A week after the fatal stabbings of two men who were trying to stop an extreme right-winger from harassing a teen in a hijab, a protest called “Trump Free Speech” was met by a veritable army of counter-protesters. With the city already tense following the pair of stabbings, the rally was the first since Jeremy Christian, the suspect in the murders, attended a Portland protest in April while making Nazi salutes and shouting slurs, and this was seemingly not forgotten by the counterprotesters.
The Patriot Prayer protest, which was held elsewhere in the city, also saw a slew of counterprotesters that held signs saying, “Dear Jesus, your sheep have strayed” and “your racism is not patriotism.”
Chant directed at Patroit Prayer group: “Racist, sexist, anti-gay; take your hate and go away.” pic.twitter.com/hc7ac96nVk
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) June 4, 2017
Earlier in the week, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler requested that the protests be canceled out of respect to the mourning families of those who were killed, which were met by outcries from the organizers. One such organizer was Joey Gibson, the man behind the Patriot Prayer rally, who said, “He came to one of our events, and he was not welcome there.”
“Anti-fascist” protesters were in large number, masked and mirroring some right-wing protesters with helmets and makeshift shields, carved from garbage cans. Some even brought an ice cream cart filled with treats.
Unfortunately, the protests turned to violence, with marbles and other projectiles being shot into the crowds and reportedly, some police being assaulted. The assembled law moved quickly and using tear gas, cleared the parks of the protests:
Finally, amidst the chaos, there was one gentleman who may have found himself at the wrong protest, but he made his voice heard.