PORTLAND, OR – Hundreds of diametrically-opposed protestors, representing both the far-left and far-right, violently clashed in the streets of Portland, Oregon on Sunday on the one-year anniversary of civil unrest in the city, as local police reportedly stood by for the most part and watched the chaos unfold.
A rally held by a right-wing group called the “Summer of Love: Patriots Spreading Love not Hate” was held in a parking lot that initially drew only 100 participants; soon, reports say that several groups of left-wing counter-protestors arrived and confronted the right-wingers.
Approximately 50 of the Antifa members allegedly started setting off fireworks and smoke bombs to disrupt the rally, according to local media. In addition, the left-wing counter-protestors also were seen firing projectiles of some sort, authorities say.
Reports indicate that both sides were wielding “bats, paintball guns and wooden spears,” and by 4 p.m. the scene had grown ugly, with Antifa and Proud Boys members actively fighting by firing “paintballs and bear mace” at each other.
“Some people in the crowd threw mortar fireworks near a Chevron gas station, which had to close,” according to local media.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell had announced on Friday that police will “not necessarily” get involved if the opposing sides clashed during the upcoming rally; this turned out to be the case on Saturday, as authorities did not respond to the conflict, reports say.
In addition, a downtown shooting that took place at the same time as the conflict at the rally resulted in one arrest; police could not presently confirm if the shooting was related or not.