Black Lives Matter Photograph:( AFP )
One eyewitness told Reuters there were an estimated fifty Antifa members there and a slightly higher number of people aligned with the Proud Boys movement.
Police in Oregon City, Oregon, south of Portland, declared duelling protests by the Proud Boys extremist group and the anti-fascist Antifa group a riot, as clashes between the two groups broke out at a local park, local media said on Friday (June 18).
Social media video showed people getting into a brawl and throwing pepper spray as well as smoke flares at each other at the park.
One eyewitness told Reuters there were an estimated fifty Antifa members there and a slightly higher number of people aligned with the Proud Boys movement. The eyewitness said it was the largest such gathering of Proud Boys they had seen in one place this year in the city.
Both sides appeared to use mace on counter-protesters, the witness said, adding, "I saw a man hitting another with a baton."
A local NBC news station said a clash between the Proud Boys and Antifa members broke out in a local park, citing the Portland Tribune.
Police ordered both groups to leave the park, NBC said, adding that it was not immediately clear if any arrests had been made.
Helicopter news footage showed a significant presence of police officers fanning out later in the afternoon at several nearby intersections as duelling protesters rallied along the sidewalks and in a large parking lot.
The Proud Boys are among the far-right groups whose members are suspected of planning the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Their supporters have clashed periodically with members of Antifa, a loose movement of left-wing activists opposed by former President Donald Trump and right-wing media.