Trump supporters caravan south of Portland, head to Salem, attack counter-protesters

Proud Boys attack peaceful protesters in Salem, Oregon
(Image credit: Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Hundreds of supporters of President Trump and right-wing activists gathered in Oregon City, Oregon, on Monday for a "Cruise Rally" south toward Salem, the state capital. The caravan, featuring Trump flags, QAnon banners, and Blue Lives Matter paraphernalia, broke up after several miles on Interstate 5, but a group of Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer members continued on to Salem to join about 100 Trump supporters on the steps of the state Capitol.

"At one point Monday afternoon, the right-wing crowd rushed a smaller group of Black Lives Matters counter-demonstrators, firing paint-gun pellets at them," The Associated Press reports. "Some in the right-wing group carried guns, baseball bats, sticks, and pipes," The Oregonian adds. "The Salem Police Department, supported by Oregon State Police, made multiple arrests after rally goers attacked some of the counter-protestors." Oregon Pubic Broadcasting's Sergio Olmos captured two of those attacks (the top one includes NSFW language and violence).

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The two men arrested for the second assault, Ty Parker of Durango, Colorado, and Trenton Wolfskill of Eugene, Oregon, were later released, Oregon State Police said. New York Times reporter Mike Baker also captured some of the skirmishes in Salem, then went back to cover the nightly protests in Portland.

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There actually was a large protest in Portland, Baker noted later, just not in the downtown area. An anti-racism demonstration outside Portland's North Precinct Community Policing Center on Sunday night led to several arrests after several people set a mattress on fire.

The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer activists have clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters in downtown Portland on and off for years, though tensions increased after an anti-fascist supporter fatally shot a Patriot Prayer member after a pro-Trump truck rally through downtown. (The suspect gunman, Michael Reinoehl, was killed by police as they tried to take him into custody last week.) Monday's Oregon for Trump 2020 rally purposefully avoided Portland, but the Proud Boys have announced a downtown rally for Sept. 26.

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