Violent clashes between members of the far-right Proud Boys group and anti-fascist protesters in Portland culminated in a firefight on Sunday, in the latest clash between political extremists in the Oregon city.
undreds had gathered at opposing rallies in the city on Sunday before the two sides engaged in skirmishes, in some instances deploying chemicals and smashing car windows. The confrontation took place in the heart of the city’s downtown area in the early evening as tensions between anti-fascists of the Antifa movement and counter protesters intensified.
At least one man was arrested for firing a gun at demonstrators although no injuries were reported.
Footage from the demonstrations showed groups of people dropping to the ground in terror as gunshots rang out in the streets.
The counter rallies in Portland came on the anniversary of a similarly violent clash between competing protests last year, which saw two protesters shot dead.
Portland has become a magnet for clashes between extremists since a string of demonstrations in the wake of the murder of George Floyd last May.
In Sunday’s clashes, violence broke out in two parts of the city. Local media reported that more than 200 left-wing protesters, some of whom identified as Antifa, gathered near Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland to oppose a right-wing rally attended by members of the Proud Boys.
The far-right rally of roughly 100 people, was held 8km away at a car park of a former Kmart supermarket and clashes began as it wound down.
Video footage showed some of the crowd wearing pro-Trump apparel while black-clad Antifa groups patrolled the scene. By late afternoon, heavily armed splinter groups from both sides had engaged in clashes. Hours later a firefight ensued in the city’s downtown area.
Dustin Brandon Ferreira (37), a left-wing activist, told OregonLive that he was with a group of protesters on Sunday evening when a man used a racial slur against one of their group and then fired rounds in their direction. Portland police said the man was arrested.
Footage taken by one witness showed shots being fired towards the suspected shooter, although it was unclear who fired the first shots.
Telegraph Media Group Limited