Portland, OR – Violent confrontations broke out in Portland on Saturday as antifa attacked attendees of a #HimToo event in the city’s federal plaza.
Just days after the city commissioners voted down a proposal by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler that would have given the mayor the ability to set restrictions and conditions on protests by groups with a history of violence, the city exploded yet again, The Oregonian reported.
The #HimToo rally, organized by Patriot Prayer-affiliated Haley Adams, had a permit for Terry Schrunk Plaza, and antifa set up a counter-protest across the street.
Officers from Federal Protective Services sought to keep the group demonstrating on the federal plaza safe as antifa raged across the street in Chapman Square, The Oregonian reported.
The Portland Police Bureau shut down half of Chapman Square to create a barrier zone between the two groups, but that didn’t stop black-masked and helmeted antifa members from attacking attendees of the #HimToo rally and journalists attempting to document the protests.
"The Portland Police Bureau spent considerable time planning for today's demonstration and counter demonstration," Portland Police Bureau Chief Danielle Outlaw said in a press statement afterwards. "We used significant resources and attempted to keep opposing groups apart, both when they were in the parks and as they traveled through downtown. Our goal was to keep all people in the community safe."
Six antifa were arrested during the violent confrontations that exploded during and after the event.
Portland police officers tried to keep the two groups separate, but that became much more difficult once the planned event ended and conservative attendees moved from the permitted area inside Strunk Plaza.
As the #HimToo attendees tried to leave, antifa went after them individually, trying to corner and trap people.
In videos captures by independent journalist Andy Ngo, antifa were literally chasing people as they tried to leave the demonstrations. No police officers intervened or even appeared to be nearby.
One of the videos showed a large antifa group had backed up a few members of the other group in a doorway.
An enraged woman with neon purple hair spewed hate and profanities at the men in a shrieking voice as Ngo filmed the scene.
The video showed 19-year-old Hannah McClintock spitting on the men and repeatedly striking them with her hands and fists before Portland police intervened.
McClintock was ultimately arrested for harassment, according to the police press statement.
As the situation escalated, police said that antifa members began throwing bottles, smoke bombs, and lit flares at officers and members of the Patriot Prayer group, The Oregonian reported.
That’s when the Portland Police Bureau upgraded the situation to “a civil disturbance” and began pushing back.
According to the police press statement, Portland officers used Stinger Grenades and Rubber Ball Blast Grenades to help disperse the crowd, as antifa grew increasingly more violent.
At one point, Patriot Prayer members who were trying to leave the area became trapped inside a parking garage, with antifa waiting for them at the exits.
Portland police blocked garage entrances and stairwells until the Patriot Prayer people left in an effort to quell violence and keep the two groups apart.
Despite numerous attacks on people and journalists, officers were only able to make six arrests during the protests, mainly because it was so difficult for victims to identify their assailants hiding behind masks.
In addition to McClintock, officers arrested 25-year-old Ruben A Delahuerga, 68-year-old Betsy Toll, 33-year-old Elizabeth L. Cheek, and 35-year-old Brittany N. Frost for interfering with a peace officer, according to the Portland Police Bureau press statement.
Gary Fresquez, 52, was arrested for disorderly conduct and two counts of interfering with a peace officer.