arrests, police said.
Zane Sparling with the Portland Tribune — a news partner with KOIN 6 News — said the fighting was similar to the 2019 clashes in downtown Portland. But the location — a park in Oregon City — is what made it different.
“What I saw today was Civil War 2.0,” Sparling told KOIN 6 News. “This was open warfare between the left-wing antifa and the right-wing Proud Boys.”
The groups squared off in the park around 3:30 p.m. They traded barbs and yelled at each other, then someone began to burn a flag and the fighting began.
“What really sparked the confrontation was a flag was set on fire and the other side charged into retrieve it,” he said.
People were taken to the ground and struck, he said.
“They were openly skirmishing. Flag poles turned into batons, the popping of paint guns all around me and a huge cloud of chemical spray just engulfed this park. It was a very violent and chaotic scene.”
He described it as “giant medieval style clashes between the two groups.”
The police rolled in with sirens and eventually shut the park down. Sparling said that’s when the Proud Boys turned to walk towards Hwy 99E and stopped on the sidewalk for a flag wave.
“Your viewers have seen this sort of fighting before in downtown Portland, Summer of 2019, with the Patriot Prayer group,” he said. “What’s different today (is) this happened 13 miles away from the central city in beautiful Clackamette Park, in the middle of broad daylight in a suburb.”
Chief Band said Oregon City police were assisted by every police agency in Clackamas County, including the sheriff’s office and the Oregon State Police.