PORTLAND, Ore. – At least 100 anti-fascist demonstrators rallied in downtown Portland Saturday afternoon.
Refuse Fascism PDX organized the rally which started at 2 p.m. at Jamison Square. Demonstrators gave speeches criticizing President Donald Trump's policies. They also got into a few spats with right-wing Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, who showed up at the protest.
Demonstrators began marching in the streets to Tom McCall Waterfront Park at about 3:30 p.m. The group shouted chants throughout the march including "Whose streets? Our Streets!" and "No KKK, no fascist USA, no Trump."
Portland police said while a march route was permitted, the group deviated from the route and delayed traffic.
The protesters stopped marching at Southwest 4th Avenue and Yamhill Street to hold a minutes-long moment of silence for Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in 2012.
The group then continued to march and arrived at the waterfront at about 4:15 p.m. They then attempted to cross the Hawthorne Bridge but were blocked by police. Shortly after that, organizers thanked people for coming out and the group began to disperse.
Police said there were no reports of property damage and no arrests were made.
The rally was part of a nationwide protest calling for the removal of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, nearly a year after they won the election. Demonstrations in at least 20 other cities across the US are planned.
“We recognize fascism to exist in many forms: not only in the Trump/Pence regime, but extending into their cabinet, and taking form through every branch of government from the legislative law makers, the judicial process, the prison industrial complex, and the fascist pigs who enforce their policies,” the group said in a Facebook event.
In the months leading up to the demonstration, right-wing websites billed the national protest as a “Civil War to overthrow the government”. But the lead organizer of the Portland rally, Robert Brown, told The Oregonian those stories were “a hoax.”
In addition to Saturday’s Antifa protest, the annual Nov. 5 Million Mask March demonstration is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Salmon Street Springs.
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