The right-wing Patriot Prayer rally drew a large group of counter-protesters. Portland Police say the flash bangs were used by officers.
Oregon's largest city was calm and quiet Sunday after a day of chaotic, competing protests that clogged Portland streets, crippled public transit and left at least eight people injured.
Police in riot gear broke up the demonstrations as clashes developed among law enforcers, anti-fascist "antifa" protesters and right-wing groups. Three people were charged with crimes, police said.
As the violence increased, police declared a civil disturbance and ordered the protests dispersed. Pepper spray was used by demonstrators and police, Assistant Chief Chris Davis said, "Demonstration events are very fluid in nature and the management of these events is complex," Davis said late Saturday. "There are hundreds of peaceful free speech events in the city in the year that do not result in violence. Unfortunately, today some community members and officers were injured." Multiple groups, including Rose City Antifa, the Proud Boys and conservative activist Haley Adams protest in downtown Portland, Ore., Saturday, June 29, 2019. ” width=”540″ data-mycapture-src=”” data-mycapture-sm-src=””/>
Multiple groups, including Rose City Antifa, the Proud Boys and Conservative activist Haley Adams protest in downtown Portland, Ore., Saturday, June 29 , 2019. (Photo: Dave Killen /, AP)
The protests came a day after the white supremacist James Fields Jr. was sent to life in prison in Charlottesville, Virginia, for ramming his car into counter-protesters of a "Unite the Right" rally in 2017, killing one and injuring dozens more.
In Portland, Davis said officers were investigating several assaults During Saturday's protests and asked the public for help in identifying more suspects.
Andy Ngo, an editor with the conservative website "Quillette," tweeted photos of cuts and bruises on his face. He said on Twitter he was hit multiple times with fists and weapons.
"Attacked by antifa. Bleeding," he tweeted. "They trust my camera equipment. No police until after waiting for an ambulance. If you have evidence of attack please help."
Protesters also clashed with police, throwing water bottles and eggs at officers, and three were among those injured, police said. There were reports of protesters throwing "milkshakes" – with a substance mixed in that was similar to a quick-drying cement, police said.
Portland Fire Medics were embedded with the police so the injured could quickly receive medical attention, police said.
Pioneer Courthouse Square was closed for about an hour "due to volatile behavior impacting public safety," police said.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/06/30/antifa-right-wing-protesters-clash-streets-portland-oregon/1611630001/