Dueling rallies engulfed five blocks of downtown Portland, OR, on Sunday as hundreds of Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators hurled insults but largely avoided physical confrontation during a tense standoff just days after police arrested a known extremist in the grisly killing of two good Samaritans, reports the Oregonian.
Officers in riot gear prevented a full-scale clash between protest blocs by restricting access to Terry Schrunk Plaza, where Trump backers and free-speech advocates rallied for hours in a self-contained bubble within this liberal city.
Three distinct groups of counter-demonstrators overtook the surrounding blocks, forming a perimeter along streets and sidewalks while chanting anti-hate messages and sometimes taunting Trump supporters under the watchful eye of police.
Officers deployed explosives and pepper balls to scatter the antifascist crowd gathered in Chapman and Lownsdale squares just north of the pro-Trump rally. By 6 p.m., each demonstration had subsided without any significant violence and police had arrested 14.
"The mayor would like to thank those who peacefully protested today in Portland," Michael Cox, a spokesman for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, said Sunday. "He is grateful that there were no reports of major injuries, and that arrests were minimal."