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Cops Arrest 13, Seize Weapons at Portland Rally

Far-right protesters and anti-fascists swarmed the city
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2019 1:15 PM CDT
Updated Aug 17, 2019 5:30 PM CDT
Portland police riot gear watch counterprotesters gathered in downtown Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019.   (AP Photo/APTN)
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(Newser) – Police arrested at least 13 people and seized metal poles, bear spray, and other weapons Saturday as hundreds of far-right protesters and anti-fascist counter-demonstrators swarmed downtown Portland, Oregon, the AP reports. Authorities closed bridges and streets to try to keep the rival groups apart. The city's mayor said the situation was "potentially dangerous and volatile," and President Donald Trump tweeted "Portland is being watched very closely." As of early afternoon, most of the right-wing groups had left the area via a downtown bridge. Police used officers on bikes and in riot gear to keep black-clad, helmet and mask-wearing anti-fascist protesters—known as antifa—from following them. But hundreds of people remained downtown and on nearby streets, and there were skirmishes throughout the day.

One person was injured and transported via ambulance, and three other people were evaluated by medics, said a Portland Police spokeswoman; the injuries were minor. Late in the morning, flag-waving members of the Proud Boys, Three Percenters militia group, and others gathered downtown, some also wearing body armor and helmets. Police said they had seized the weapons, including shields, from multiple groups as they assembled along the Willamette River, which runs through the city. More than two dozen local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, were in the city for the right-wing rally that was expected to draw people from across the country. Portland Police said all of the city's 1,000 officers would be on duty for the gathering that was hyped on social media and elsewhere for weeks.
(Read more antifa stories.)

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