Supporters of the Proud Boys, a far-right “Western chauvinist” group that has been associated with white nationalist rhetoric, held a rally that attracted hundreds to a Portland park Saturday afternoon, raising the specter of a similar event that ended fatally last month.
The group flashed weapons and vented threats but failed to bring in the thousands of supporters from around the country that they predicted would show up. The event broke up after only 90 minutes – significantly less than the hours of rallying that were initially planned.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) declared a state of emergency ahead of the arrival of the Proud Boys, which has earned a reputation for politically motivated violence. State police and the county sheriff’s office dispatched to patrol highways and look out for people coming to town to “cause trouble,” Brown said.
A similar event culminated last month with the fatal shooting of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, whose name has become a rallying cry for far-right activists — as has Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people during demonstrations in Kenosha, Wis.
Black Lives Matter supporters and far-left activists gathered in a larger rally Saturday at a Portland park three miles away, where speakers condemned white supremacists and conservative politicians while many in the vast crowd donned black clothing and body armor.
Other cities nationwide held protests this weekend after a grand jury on Wednesday declined to indict three Louisville police officers on homicide charges in the death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor.