Protests and counter-protests broke out in Portland, Oregon over the weekend that led to the arrest of six individuals. According to initial reports, the arrests stemmed from tense confrontations between Patriot Prayer protesters and anti-fascist counter-protesters.
Police in Portland were aware of the protests prior to them occurring because the Terry Schrunk Plaza approved a permit for the group to protest on the afternoon of November 17th. Police prepared for potential conflict by erecting a temporary fencing unit around the plaza’s perimeter, but that didn’t stop counter-protesters from gathering at the nearby Chapman Square. Police also closed off a portion of the square in an attempt to keep the groups separated.
Despite police efforts, several clashes between the groups occurred. Police officially declared the gathering a civil disturbance before initiating arrests. Citizens reported multiple cases of assault, and police confirmed that some demonstrators purposely threw projectiles towards law enforcement officers. Police attempted to keep the peace by breaking up larger groups of demonstrators and preventing face-to-face confrontations, but eventually counter-protesters attempted to storm the group of rightwing activists as they exited the venue. Police were forced to form a protective wall around the rightwing protesters until the area was cleared out.
Among those arrested were 25-year-old Ruben Delahuerga, 68-year-old Betsy Toll, 33-year-old Elizabeth Cheek and 35-year-old Brittany Frost who were all charged with interfering with a police officer. Gary Fresquez, a 52-year-old, was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of interfering with an officer. 19-year-old Hannah McClintock was charged with harassment.