Rally For GOP Senate Candidate Turns Into Riot, Right Wingers Bash Antifascists With Flagpoles

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A permitted rally in Portland, OR for U.S. Senate candidate Joey Gibson turned into a riot when Gibson’s protest group Patriot Prayer and others beat antifascist protesters with wooden and metal flagpoles, severely injuring at least one person. WillametteWeek:

In a nearby Starbucks, at around 5 pm, a group of uniformed PPB [Portland Police Bureau] officers discussed their frustration dealing with repeated Patriot Prayer protests where both sides declare a desire to fight in the streets. One officer said the police should restrict the protesters to one area and “just let them fight.”

That is essentially what happened as riot cops stood by and allowed Patriot Prayer and Antifa to make contact on Southwest Madison Street.

Almost instantly, the two groups began exchanging blows, throwing objects at one another and shouting—each calling the other “Nazis.”

The violence subsided for a bit as police and organizers ushered Patriot Prayer down Madison.

After almost all of Patriot Prayer had cleared the area and as the commotion died down, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officers standing across a street and behind metal barricades shot pepper balls into the crowd of antifascist protesters. A spokesman for the agency said protesters had been throwing objects at the agents and “antagonizing” them.

The Oregonian:

The afternoon began with a permitted rally at Terry Schrunk Federal Plaza organized by Joey Gibson, U.S. Senate candidate for Washington and leader of the right-wing, Vancouver-based group.

Things turned ugly shortly after 6 p.m., when Patriot Prayer protesters spilled into Third Avenue to begin their permitted march through the streets of Portland.

Antifascist counter-demonstrators immediately began lobbing eggs, half-empty water bottles and firecrackers at the conservative marchers, prompting federal police to fire paintballs filled with pepper spray into the crowd.

This is not the first time the two Americas have openly clashed, and undoubtedly not the last. March 4, 2017 “March4Trump” rallies were being held all over America and the one in Berkeley got out of hand. This is deja vu.

At a park in Berkeley, across the bay from San Francisco,  protesters from both sides struck their opponents over the head with wooden sticks. Trump supporters fired pepper spray at counter-protesters as police in riot gear stood at a distance.

The Proud Boys were out in force to support Patriot Prayer because brawling with antifascists at rallies is a part of their initiation process. Southern Poverty Law Center:

The Proud Boys reportedly have a four-step initiation process. It starts with a prospect declaring himself a “Proud Boy,” suiting up in Fred Perry polo shirts with yellow stripes—similar to those worn by skinheads.

The second degree is a “cereal beat-in” during which the new member is punched and beaten by current members until the plebe can rattle off the names of five cereals (you know, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Cheerios!) [Or Special KKK?]

The third degree reported involves “adhering to the masturbation regimen and getting a tattoo,” blogger Will Sommer wrote in a recent post.

Since then, a fourth-degree has been added to the initiation ritual – brawling with antifascists at public rallies.

It’s going to be a long hot summer.

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