Tension and emotions are running high in the Rose City after several reported bias crimes. That's why security was increased for the Portland Pride Parade and Festival. It was a concern for organizers and Portland police.
For the most part, things went smoothly except for a few isolated incidents. The most notable was a brawl that broke out in the North Park Blocks. Police say they responded to a disturbance between a pride event, Antifa members, and street preachers.
A video of the altercation was posted on YouTube.com by The Common Sense Conservative. In the video, you can hear people yelling at another person several times to let go, then a fight breaks out.
The whole ordeal only lasts about 40 seconds before things calmed down. Several people received minor injuries.
"We did have a bit of a security incident with the street preachers who come to protest our march every single year," said Lyles McFarland, who is with Greater Portland Trans Unity.
McFarland adds they were prepared to de-escalate any situation that might have arisen.
"We have our own security team who were actually able to step in immediately to get the community member away," McFarland said.
Among those with minor injuries was Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson.
He says his group was asked by the street preachers to act as security for them. He says he has no ties to the group and doesn't agree with their message.
"We had a couple guys go down there to make sure that no one was violent to them," Gibson said. "While we don't necessarily agree with the things they say, we agree in the right to do it. Free speech advocates."
Portland Police say that no one involved wanted to press charges but are asking folks who have any other information about what happened to contact them.
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