Hundreds of far-right protesters stormed downtown Portland on Saturday, many of them looking as if they were ready to fight the anti-fascist protesters who had gathered to oppose them. But the "potentially dangerous and volatile" situation, which the mayor had warned the city, seems to have disintegrated fairly quickly, according to proud boys and other far-right groups behind the protest, asking police to help them leave the area.
Their quick exit from the long-awaited opposition to anti-fascist groups came just hours after President Trump signaled that he was observing – which apparently all many of the far-right wanted anyway.
"Take a look at President Trump's Twitter," said the proud boys' protest organizer Joe Biggs The Oregonian when asked what message the group wanted to convey. "He talks about Portland, he says he's watching antifa. That's all we wanted. We wanted national attention and got it. The success of the mission. "
In a tweet, Trump said he was" paying great attention "to calling the antifa a" terror organization. "He added that he was monitoring the situation in Portland and that he hoped the mayor could."
Wheeler responded in an interview with CNN, saying that the President's tweet was not "useful." poles, shields and spray for bears. But no major bloodshed was reported until late afternoon, though some of the far-right leaders explicitly called for violence in the wake of the much-suppressed protest. More than 1
At least 13 people were arrested throughout the day and authorities said there were sporadic disputes. Video shows black demonstrators breaking windows of a bus believed to have transported members of the Proud Boys. Shortly after 4:00 pm, police announced civil disturbance demonstrations after crowds blocked the streets.
The proud boys left the demonstration shortly after noon, reporting that they were asking the police to open a bridge that had to be closed during the event so they could get out.
"The proud boys contacted us or contacted the units on the spot, saying they wanted to leave, so we made it easy for them to leave the area," Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Brandon White told The Oregonian. "It wasn't planned. It was not orchestrated. We had a request that they want to leave the area and we made it easier. "
For right-wing demonstrators, the protest began rock-solid before the weekend, with many of the main organizers striking with failure before the protest. Biggs said he was visited by the FBI last week and apparently in response to that visit he wrote in a Facebook post before the rally: "I want to say again to all those attending the rally in Portland. Tones up the rhetoric. "He disappeared from social media before Saturday's rally.
In addition, Joey Gibson, leader of the far-right Patriot Prayer Group, was arrested Thursday on outstanding charges stemming from a violent clash in Portland in May
by Gibson released on bail after his arrest, appeared at a rally in Portland on Saturday morning in a Make America Great Again hat, "I'm just here for the trip," he was quoted as telling by the Oregonian .