protests and counterprotests
Police in Vancouver, Washington, arrested a driver who witnesses claim tried Sunday to run over antifascist demonstrators with his truck, KGW Portland reports. The man was ultimately not charged with a crime. Vancouver's "antifa" march had been organized as a counter-protest to a right-wing "Patriot Prayer" rally that was taking place in the city at the same time.
While no one was seriously injured, the incident in Vancouver seemingly parallels the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month, when a man drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters objecting to a white supremacist gathering, killing one person.
A black Chevy Silverado with Oregon plates and two large American flags and several small flags hanging from its windows (along with a Confederate flag decal displayed on the back window of the cab) drove up to the marchers. It was driving slowly down a street flanked by people dressed in black bloc clothing.
As the crowd parted to clear the way for the truck to move forward, protesters filled the street behind it and started throwing rocks and water bottles at the truck.
The driver suddenly put his vehicle in reverse and accelerated toward the protesters. As he sped up, people jumped out of the street. [Willamette Week]
As the driver allegedly continued to intimidate marchers, revving his engine and "cutting [them] off," Vancouver police arrived on the scene and arrested the man behind the wheel, Willamette Week writes. A group of far-right "Proud Boys" responded to the arrest by driving down the street and pepper spraying the counter-protesters, witnesses claim.
Vancouver police say the truck driver "was not charged with a crime and has been released," KGW.com writes.