Saturday’s (Sept. 26) Proud Boys rally in Portland, Oregon didn’t go as well as the far-right group initially thought it would.
The hate group planned a march in support of Donald Trump today with hopes of drawing in 20,000 people to join. Police, on the other hand, expected about 1,000 to 2,000 people. However, the demonstration only garnered around 200 folks instead, according to NBC News.
Throughout the day, social media users were able to witness different video footage and photos of the group gearing up for their event. From seeing clips of white militia members assaulting journalists to other marchers proudly wearing controversial shirts showing support for Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, the world got to see exactly what they were up to in the Oregon city.
To brace for what she thought would be a much more serious march, Oregon Governor Kate Brown called for a state of emergency earlier on Friday (Sept. 24). “The pattern of these particular groups is clear: to intimidate, instigate and inflame,” she said. The governor added that “white supremacist groups from out of town” were entering the city.
“We have seen what happens when armed vigilantes take matters into their own hands. We’ve seen it in Charlottesville, we’ve seen it in Kenosha and, unfortunately, we have even seen it here in Portland,” she added. “Let me be perfectly clear, we will not tolerate any kind of violence this weekend. Those stoking the flames of violence, those coming to Portland looking for a fight will be held accountable.”
“I categorically condemn violence of all kinds by all people,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler added in a statement today. “But let me be clear, the alt-right and white supremacist groups organizing to come to Portland on Saturday present the greatest threat we’ve faced so far.”
The Proud Boys were actually denied a permit for their march because of COVID-19 social distancing issues. However, they continued with it anyway arguing that they could practice their First Amendment right to support Trump, anti-fascists, and police if they want.
Portland has been a hotspot for protests since the police killing of George Floyd back in May. It looks like that won’t be changing anytime soon.