There was a helicopter hovering overhead, and another helicopter roaming. Soon two more truckloads of police came by my parking spot. I got out of my vehicle and walked around. There were drunken white tourists coming out of a bar. They climbed onto one of those big bicycle carts and rowdied off down the street. Then a crowd of black and camo-clad men sauntered by, wearing masks and armor and carrying medieval looking weapons. There was at least one woman with them. They were scary, intentionally so. I think they were anti-fa. They appeared to simply be making their presence known. Two truckloads of riot police unloaded from their trucks and stood on the street corner. Another two truckloads of riot police came through behind the anti-fa after they left. I read this morning that Rump is talking about treating the anti-fa as another terrorist org. I don't think so. Their goal is not violence. Their goal is to be there and intervene in bigoted violence when the cops aren't around. I am grateful, frankly, that there are local citizens willing to step in and stop white supremacists from hurting/killing for their "cause". I'm not about to risk my own neck.
I walked around the area for a while because I was early to my appointment. I saw three very clean black suburbans slowly creeping through the blocks. I presume those were the feds behind bulletproof glass. Large ford trucks were arriving and parking in the area, and from each truck spilled four white men. They were mostly wearing polo shirts and blue jeans, and were mostly young to middle-aged and in good shape. They looked like they were ready for a brawl. Itching for a fight, maybe. I presume those were the so-called Proud Boys in spite of the fact that none were wearing black polos with yellow trim which is their uniform. That group is required to physically fight for their "western chauvinism" cause in order to reach the top level of membership. They are racist and misogynist and I was glad our local anti-fa and the cops were there ready to suppress their efforts to beat up gay and brown people.
I am proud of Portland with its bubble of relative safety for LGBT and brown people. Oregon doesn't have the finest of history in this regard, but at least now there are a lot of people willing to stick their necks out to stop hate.
Below are some of the links I visited on Saturday morning when trying to understand what is going on. I think McInnes and his crew will continue to come here because they get attention, and that is what they want. Attention and a fight. The PDX goal was to stop the fighting. After the protests the word was that they plan to return every month. It will be expensive for the city to continue to provide the kind of police presence that I saw.
I find it interesting that they call themselves boys. Oh yeah? Not men? So desperate to belong that they'll revert to boyhood? And proud of what, exactly? Their white skin? They had nothing to do with that, they were just born with it. Their tatoos? Their toughness? Not very proud of their independence I guess. Not too proud of their critical thinking or compassion. They may be proud but we are not proud of them.
Wiki on Proud Boys