Four people were arrested late Saturday as scores of alt-right white nationalist protesters and anti-fascist demonstrators squared off in Portland, Oregon.
Among the right-wing marchers, some of whom wore body armor and carried shields, were members of the Patriot Prayer group founded by Joey Gibson, a conservative Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate in November’s midterm elections.
Gibson told supporters they had to be united.
“It’s not even about those punks over there,” he said of the counter-protesters, in a video of his speech shared on social media. “They’re just an obstacle. We’ve got to get them out of the way so we can truly march the streets with thousands of people.”
The counter-protesters were made up of a coalition of labor unions, immigrant rights advocates, democratic socialists and other groups.
As some counter-protesters chanted “Nazis go home,” police in riot gear kept the two groups separated by barricades and by a street in front of the waterfront park. Organizers of the counter-protest said that while Patriot Prayer denies being a white supremacist group, it affiliates itself with known white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazi gangs.
The Portland Police Bureau stated that four people were arrested during rowdy protests andt that officers also seized “multiple weapons throughout the day.”
A reporter for The Oregonian/OregonLive was injured when he was struck by a projectile during melee.
Eder Campuzano was bloodied Saturday afternoon but said in a Tweet published on the newspaper’s website that he was “okay” and was going to get evaluated.
Police deployed “flash bangs” and other devices to try to disperse the crowds. Authorities say demonstrators threw rocks and bottles at officers.