Day of Portland demonstrations marked by arrests, clashes

Dueling Sunday rallies planned in Portland in wake of double murder

Day of Portland demonstrations marked by arrests, clashes

As dozens of demonstrators marched north several blocks, officers blocked them in.

Police later reportedly took photographs of IDs of roughly 200 people who didn't immediately leave Chapman Square, claiming this measure was carried out "because everyone here is being detained for disorderly conduct", according to Oregonian photographer Dave Killen, who noted that these protesters were then allowed to leave after the photos were taken.

As early as 10:30 a.m., the self-proclaimed anti-fascist and alt-right groups had occupied the parks surrounding City Hall, with the former taking over Chapman Square and the latter in Terry Schrunk Plaza. They said they used "less-lethal chemical munition" such as tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Thousands of demonstrators and counter protesters converged in downtown Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, a day marked by multiple arrests and clashes between police and protesters.

Tensions are high in Portland as the city braces for possible violence at a protest in the wake of the stabbing deaths of two men trying to protect a pair of girls from hate speech on a public train. A sign inside the pro-speech event retorted, "It isn't hate speech just because YOU don't like it". "Smash on sight!" Prior to Sunday's rally, Chapman told media that he approved of people "uniting under the banner of American nationalism". The group was met by hundreds of counter-protesters organized by immigrant rights, religious and labor groups.

"They [law enforcement] seized bricks that were broken in half that people were throwing into the crowd, bottles, they had fireworks, sling shots, pepper spray and big knives and machetes", Bikers for Trump founder Chris Cox told FOX Business' Stuart Varney.

Portland Police say one person has been arrested as hundreds have begun gathering for opposing rallies following the fatal stabbing of two Portland men who tried to stop another man's anti-Muslim tirade. These included the Oregon State Police, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, the Federal Protective Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Portland Fire & Rescue, among others.

Police Sgt. Peter Simpson credited the intentional separation of the two opposed camps for minimal incidents of violence.

Officers say they want protesters to stay with their groups and not cross the street to escalate tensions.

Authorities warned people coming to the events not to bring weapons or anything that can be perceived as a possible weapon (bats, fireworks, poles, rocks and sticks).

Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, were killed when they intervened to stop a man from verbally abusing two young women, one wearing a hijab.

A protest called "Trump Free Speech" by organizers was held at a federal plaza downtown on Sunday. Organizer Joey Gibson with Patriot Prayer said they will kick out anyone with racist speech or signs.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler last week tried to cancel Sunday's right-wing rally, calling on federal officials to aid in pulling the group's permit because he believed it would be destructive at a particularly hard time.

The "Trump Free Speech" rally took place on a federally administered site, and drew counter-protests across the street, including one named "No Nazis On Our Streets".

Mat Dos Santos, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of OR, was in a television interview about the attacks last week when a man stood behind him performing a Nazi salute.

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