PORTLAND, OR – The weekend saw clashing protests between far right and far left groups that turned to shots fired by both sides Sunday.
Police say that the confirmed shooter is 65-year-old Dennis Anderson was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail with bail set at $7,500. Part of the incident, which took place at Southwest Yamhill Street and Southwest 2nd Avenue, was caught on video. That video shows shots being fired at Anderson, but it’s unclear who shot first or why.
No injuries were reported from shootings.
Antifa and far-left Portland organizations are countering this event: pic.twitter.com/gxq0t7CbFc
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 20, 2021
Prior to that, the groups had clashed at an abandoned Kmart parking lot off of Northeast 122nd Avenue. The right-wing rally, initiated by the group Proud Boys, was originally supposed to be at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, but they heard of planned opposition protest so they moved it to the parking lot to avoid confrontation.
Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, a Proud Boys leader, confirmed that they wanted to avoid clashing. He said, “We relocated the rally to avoid the altercation and the violence between us and the people on the left, but if they do show up here, we’re going to defend ourselves.”
Show up, they did, and what started as verbal altercations turned into roving battles in the streets, to include those on the left setting up shield barricades in the middle of the street using fences and construction materials. Several roads were blocked due to their antics.
Weapons on both sides were seen, to include bear mace, paint ball guns, wooden spears, and bats. Fireworks were also set off at various times, causing visibility issues.
A white van that appeared to be a former ambulance drove into the parking lot, crashing near the front of the store. Members of the right-wing group started shooting it with paint balls and eventually returned to overturn it. One outlet reported that they overturned the van for “no reason,” while others say the van was ushering in more counter-protesters.
The police stayed out of the incidents completely until shots were fired. On Friday before the event, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said that police wouldn’t be intervening with “dueling groups,” but they’d watch for law-breakers.
Those on the left were donned with their usual riot gear and labels of “ACAB” (standing for all cops are bastards) and “Antifa.”
Proud boys and anti-fascists (antifa) battled in the street of Portlands for 28minutes.
– Paintballs, fireworks, mace, and fighting with batons
One gas station at the center of the clash closed down, employees indicated they worried about their safety.
No police response. pic.twitter.com/DNZGfpcgjT
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) August 23, 2021
Also standing with them were several members of the Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance, whose mission is to “accompany those who seek justice in the streets.”
“[I’m hoping] that everyone’s right to assemble and speak freely can be respected peacefully,” said Rabbi Ariel Stone, “and that the city will uphold its obligations to support and protect and serve its citizens by keeping any violence, or anyone who chooses to bring violence into the city away from the people who live here.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was confronted by questions during a press conference on people coming to Portland specifically to get into fights. Despite the zero interference by police until firearms were brought out, Wheeler said, “We’re telling them, ‘Hell no.’ If they come here, if they engage in that type of activity, we’re going to do the best we can, with the resources we have available, to hold people accountable.”
This piece was written by Leah Anaya on August 23, 2021. It originally appeared in ThinBlueLineTV.com and is used by permission.
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