- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 27, 2020

Competing protests by far-right and left-wing demonstrators went off largely peacefully Saturday in Portland, Oregon, but the leftists returned for a more confrontational clash with police later in the evening.

The dueling demonstrations had sparked a wave of concern after a similar set of protests last month resulted in one of the far-right activists being shot and killed by one of the antifa backers.

Police surged into the city, with Gov. Kate Brown deploying Oregon State Police and having them and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office cooperate with the Portland Police Bureau under a unified command.

The police also were sworn in as deputy U.S. marshals, allowing federal prosecutors to bring charges against anyone who assaulted them.

It appears to have worked.



“Events remained relatively peaceful Saturday afternoon because of good operational planning, an abundance of resources available under the Unified Command structure and effective communication and coordination between all the agencies involved,” State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton and Sheriff Mike Reese said in a statement.

About 1,000 people gathered in one park where the right-wing protesters were scheduled to be. Police reported one assault on a person who was videotaping the gathering, and confiscated some guns, baseball bats and shields. Two people were cited for gun charges.

A group of about 1,000 people gathered in another park for the left-wing demonstration. Police said they confiscated some shields but didn’t need to take any other action.

After the afternoon events, some left-wing demonstrators regrouped downtown and blocked streets near the Judicial Center.

Police declared it an unlawful assembly and moved in to make arrests, while being pelted with cans, firecrackers, rocks and ball bearings fired from wrist-mounted slingshots. Police also confiscated a can of bear repellent.

No tear gas was used at any of the events, police said.

The left-wing demonstrators have engaged in near-nightly mayhem, while the far-right activists have chosen their spots to hold demonstrations.

City and state officials have struggled to get a handle on the violence, which they say is tainting the broader push for racial justice.

After another night of left-wing mayhem, Ms. Brown released a statement Sunday complaining about the right-wing protesters, and praised the leftists for “not rising to the bait when the Proud Boys came from out of town to express their hateful views yesterday.”
 
“When we all work together as a community to keep the peace, we can keep Oregonians safe while still allowing free expression under the First Amendment,” the governor said.
 
Oregon has seen 27 nights of riots and more than 50 nights of fires and unlawful assemblies declared from left-wing activists.
 
For his part, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler praised police for keeping Saturday’s demonstrations calm.
 
“Once again, thanks to our police officers for their service, to our partners for responding to our request for mutual aid, and to our community for respecting others’ rights under these extraordinary circumstances,” Mr. Wheeler said.

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