various sources on portland

At least 14 arrested in Portland as police suppress anti-Trump protest
Evan Blake, WSWS, Jun 5 2017

On Sunday afternoon, crowds of several thousand people took part in opposing demonstrations in downtown Portland, Oregon, following the May 26 fatal stabbing of two men by 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian. As of this writing, Portland Police have announced that 14 demonstrators were arrested throughout the day. Initially, right-wing Trump supporter Joey Gibson, a leader of the pro-Trump group “Patriot Prayer,” organized a “free speech” rally at Terry Schrunk Plaza, a plot of federal land outside Portland City Hall. Other far-right groups present at the rally included Pindosi Freedom, the 3%ers and Oath Keepers. The headline speaker at the rally was slated to be Kyle Chapman, a virulent Trump supporter who has become popular among the “alt-right” this year following a series of violent acts against anti-Trump demonstrators in Berkeley, California. Earlier in the week, Chapman provocatively tweeted:

I declare open season on the ANTIFA. Smash on sight!

Prior to Sunday’s rally, Chapman told media that he approved of people “uniting under the banner of Pindosi nationalism.” In response, at least five separate counter-demonstrations involving an estimated 60 groups took place at nearby Chapman Square, with thousands of anti-Trump protesters attending. These included numerous anarchists affiliated with the amorphous “black-bloc” group known as ANTIFA, which created a Facebook event page titled “No Nazis on our Streets Rally.” ANTIFA is an anarchist organization attracting demoralized and disoriented sections of the middle class that has participated in various confrontations with right-wing organizations in recent months. Also present were immigrant rights groups, religious and community organizations opposed to hate speech, and many others simply opposed to the Trump administration. The right-wing protests followed the murders of two individuals who intervened with a third to stop Christian from ranting at two women on a train. Christian allegedly stabbed all three men in their necks, killing two and injuring the third. Christian is currently being held without bail on several charges including aggravated murder, intimidation and attempted murder. He made his first court appearance on Tuesday. Upon entering the courtroom, Christian shouted:

Free speech or die, Portland! You got no safe place! This is Pindostan! Get out if you don’t like free speech! Death to the enemies of Pindostan! Leave this country if you hate our freedom! Death to ANTIFA! You call it terrorism! I call it patriotism! You hear me? Die!

Prior to the May 26 stabbing incident, Christian had attended another rally on Apr 29 that was organized by Gibson, also supposedly in defense of “free speech.” At that rally, he was filmed giving the Nazi fascist salute, calling for the death of Muslims, and shouting other racist and religious epithets. Police separated him from protesters and confiscated a baseball bat he had brought. At Sunday’s rally, anti-Trump and ANTIFA protesters were herded by hundreds of police into nearby Chapman Square, with police forming a human barricade to protect the city-sanctioned, pro-Trump rally outside City Hall. The Portland Police Bureau enlisted at least eight other law enforcement agencies to assist them, including the Oregon State Police, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Protective Service, the DHS, the FBI and Portland Fire & Rescue among others. Early in the afternoon, Portland Police began posting photos on Twitter of weapons seized from demonstrators, which by the end of the day included a hunting knife, brass knuckles, clubs, roadside flares, a slingshot and several homemade shields. By 1:00 pm, two anti-Trump demonstrators had been arrested, an hour before the start of the “free speech” rally. At 3:18 pm, less than an hour after the start of the “free speech” rally, Portland Police tweeted:

Balloons with unknown, foul-smelling liquid have been thrown from Chapman Square at officers and people in Terry Schrunk Plaza.

Police soon claimed that protesters threw bricks and mortars, asserting that only the anti-Trump protesters at Chapman Square engaged in criminal behavior and that no pro-Trump demonstrators were involved. This gave police the impetus to carry out a violent crackdown on the anti-Trump and ANTIFA protesters. Over the next hour, police used loudspeakers to order all anti-Trump protesters to leave or face detainment for disorderly conduct. Police used flash-bang grenades and doused protesters with pepper spray, which they euphemistically referred to as “less-lethal chemical munitions.” Police later reportedly took photos of the 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 allowed to leave after the photos were taken. It remains to be seen whether these photos will be used to press charges against these anti-Trump demonstrators, or simply to identity those involved in order to better track their activities.

Portland rally sees skirmishes
Graun, Jun 5 2017

Tension was high in Portland on Sunday as “alt-right” and opposing “antifa” activists gathered around a right-wing rally, a little over a week after two men were killed and one wounded in a stabbing attack on city transportation. Jeremy Christian, 35, was charged in the attack, in which Rick Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, were killed after they intervened to help two young women who were the target of racial abuse. Christian was found to have expressed far-right views and to have attended a similar “free speech” rally in the city in April. The Portland mayor, Ted Wheeler, sought to block Sunday’s event, but on Saturday the leader of the heavily-armed Oath Keepers militia organisation told the Graun that members of his group were on their way to the city, to support and if necessary defend the right-wing protesters. As activity increased around Terry Schrunk Plaza, the site of the rally, and the adjacent Chapman Square where “antifa” protesters gathered, members of the Oath Keepers and another militia group, the Three Percenters, were in evidence. Identifiable by their insignia, they were unwilling to talk to the press. In the event, the rally passed without full-blooded confrontation between opposing protesters. There were however confrontations between the groups, and between activists and the police, particularly in Chapman Square where officers used teargas and stun grenades in response to the throwing of missiles. A small number of arrests were made. Around 11.20 am, as riot police began to gather, the first scuffles broke out. Initially, police did nothing to intervene as rally attendees seeking to enter Chapman Square met with physical resistance. Two members of the Rose City Antifa group, wearing masks, spoke to the Graun. One said:

We’ve got hopes for what we want to happen, and we’re preparing for the worst. (Our aim was just) being here, being a visible opposition. These guys are mostly not interested in free speech, they’re interested in fighting us. If they come over here, we’re going to respond in self-defense, but our plan is not to take that path. Our main goal is the defense of the community, and to reveal their actions for what they are, fascist street violence.

On the fringe of Schrunk Plaza, an “alt-right” celebrity known as “Baked Alaska” held an impromptu press conference. He said:

I believe in freedom of speech. Our speakers have a right to say what they want, and not be exposed to this shit across the street. I am definitely willing to use violence to make sure my family is safe, and my patriot family is safe, but do I want it? Not necessarily. Until ANTIFA learns not to use violence … God, I hate them! I look over there and I just want to smash!“As long as people continue to use violence, I am gonna use my violence! In fact, if you look at my videos, I’m pumped up and happy about the whole situation! It excites me when there are explosions and they have rap music, they stab me, they mace me, and it just made me feel good about the whole day!

Another “alt-right” activist walked up to Chapman Square in an attempt to speak, but was surrounded and drowned out with air horns. Earlier, on the grass at Schrunk Plaza, he said he ran a small business in Salem, Oregon. He said:

(Jeremy Christian) did everything right up until the point he started killing people. I do not support killing people. I don’t think anyone does. But calling out the changing elements of our culture, I think that’s something I wish more of us would do.

A sizeable contingent of Portland police and DHS officers dressed in riot gear kept the protests apart. As the formal events of the “free speech” rally began, police announced that any movement between Chapman Square and Schrunk Plaza would be considered a criminal act. The plaza was cordoned off with yellow tape and police SUVs partially blocked traffic. Police said they confiscated makeshift weapons and shields from protesters in Chapman Square, and said that at around 2 pm protesters there launched marbles and other projectiles towards Schrunk Plaza. At 3.30 pm, police began pushing the counter-protesters out of Chapman Square, discharging firing stun grenades and tear gas as missiles were thrown. Portland police said on Twitter that they had closed the park due to “criminal behavior” including the use of “bricks, mortar and other projectiles.” As ANTIFA were pushed out, the “alt-right” contingent interrupted their schedule of speakers to rush to the edge of Schrunk Plaza and taunt them. Around 300 people rallied there. The Chapman Square crowd was separate to an event across Fourth Avenue, outside City Hall, where more than a thousand attended a Portland United Against Hate Rally organized by labor unions. That rally had an at times festive atmosphere, as a brass band played and protesters drowned out those in Schrunk Plaza with cries of “we can’t hear you.” There were also counter-protesters across Third. The alt-right activists were surrounded and outnumbered, perhaps by as many as 10 to one.

Here’s some streams:



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