‘I’m On Edge’: Portland Area Braces For Opposing Rallies On Labor Day

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Police in riot gear unleashed a volley of tear gas and flash-bang grenades on the protesters after police say some lobbed «multiple fire bombs, mortars, rocks and other items» at officers on Saturday night.

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Noah Berger/AP


America Reckons With Racial Injustice
Suspect In Fatal Shooting Of Portland Right-Wing Protester Killed By Law Enforcement

On Monday, crowds are expected to turn out at two large demonstrations in the Portland area.

Labor organizers have planned a rally at Portland’s Cathedral Park, while Trump supporters have organized a caravan rally somewhere outside of Multnomah County, where Portland is located.

Oregon For Trump 2020, the group behind the «cruise rally,» waited to announced the location of the rally until early Monday morning local time.

In a Facebook post, the group said it would not announce its route until the start of the rally «to show respect to the local law enforcement and to provide safety to all involved.»

They also pledged, «Our event WILL NOT be going into Multnomah County to help keep everyone» safe, and added that they have arranged for local law enforcement to «be at our starting and ending locations.»

But Ortega is not convinced that all attendees will adhere to that promise.

«Last time they said they’d be peaceful and look at what happened,» she said referring to the Aug. 29 rally in which they paraded into the city and Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson was killed. «They wanted something to happen.»

Videos circulating on social media recorded before Danielson was shot show Patriot Prayer members in trucks and cars pepper spraying bystanders, firing paint gun pellets into crowds and pointing weapons at them.

Although Patriot Prayer is not listed among the caravan organizers, the Vancouver, Wash.,-based group is expected to participate in the event.

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A boy lights a candle commemorating Aaron ‘Jay’ Danielson on Saturday night. Danielson, 39, was a member of Patriot Prayer. He was killed during a Portland protest on Aug. 29.

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Portland protesters set fire to two mattresses across the street from the Portland Police Bureau’s north precinct on Sunday night.

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Portland protesters set fire to two mattresses across the street from the Portland Police Bureau’s north precinct on Sunday night.

Vanessa Romo/NPR

Shortly before marching toward the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct on Sunday night, protester Rico De Vera said he’s bracing for «some kind of conflict» on Monday, though he doesn’t expect it to be widespread.

He noted the heavy presence of state troopers across the city and Portland Police Bureau officers, who have repeatedly declared riots as confrontations between protesters and officers continue to escalate.

On Saturday night, police in riot gear unleashed several volleys of tear gas and flash-bang grenades on the crowds after several demonstrators lobbed «multiple fire bombs, mortars, rocks and other items at officers, police said.

On Sunday night, protesters dragged two full-size mattresses onto NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., a four lane thoroughfare, and set them ablaze across the street from the police department’s North Precinct.

Police say 15 people were arrested.

«They’re coming down hard now,» De Vera said.

NPR’s Nathan Rott contributed to this report.

  • portland protests
  • BLM
  • black lives matter
  • Labor Day
  • Portland

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