Portland, Oregon — A rally held by far-right groups is underway in Portland. Police are bracing for violence as previous demonstrations between far-right groups and counter-protesters have led to fights. The event appeared to be peaceful as of Saturday afternoon, with both groups separated from each other by police.
Nearly 1,000 officers are present at the city’s Waterfront Park, where protests started around 9:30 a.m. Saturday. More people arrived at the park around 2 p.m. but far-left protesters far outnumbered members of far-right groups.
CBS News is reporting from the neutral territory in the park. In total, there are nearly 200 protesters in the park and at least a thousand police officers working to keep the peace. Both groups of protesters are currently divided.
Police seized multiple weapons from several groups, including shields and wooden poles.
The far-right event Saturday was organized by the “Proud Boys,” a group the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as a hate group.
In recent years, Portland has become a magnet for protests, some of them turning ugly. A riot in 2017 shattered store windows throughout downtown, leading to 25 arrests.
President Trump on Saturday said there was “major consideration” to name “Antifa” an “organization of terror.” Antifa is a collective name for anti-fascist protesters. “Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
Jonathan Vigliotti contributed to this report.
First published on August 17, 2019 / 2:58 PM