Antifa demonstrators lunged smoking and bullets at police officers during rallies in downtown Portland on Sunday, injuring at least two, according to police.
The Rally and March Against White Nationalism, which was organized by the Portland Stands United Against Hate group, started off at a park on the waterfront with speakers leading demonstrators in anthem and prayers, Fox 12 reported.
After police changed the schemed road of the marching to avoid violence, tensions built up between the demonstrators and an resisting group, Patriot Prayer, also scheduled to hold a rally.
Police said demonstrators threw bullets and smoking bomb — and knocked down a fencing that police had put up. They also said seven suspects were in custody.
Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson originally planned to hold a larger rally in Portland but it was moved to nearby Vancouver, Wash ., to try and keep it safe and family-friendly, according to Fox 12.
Patriot Prayer bills itself as a peaceful First Amendment advocacy group that appears in locations where there have been past showdowns over free speech.
Gibson told Fox News their rallies are rooted in “a philosophy about promoting love and peace but doing it in a way that’s respectful. It’s about building bridges.”
Antifa members, Fox News previously reported, have over the last year increasingly constructed their violent presence known at progressive demonstrations and counter-protests to alt-right groups and speakers across the country — leaving critics to topic Antifa’s role in the leftist protest motion and to ask if the group is causing more damage than good.
Antifa, short for anti-fascist, traces its roots back to militant anti-fascists is working in Nazi Germany during the 1930 s. The emergence of these modern groupings of the United States — which are comprised predominantly of radical anarchists and be concentrated on opposing far-right ideology than on encouraging pro-left policies — coincided with a rise of white nationalists following the election of Barack Obama in 2008, analysts said.
Since the election of President Trump, Antifa activists had now become even more active, opposing with right-wing activists and police in cities from Philadelphia to Houston to Hamburg, site of this year’s G-2 0 summit.
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