Editor's PickFinanceInvestingU.S. right-wing group Proud Boys has fewer than expected at rally

2 years ago567 min
imageWorld14 minutes ago (Sep 26, 2020 11:16PM ET)


(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A flag is seen on the sidewalk following clashes in Portland


By Deborah Bloom

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) – Around one thousand supporters of the right-wing Proud Boys group, some armed, rallied in Portland, in the U.S. state of Oregon on Saturday in a largely peaceful event that drew far fewer followers than organizers forecast and state authorities had feared.

The rally in a north Portland park ended after a few hours of speeches and chants, many against anti-fascists and Black Lives Matter groups which held a nearby counter-protest.

“You’re here for the right reasons, the people down the street are against America,” said an unnamed speaker in a video posted on the Parler page of the self-declared “Western chauvinist” Proud Boys.

The Proud Boys forecast a crowd of at least 10,000 when they asked for a permit to hold the demonstration, a request that was denied by the city.

State Governor Kate Brown declared a weekend state of emergency for Oregon’s biggest city, saying “white supremacist groups” were traveling from out of state to attend the rally called by the Proud Boys to “end domestic terrorism” in Portland.

The Democratic-run city has seen four months of near-daily demonstrations against police violence and racism, many ending in violence.

Proud Boys leaders said the group’s presence pushed Brown to declare an emergency and create a state and local police task force to keep the peace in a city President Donald Trump has called an “anarchist jurisdiction.”

“It’s crazy that it takes us to come here to solve things,” Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio said in video on the group’s Parler page.

Democratic presidential hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden has said Trump’s rhetoric is stoking political violence.

As the Proud Boys rally broke up, Portland Police stopped one vehicle and confiscated firearms, paintball guns, baseball bats and shields.

The city remained on edge into the night given fears of clashes.

Local and state leaders said in a letter to the community that Proud Boys supporters had openly discussed military-style tactical operations and planned to cause chaos and violence while claiming to be acting in support of police.

Police said they were investigating an assault of one person documenting the Proud Boys rally and a total of three people were arrested there and at the counter-protest that also drew around 1,000 people.

The men-only Proud Boys group describes itself as a fraternal organization that “venerates the housewife’ and is “anti-political correctness.”

Civil rights group The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Proud Boys as a hate group, citing its members’ anti-Muslim and misogynist rhetoric.

U.S. right-wing group Proud Boys has fewer than expected at rally

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