Recent videos from Portland, Oregon, show fighting between alleged Proud Boys members and anti-fascists in the streets of Portland.
Despite the police station located only a few blocks away, the videos showed both groups launching fireworks at one another on the city street well past nightfall. There were later reports of gunfire but no injuries.
According to reports, members of the Proud Boys group attempted to shut down an intersection to allow Christian worshippers to attend the waterfront “Let Us Worship” rally led by Sean Feucht.
Feucht is a well-known Christian music artist who gained notoriety for protesting coronavirus restrictions on religious services in California and across the country.
After the incident, Feucht clarified that the Proud Boys are not affiliated with his ministry and were not hired for security.
After families had left the event, videos show Antifa members in black attire, helmets and shields deploying some type of gas or mace. As fireworks exploded all around, the Proud Boys fired paintball guns at the Antifa members.
Some protestors could be seen walking down city streets openly carrying weapons. Video at the scene showed a man pointing what appears to be a rifle at a journalist taking photographs.
However, police said that officers on the scene determined it was an toy air rifle. No arrests were made.
“The Portland Police Bureau is prepared to monitor this event and may make arrests for crimes when resources allow. That does not always happen in the moment,” the bureau said in a written statement.
“Just because arrests are not made at the scene, when tensions are high, does not mean that people are not being charged with crimes later.”
Police stretched thin
The Portland Police Department said that officers could not respond to the clashes because they were too busy responding to a robbery and fatal shooting.
However, police said they were “aware of groups of people fighting” with air guns, paintball guns and bear spray.
They also said that people “may have been armed with other weapons” but that the police responded to a robbery in Old Town-Chinatown and a fatal shooting on a TriMet bus.
These clashes followed skirmishes at Tom McCall Waterfront Park near the Battleship Oregon Memorial.
Traveling religious leader Artur Pawlowski. Pawlowski had previously been arrested in Canada for having in-person worship services, which violated coronavirus restrictions. Pawlowski was expected to speak but was interrupted by Antifa members who launched projectiles into the crowd, which included young children.
Antifa members also stole lawn chairs and stereo equipment and threw them in the river.
Feucht remains indignant, tweeting, “It’s unfathomable that any American (Christian or not) would defend this DEMONIC and EVIL group over praying and worshipping believers. Yet, this is where we are in 2021. #HoldTheLine.”