June 4, 2018 6:58 am -

You have to ask yourself: why are the fascist, racist “Proud Boys” not mentioned in any headlines for articles that covered street protest clashes yesterday in Portland? And how can you not like a protest with a trombone?

Oregon Live (with a timeline) reports:

Antifa and Patriot Prayer demonstrators clash in downtown Portland; 4 arrested

Dueling demonstrations faced off Sunday in downtown Portland, marking the first large street protest of the spring.

The rallies drew hundreds to a pair of parks near City Hall, including right-wing Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson of Vancouver, his supporters and counter-protesters, including black-clad antifascists, known as antifa.

The rallies began peacefully and escalated with shoving, a small bonfire on the antifa side of the gatherings and punches thrown. Portland police stepped in to quell the fights and asked people to stay away from the area as Patriot Prayer supporters started marching.

Willemette Week put their own spin on the story:

Dueling Radicals Maul Each Other in Downtown Portland as a Political Rivalry Is Bloodily Renewed

Patriot Prayer and Antifa have regularly behaved more like street gangs than political movements

One of the most absurd and alarming symptoms of the current American sickness returned to the streets of Portland today—which is a fancy way of saying that right-wing and antifascist brawlers lined up to kick each others’ asses.

Clad in American flags and garish hats, nearly 100 members of the Vancouver, Wash.-based right-wing protest group Patriot Prayer started sparring with black-clad Antifa counter protesters at Terry Shrunk Plaza around 5 pm today.

The fight comes almost a year to the day after the largest and most chaotic of the standoffs between the two groups, who have regularly behaved more like street gangs than political movements.

That massive confrontation on June 4, 2017 came a week after a brutal stabbing on a Portland MAX train. Everyday Portlanders far outnumbered visiting alt-right celebrities, and the day amounted to a civic refutation of the right-wing extremism that seemed to have fueled the double slaying. (It also raised questions and sparked a lawsuit over the legality of the police response.)

Today’s clash is far smaller—no more than 300 people combined. And it represents a reunion of sorts for Patriot Prayer and Antifa, who haven’t met in several months.

But it shows the intensity of hatred between the two groups has not waned.

From the article cited by Bivins:

One year after police tactics at a downtown protest drew outrage and a lawsuit, Portland cops took a restrained approach to constraining brawls this evening between two groups of protesters who have become bitter political enemies.

A result of that approach: Patriot Prayer protesters and their antifascist foes were emboldened to not only assault each other, but to menace passersby who tried to intervene. The groups even lobbed rocks and discharged pepper spray at each other.

The hands-off police tactics have already drawn criticism from the right-wing Patriot Prayer movement and Antifa, both of whom complain about the results of fights like basketball teams working the referees.

But the return of two groups whose political speech seems like a pretext for organized assaults raises questions about the safety of those who don’t participate.

There is little love lost between the fascists and their antifa opponents. Much of the animosity stems from a right-wing terrorist’s attack on a Portland commuter train last year that has been largely ignored by the press:

On May 26, 2017, the most violent crime in TriMet’s history left Portland in shock when an attacker, spewing hate speech at two young women on a MAX train, allegedly stabbed three men who stepped in to intervene.

Two of the men died and a third was left with a gash from chest to chin. They would later be hailed as heroes as the city mourned the loss of life and grappled with the meaning of a horrific hate crime on Portland’s public transit system, which thousands of people ride every day.

One year later, the suspect is in jail awaiting trial and a vibrant mural honors the victims of the attack. The mural will be dedicated on Saturday, on the anniversary of the stabbing.

It should be no surprise that progessives and antifa have good reason to fear more terrorist acts from racists and neo-fascists emboldened by a squatter president who encourages division and ethnic hatred. Sadly, few dare bring that matter up when reporting on antifa.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.