The Portland police arrested three protesters at Saturday’s melee that resulted in “multiple assaults,” including an attack on journalist Andy Ngo by a mob of antifa activists.
Eight people were treated at the scene by police medics and three officers were injured after hundreds of protesters, including those affiliated with Rose City Antifa, turned out to counter far smaller rallies held by the Proud Boys and Him Too movement.
Two officers were pepper-sprayed; another was punched in the arm, and another was hit in the head with a projectile, while eight people were treated at the scene by medics, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
“There were reports of individuals throwing ‘milkshakes’ with a substance mixed in that was similar to a quick drying cement,” said the PPB press release. “One subject was arrested for throwing a substance during the incident.”
The three arrested were Gage Halupowski, 23, who was charged with assault on an officer; James K Stocks, 21, charged with harassment, and Maria C. Dehart, 23, charged with disorderly conduct and harassment.
“During today’s events, there were multiple assaults reported, as well as projectiles thrown at demonstrators and officers,” said the police statement. “There were also reports of pepper spray and bear spray being used by people in the crowd. Officers deployed pepper spray during the incident.”
Mr. Ngo, a right-tilting journalist who regularly covers Portland’s protest scene, said he was treated at the hospital for cuts and bruises to his face after he was attacked in the street by antifa activists, as shown on video posted by the Oregonian.
Mr. Ngo, who said he was struck repeatedly in the head and his GoPro was stolen, was shown being mobbed by black-masked attackers who pelted him with milkshakes, Silly String and projectiles.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper tweeted afterward, “Antifa regularly attacks journalists; it’s reprehensible,” while CNN media analyst Brian Stelter tweeted, “Disturbing. Attacking a messenger shows weakness, not strength.”
“His critics say he was there to cause trouble. But that’s unacceptable,” said Mr. Stelter on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources.” “The idea that he would be attacked, that he would be bloodied in that way—unacceptable. Period.”
Shane Burley, author of “Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It,” expressed skepticism about the injury reports in a post retweeted by Always Antifascist, the Rose City Antifa account.
“Weird how I and about 100 other reporters were down covering the antifascist protest today and literally nothing happened to us,” Mr. Burley tweeted.
Portland police said they formed a “skirmish line” to keep the counter-protesters from reaching Pioneer Square, where the right-wing groups were rallying, and ultimately issued an order for the crowds to disperse.
“There are hundreds of peaceful free speech events in the City in a given year that do not result in violence,” said Portland assistant chief Chris Davis in a statement. “Unfortunately, today some community members and officers were injured. We are actively investigating these incidents to hold those responsible accountable.”
The counter-protest, advertised as “Portland Unites Against Fascist Violence,” was hosted by the Portland Democratic Socialists of America, Rose City Antifa, and Pop Mob coalition, according to a Portland DSA post on Facebook.