SALEM, OR (KPTV) - A rally in support of President Donald Trump and a counter-protest in Salem was declared an unlawful assembly by police Wednesday.
The initial gathering was dubbed by organizers “Operation Occupy the Capitol” and began around noon.
By 2 p.m., Oregon State Police told protesters to leave the area immediately or be subject to possible arrest and the use of force.
Police said force could include “impact munitions and riot control agents.”
People in the crowd made it clear they would not leave. By 2:20 p.m., one person had been arrested. Police said David Willis, 43, of Lincoln City, is facing charges of harassment and disorderly conduct.
Troopers said a fight broke out between the two sides, but law enforcement was able to quickly separate the two groups.
Some protesters said their goal was for a peaceful rally, and blamed fireworks and the police response on counter-protesters.
The remaining protesters are returning to the plaza outside the Capitol saying to stand peacefully. They are blaming the fireworks and police response on counter-protesters. @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/5AlT30dFiv— Drew Reeves (@DrewReevesTV) January 6, 2021
Police advised the public to avoid the streets around the State Capitol, because multiple roads were blocked off.
Oregon State Police reported that the investigation is continuing and more charges are possible after consultation with the Marion County District Attorney's Office.
Around 6:00 p.m. another man identified as Cody Melby, 39, was arrested while attempting to access several doors at the State Capitol. He was booked into the Marion County Jail for trespassing while in possession of a firearm.