Rally, counter-protest in downtown Portland; one arrested - KPTV - FOX 12

Rally, counter-protest in downtown Portland; one arrested

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Members of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer were met with counter-protesters near the Portland Marathon Sunday.

At about 2 p.m. Sunday, about 20 Patriot Prayer members gathered at Terry Schrunk Plaza, along with organizer Joey Gibson.

Several groups also gathered to show opposition to Patriot Prayer, including a heavy presence from Antifa. 

Gibson’s group started with a prayer, they then gave some speeches and also talked with some of the counter-protesters that showed up. 

Then, the Patriot Prayer members started marching, followed by counter-protesters. 

They walked through downtown Portland, starting down 3rd Avenue. Counter-protesters chanted messages against fascism and against Gibson. 

On the “Refuse Fascism PDX” Facebook page, they say Gibson's events have no cause and no positive message. They said they as counter-protesters showed up to defend their community.

There were some heated moments, like yelling between the two groups. 

Someone did spray Silly String on Gibson, but overall it all remained fairly peaceful Sunday. 

After marching for about 20 minutes, the groups returned to Terry Schrunk Plaza. 

FOX 12 asked a counter-protester if she felt they got their message across. 

“The more of us that show up to show that we don't tolerate this kind of racist stuff, behavior, the less of them there will be and the less likely they'll come out,” said counter-protester Elle Stanger. “We have to show opposition.” 

Counter-protesters said they will show up for as long as it takes to get their point across: which is letting the Patriot Prayer group know that they're not welcome.

Gibson told FOX 12 last month he did not want to come to Portland again because of violence. On Sunday, he clarified, saying he just did not want to send big groups to Portland anymore. He said his rally Sunday was to talk about freedom, truth, and God.

“It has to do with just continuing to bring in some positive energy to Portland,” he said. “Bring light to Portland. We got so many people who run around, talking about what they hate but nobody talks about what they love.” 

The rally ended when Gibson and Patriot Prayer members left downtown Portland around 4 p.m.

One man was arrested right next to the rally, and officers confiscated a knife and a gun. Police said he was arrested for having a firearm in a federal park. At this point, it’s unclear if the man was part of the rally or counter-protesters. 

Overall, Sunday’s rally was not as chaotic as been seen in the past. During a protest downtown last month, rocks were thrown and multiple arrests were made. 

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