Proud Boys kneel in prayer at a sparsely attended "end antifa" rally in Portland on Sept. 26, 2020. (Photo: Tess Owen/VICE News)
PORTLAND, OR The End Antifa rally was supposed to draw 10,000 far-right Proud Boys to Portlands Delta Park, where they planned to take a stand against the lawlessness and depravity in the progressive Oregon city.
Instead, about 1,000 Proud Boys and MAGA activists showed up, according to crowd estimates from Oregon State Police.
The smell of booze wafted across the field, Trump 2020 flags rippled in the wind, and Proud Boys milled about, many wearing tactical gear accessorized with bear spray, bats, paintball guns, and walkie-talkies crackling with warnings of potential antifa intruders.
I came here because they said theres going to be beer, remarked one Proud Boy who gave his name as Milkshake. Theres beer and the American flag arouses me.
Were the Proud Boys, and were western chauvinists, and we refuse to apologize for creating the modern world, added Milkshake, who had a Proud Boy tattoo on his arm. We love America. We dont want to see it go to the shithole. And Portlands kind of the shithole of America right now.
Chants of fuck antifa intermittently broke out through the crowd.
We pray for the people of Portland. You can save Portland. You can save any member of Antifa, urged a speaker who was only described as the Chaplain. Reveal your purpose to the Proud Boys. Use us to lift up this city, to save the people of this city.
The solemn mission of salvation bestowed upon the Proud Boys, militiamen and pro-Trumpers in the audience struck quite a different tone than some of the rhetoric seen online ahead of Saturdays rally.
Earlier this week, Bellingcat published internal chats from Patriot Coalition, a network of militant right-wing groups, which showed them discussing tactics for the rally, including using glass breaker balls. This wont be a simple fist fight, one person wrote. People will get shot, stabbed and beat.
Concerns over potential violence at Saturdays rally even led Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to declare a state of emergency and establish a multi-jurisdictional police task force to respond to any potential unrest.
Meanwhile, Proud Boy Chairman Enrique Tarrio, who had traveled from Miami, Florida, repeatedly insisted that the event, which was touted in part as a pro-police Back the Blue rally, was never meant to be about violence.
And yet many in the crowd seemed to be itching for a fight. Theyd set up tailgate style, and were slamming beers and White Claws before noon. Any potential intruders were immediately swarmed. At least two live-streamers were assaulted; one was kicked in the head by a rally attendee. (Portland police say that theyre investigating the incident.)
Other journalists reported being repeatedly menaced by Proud Boys wielding bats. There was even one brief scuffle between rally-goers in the line for the bathroom.
Entry points to the Delta Park were manned by heavily armed guards, who had established checkpoints. Some were even positioned on the top level of nearby bleachers, who were looking into the distance through binoculars, presumably keeping watch for approaching enemies.
In one bizarre interlude, a black stretch limo emblazoned with the words AMERICAN WOLF drove by the field, followed by a white van. They parked, a man got out, and began unloading dozens of white plastic shields, which were also labelled AMERICAN WOLF and the url for their website.
American wolf is not a militia, their website states. In fact, its not even a group. It's a movement comprised of American men and women fighting for positive change in the United States. They claim to have raised $74,000 for the defense fund for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of shooting two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last month.
Rittenhouse, a former police cadet, is pleading self-defense, and has become somewhat of a conservative folk hero since the Kenosha shooting. He was also one of the main honorees of the Proud Boy event. One woman carried signs saying KYLES LIFE MATTERS.
Jake Gardner, the white Omaha bartender who died by suicide a week after he was indicted for fatally shooting a Black protester, was also an honoree.
But the killing of Aaron Jay Danielson, a supporter of far-right Patriot Prayer, was one of the biggest themes of the day. Danielson was shot dead by Michael Reinoehl, a self-proclaimed anti-fascist, on the streets of Portland less than a week after the Kenosha shooting. Caps and t-shirts saying JUSTICE FOR JAY were for sale on merch tables by the main stage. Who Killed Aaron Jay Danielson? a sign asked. Not the police. Not the Proud Boys. Not President Trump.
Tarrio announced plans for the rally on September 3, just days after Danielson was killed. Online rhetoric about avenging Danielsons death was another reason that local officials were on edge ahead of Saturdays event. Portland has seen some of the worst political violence of the Trump era. Groups like Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer have routinely targeted leftist protesters there and in some cases, those showdowns have led to brawls and injuries.
Mounting tensions in Portland were exacerbated by the renewed civil rights movement following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the mobilization of a well-armed counterprotest movement. Portlanders protested for over 100 consecutive days, and at one point, found themselves up against federal troops deployed as a crowd-control force by President Donald Trump.
At a Proud Boy rally in Portland in August, a far-right activist fired into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters. Proud Boy supporter Alan Swinney also pulled a gun on protesters during that same event. Swinney was a no-show at Saturdays event however. He wrote on Parler, a popular right-wing alternative to Twitter, that there was a warrant out for his arrest. He said he didnt know what the charges were but was sure it had something to do with shooting violent protesters with paintballs. American Wolf is also crowdfunding for Swinneys legal defense, and has raised $1,400 so far.
The End Antifa rally was initially slated to take place in Portlands downtown, but on September 17, Proud Boys moved the rally to Delta Park, located on the citys north side, at the site of the former Vanport City, where a large minority community was washed away by a flood in 1948. To many Portlanders, Delta Park is a sensitive site that symbolizes the citys racist history and ongoing issues around gentrification.
A counterprotest of about 1,000 people was held three miles away in Peninsula Park. There, groups of black-clad antifascists mingled with local activists, including Plant Bloc who were handing out free fruit and vegetables to attendees. Additionally, a group of Black activists from Portland held what they described as an educational session at the marker of the former Vanport City.
The Proud Boy event started to wrap up around 2.30 p.m., and most traveled as a caravan over the bridge to Vancouver in Washington State. But other attendees may have had other plans. Oregon State Police said in a statement that police stopped other vehicles for traffic violations, including a group of Proud Boys who were riding in a truck holding paintball guns, firearms, baseball bats and shields.
Police issued criminal citations to two men for possession of loaded firearms in public, and seized the weapons in the vehicle.
By signing up to the VICE newsletter you agree to receive electronic communications from VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content.
Read this article:
- Jaden Hill is LSU's ace pitcher who has a bigger calling in life: 'I'm chosen to help people' - The Advocate - February 19th, 2021
- Gangland: a book about meth and the people whose lives it touches - The Spinoff - February 17th, 2021
- SA tattoo artist to the stars on taking his skill abroad - News24 - February 14th, 2021
- Memories of dad help make University of Houston's Justin Gorham a rebounding machine - Houston Chronicle - February 11th, 2021
- Tauranga's strongest head to the Highlands - The Bay's News First - SunLive - February 6th, 2021
- Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys Got His Paris Hilton Tattoo Just 3 Week Before They Broke up - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - January 30th, 2021
- 2 Green Country Women Share Stories Through Tattoo Ink; Competing In National Contest - News On 6 - January 30th, 2021
- Gangs? Cliques? Subgroups? Call Them What You Will There've Been 18 (Yes, 18) In The LA Sheriff's Department - LAist - January 22nd, 2021
- Trump's useful thugs: how the Republican party offered a home to the Proud Boys - The Guardian - January 22nd, 2021
- Proud Boys among groups being watched as inauguration approaches. Do they have Northeast Ohio ties? - Akron Beacon Journal - January 20th, 2021
- Who are Proud Boys? The Western chauvinist far-right group explained and what Donald Trump has previously said about them - The Scotsman - January 15th, 2021
- Theyve been hidden too long: Report details Los Angeles Sheriffs deputy gangs and violence toward communities of color - East Bay Times - January 15th, 2021
- Hawaii Proud Boy Charged By DOJ After Raiding US Capitol - Honolulu Civil Beat - January 9th, 2021
- Swimming With My Shirt Off - The New York Times - January 9th, 2021
- How the Internet Reflected on and Coped With the Capitol Attack - Hyperallergic - January 9th, 2021
- The Weekly-ish Mailbag is mailing it in this week. - Off Tackle Empire - December 31st, 2020
- Four months before her wedding, Mary knew it was over - Sydney Morning Herald - December 19th, 2020
- Family, determination and a dream: The Real Woods story - The Stanford Daily - December 16th, 2020
- Skating solo gives me time to study everyone else on the rink - The Globe and Mail - December 16th, 2020
- LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS: Price is Right Live show rescheduled - Goshen News - December 16th, 2020
- Controversial Mom Made One Of Her Twin Toddlers Get A Tattoo For Very Important Reason - BabyGaga - December 11th, 2020
- Mum of twins tattoos one so she can tell them apart leaving mother-in-law fuming - Daily Star - December 11th, 2020
- Farmingtons mayor of 12 years memorializes his experience in tattoo - TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press - December 8th, 2020
- Im A Celebrity superfan gets tattoo of Ant and Dec at Gwrych Castle inked onto his thigh - The Sun - December 1st, 2020
- MacAdam: Fascination with Mike Tyson began in Albany - The Daily Gazette - November 27th, 2020
- 'Home town boys' return to Philippi Main Street - The Inter-Mountain - November 20th, 2020
- The Post-Election Proud Boys Meltdown Is Here, and It's Ugly - The Daily Beast - November 12th, 2020
- I just want to be with my friends: how will children cope with being cooped up again in second lockdown? - The Guardian - November 9th, 2020
- 240+ Inspirational & Meaningful One Word Tattoos (2020 ... - November 6th, 2020
- 75+ Best Small Tattoos For Men (2020) - Simple Cool ... - November 6th, 2020
- Tickets for sale in Snohomish County and around the region - The Daily Herald - November 5th, 2020
- Seances, tattoos and the unbreakable bond between Mikaela Mayer and Al Mitchell - ESPN - October 30th, 2020
- Students rediscover their childhood fandoms on TikTok - Daily Northwestern - October 29th, 2020
- Chase Winovich talks playing time, conspiracy theories with Zolak & Bertrand - 98.5 The Sports Hub - October 22nd, 2020
- The Cycle of Punitive Justice Starts in Schools. Eric Butler Is Showing Kids and Teachers How to Break It. - Mother Jones - October 21st, 2020
- The Proud Boys? - SOFREP - October 16th, 2020
- Theatre Alliance to perform outdoor production of Devil Boys from Beyond - Yes! Weekly - October 16th, 2020
- Freshers' Flu - Why My Mum Invented COVID - Cherwell Online - October 10th, 2020
- Who Are the Proud Boys Trump Told To 'Stand Back and Stand By'? - Snopes.com - October 8th, 2020
- Dan Osbornes tattoo shows hes protective of Jacqueline Jossa & the meaning behind Brooklyn Beckhams spoo - The Sun - October 7th, 2020
- When the Proud Boys came to town - The Economist - October 7th, 2020
- The ten essential facts you need to know about BTS's Suga - Film Daily - October 6th, 2020
- 30 Best Neck Tattoos for Boys and Girls - The Best Tattoo ... - September 30th, 2020
- Best 100+ Tattoo Designs For Men and Boys - Youme And Trends - September 30th, 2020
- Who are the Proud Boys, the extremist group Trump named in the debate - Insider - INSIDER - September 30th, 2020
- Fred Perry Will Denounce Proud Boys, But The President Won't - Highsnobiety - September 30th, 2020
- Hooligans With Heart: Phoenix Risings Red Fury fan club reaches out to refugees - Cronkite News - September 30th, 2020
- Whats New on Netflix UK & Top 10s: September 30th, 2020 - What's on Netflix - September 30th, 2020
- From the Fields: Soaking it up now | agrinews-pubs.com - Agri News - September 30th, 2020
- Who are the Proud Boys and why did Trump tell them to stand by? - The Irish Sun - September 30th, 2020
- Dallas Cowboys news: Defense is looking for improvements - Blogging The Boys - September 26th, 2020
- For Australia's military veterans, tattoos are an important reminder of the things they've seen - The Canberra Times - September 26th, 2020
- What is the alt-right group the Proud Boys? - The Sun - September 21st, 2020
- Police investigating after man tried to grab young boy from street - The Northern Echo - September 18th, 2020
- Cowboys news: Reviewing the rookies after the Cowboys season-opener - Blogging The Boys - September 18th, 2020
- Nas makes his latest claim to the throne with King's Disease - NYSMusic - September 18th, 2020
- The Boys Season 2 Episode 4: 20 Easter Eggs And Things You Might Have Missed - GameSpot - September 15th, 2020
- The Boys Season 2 Episode 4: 20 Things You Might Have Missed - GameSpot - September 11th, 2020
- Remembrance of Things Past: A favorite series features a book with a local tie - theday.com - September 11th, 2020
- RCB spinner Adam Zampa speaks of his love for whisky, need to carry microwave on tours - Times Now - September 8th, 2020
- Youth of color disproportionately represented in the justice system - Prescott eNews - September 7th, 2020
- Two "Boogaloo Boys" Allegedly Tried To Supply Weapons To Hamas And Join As Mercenaries - BuzzFeed News - September 6th, 2020
- Sophie Kasaei shows off full sleeve and chest piece in 'tattoo' snap - Heat - September 3rd, 2020
- Failed by the System - Eugene Weekly - September 3rd, 2020
- 'They're going to have to shoot me': A cop's son meets a tragic fate in Morris Township - Morristown Green - September 3rd, 2020
- Youth of color disproportionately represented in the justice system - Cronkite News - September 3rd, 2020
- 2 Boys Arrested In Suspected Attempted Carjacking, Armed Robbery - Patch.com - September 2nd, 2020
- Ask Billboard: Katy Perry's Career Bests, From 'One of the Boys' to 'Smile,' & Every Hot 100 'Idol' Top 10 - Billboard - August 29th, 2020
- This says Jimin's tattoo, it has a very deep meaning - Somag News - August 27th, 2020
- 10 Katy Perry Tattoos and the Meaning of Each - Music Times - August 27th, 2020
- Home and Away Review: Annabelle Stephens joins the cast as Angelos wife - The West Australian - August 26th, 2020
- Listen to this! New releases and livestreams from The Boy Band Project, Broadway Buskers, and Playbill - DC Metro Theater Arts - August 25th, 2020
- LASD gangs: Who are the Compton Executioners? - Los Angeles Times - August 20th, 2020
- Disney adults are the most terrifying people on the planet and they need to be stopped - The Tab - July 15th, 2020
- Blake Shelton Said He Has the 'Crappiest Tattoo' and Fans Get It Wrong - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - July 15th, 2020
- 30 Hand Tattoo Designs for Boys and Girls - thisistattoo.com - September 13th, 2019
- Proud Boys - Wikipedia - September 13th, 2019