PORTLAND, Ore. – Officers made seven arrests Sunday during multiple rallies and a permitted march in downtown Portland.
Portland Stands United Against Hate held a peaceful assembly and march Sunday that began and ended at Terry Schrunk Plaza, Portland police said.
Other demonstrators, from a group that gathered at Waterfront Park, threw projectiles, including rocks and smoke bombs, at officers. Two officers suffered minor injuries.
Arrests being made at corner of 3rd & Salmon. Someone set off some kind of flash bang or firework at one point. pic.twitter.com/fZlgg34WFK— Taylor Viydo (@TaylorViydoKGW) September 10, 2017
KGW's Gene Cotton captured on video police using a flash-bang grenade to disperse the crowd, as well as an officer being hit by a water bottle thrown from the group of demonstrators.
Demonstrators began showing up at Salmon Street Springs fountain in Waterfront Park around noon. The first demonstrators arrived for two events, the "Shut Down White Supremacy" rally organized by the Queer Liberation Front, and a permitted street march organized by the group Portland Stands United Against Hate.
Around 1 p.m., members of the conservative group Patriot Prayer arrived at Salmon Street Springs. The competing protests were stationed away from each other, but KGW reporter Taylor Viydo reported there was some shouting between the two sides.
Right now near Salmon Street Springs. Police reminding everyone to keep the area open. Shouting between two sides. pic.twitter.com/n334f47006— Taylor Viydo (@TaylorViydoKGW) September 10, 2017
The conservative protesters left after about 45 minutes and moved to Vancouver for their rally, which had originally been scheduled to take place in Portland before organizer Joey Gibson announced the move north to Vancouver.
The rally in Vancouver started at 2 p.m. and was joined by some counter-protesters, who followed Patriot Prayer members into the Sunday afternoon rally. Portland Police said they sent officers to Vancouver to assist.
Police had to intervene to keep the counter-protesters separated from the Patriot Prayer members. When the rally ended, police had the demonstrators leave eight at a time while shielding them from the counter-protesters.
A driver was arrested after accelerating in his truck between a group of counter-protesters. KGW's Maggie Vespa caught the scene on video (starts at 3:55).
The following people were arrested Sunday and will be arraigned in Multnomah County Court on Monday:
- Tyler W. Bristow, 27. Charges: Interfering with a Police Officer and Resist Arrest.
- Chad Skjei. 37. Charges: Interfering with a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree, and Attempt Theft in the Second Degree.
- Thomas "Sarah" Wallace. 18. Charges: Assault on a Police Officer (two counts) and Harassment.
- Deaclan S. Lenartz, 35. Charges: Interfering with a Police Officer and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree.
- Naomi G. Seraphina, 42. Charges: Interfering with a Police Officer and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree.
- Alice E. Hall, 27. Charges: Interfering with a Police Officer and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree.
- Eli F. Richey, 37. Charges: Interfering with a Police Officer.
Patriot Prayer event moved to Vancouver
On Saturday, Gibson, the founder of conservative group Patriot Prayer, asked for people wishing to participate in the group's "Peaceful Portland Freedom March," to show up in Vancouver instead of Portland.
"As you know in Vancouver, [police] don't mess around. This is a way for us to continue to be peaceful," Gibson said in a video posted on Facebook. "If Antifa wants to come over, it's going to be a problem for them."
Gibson asked participants to show up at 110 Columbia Street along the Vancouver waterfront at 2 p.m.
“We will be able to collect donations, have speeches…a small march and then we’ll march across the [Interstate] bridge," he said. According to the Facebook event page, the group plans to collect items to be donated to fire victims in Oregon and Washington.
While Gibson said the main rally was moved to Vancouver, he said he and his "inner circle" would march in downtown Portland from 12:30-1:30 p.m. before the main Vancouver rally. But he insisted people interested in participating on Sunday should go to Vancouver. He said Vancouver and Portland police are aware of the change in plans.
Patriot Prayer has been involved in clashes with counter-protesters in cities throughout the country, including previously in Portland. Gibson says the group is about freedom in general and freedom of speech. Some of Gibson's rallies have been criticized for attracting known white supremacists from around the country.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said his office was working closely with police to ensure the safety of all who attend the events.
Wheeler issued the following statement Friday:
“On Sunday, Portland will find itself – once again – in the middle of national events, as demonstrators and counter-demonstrators converge on our city. This is not the first set of demonstrations in Portland. This will not be the last. But how we conduct ourselves as a community will send a message about our city to the rest of the nation.
“Portland rejects racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. We reject white supremacy. Messages of hate are not welcome in Portland. We have seen – far too often – how these words of hate can quickly turn to acts of violence. Portland also rejects violence.
“Around the country, we’ve seen demonstrations that have involved arrests and illegal acts. My hope is that we are better than that. We can do it better. We can do it the Portland way. In Portland we celebrate diversity, we stand up for others, we promote unity, and we practice non-violence.
“Over recent weeks, my office has worked closely with the Portland Police Bureau, as well as state, local and federal officials, on plans to protect the safety of everyone who chooses to demonstrate on Sunday. Portland Police will focus on ensuring that people’s right for freedom of expression and speech is protected. However, illegal behavior is not acceptable.
“We will not tolerate acts of violence. We will not tolerate vandalism. We will not tolerate criminal behavior. I call on everyone who plans on demonstrating here Sunday to do so peacefully, to help ensure that everyone goes home safely.”