Clackamette Park in Oregon City became a battlefield Friday afternoon, as ideologically opposed factions clashed violently and police declared a riot.
Oregon City police declared a riot around 3:40 p.m. and eventually separated the left-wing and right-wing bands — causing the fighting to subside after nearly a half-hour of intermittent warfare, according to reporting and videos from Pamplin Media’s Zane Sparling.
Zane Sparling on Twitter: “Police deployed at dueling protest near Portland Proud Boys say it’s “voter registration” drive Antifa say to cops: “you want to take care of these terrorists over here” pic.twitter.com/qHZlw2LojQ / Twitter”
Police deployed at dueling protest near Portland Proud Boys say it’s “voter registration” drive Antifa say to cops: “you want to take care of these terrorists over here” pic.twitter.com/qHZlw2LojQ
The clash was between the far-right Proud Boys, who had reserved the park and said they were holding a voter registration drive (registration is automatic for most Oregonians) and antifa activists from outside the area, who organized through social media, saying they were there to fight fascism.
The Proud Boys have been designated a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and other watchdogs — while its members adamantly deny any bigotry or racism.
Antifa — a decentralized movement consisting of many loosely organized groups — is also considered a terrorist organization by many on the right, including former President Donald Trump.
Zane Sparling on Twitter: “Portland Proud Boys chant “f- antifa,” pepper spray and paint ball guns used during riot today in Oregon City as clash continues pic.twitter.com/O5zil9Ah9W / Twitter”
Portland Proud Boys chant “f- antifa,” pepper spray and paint ball guns used during riot today in Oregon City as clash continues pic.twitter.com/O5zil9Ah9W
The groups shouted insults at each other, with one Proud Boys leader shouting, “You guys are Portland scum! We’re from here,” while one antifa member held a sign declaring, “Save a life — kill a Nazi,” according to Sparling’s reports.
Though such scenes of violence and clouds of chemical spray are much less common in Clackamas County than in nearby Portland, these likely inevitable hostilities have been in the works for several weeks.
Lesser clashes have already happened several times over the past few months, as conservative demonstrators have gathered for flag-waving events and antifascist activists have shown up in protest.
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