Published in Oct 2020 / Updated in Jan 2021
While other big cities deal with Covid-19, Portland’s policy is always busy with fights between the left and right-wingers.
On one hand, there’s Antifa, an anti-fascist action and left-wing political movement. They gained popularity during the Black Lives Matter protests, though they’ve been active for years.
On the other side is a group Patriot Prayer, a far-right group often involved in riots in the Pacific Northwest.
When the two groups collide, it’s a not so gentle reminder that there’s no hope for humanity.
No rules, no boundaries
Ever since President Trump said Antifa should be called a terrorist group, far-righters have been merciless.
In one attack, local activists were planning peaceful protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Videos posted to social media by supporters of the vigilante groups showed dozens of people walking up and down a downtown shopping strip. Many open-carrying AR-15s and other semi-automatic long guns and sporting tactical apparel.
The incident from Portland is just one out of many. In Idaho, the far-right group occupied the city, with one man saying:
“If you guys are thinking of coming to Coeur D’Alene, to riot or loot, you’d better think again. Because we ain’t having it in our town.”
“I guess there’s a big rumor that people from Spokane are gonna come out here and act up. But that shit ain’t gonna happen.”
Who Are Patriot Prayer?
So far, we know what Antifa stands for. According to the FBI, and despite Donald Trump’s claims, there is “no evidence” of Antifa’s involvement in violence linked to the Floyd protests and NBC News has reported one supposed Antifa group posting violent rhetoric on the internet was in fact linked to white supremacists.
But, when it comes to the Patriots, things are a bit more hazy.
In 2018, the FBI included the Washington-Oregon Proud Boys during a presentation to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office on “domestically inspired acts of violence.”
The FBI claims,
“Proud Boys members have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.”
The leader of Patriot Prayer claims that:
“Everyone should be carrying around guns at all times, especially people in our situation.”
One can only assume what he meant by “our situation.”
An Average Joe’s confusion
The riots in Portland, as well as other similar ones between the Antifa and the Patriots reminded us of the clashes between soccer fanatics in the UK.
However, on one side, you have people fighting for equality. And on the other, well, you can draw your own conclusions.
One associate of Patriot Prayer threatened Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and another made explicit threats against Portland antifascists:
You’re gonna be getting knives put into your throat. You’re going to be getting bullets put into your head if you don’t stop this shit with us.
An average white American doesn’t have to understand racism, but there’s such thing as peaceful protesting, protected by the Constitution.
We’re not saying that supporters of BLM are always in the right. But the vast majority is looking for equality, and they aren’t throwing fists.
The rest are looking for trouble, and they met their match. The heartbreaking, disturbing videos from across the States are proof that living in peace is a fantasy.