SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered Monday afternoon in a small town south of Portland for a pro-President Donald Trump vehicle rally — just over a week after member of a far-right group was fatally shot after a Trump caravan went through Oregon’s largest city.
Later, pro-Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed in Oregon’s Capitol city of Salem.
Vehicles waving flags for Trump, the QAnon conspiracy theory and in support of police gathered at about noon at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City.
The rally’s organizers said they would drive to toward Salem and most left the caravan before that. A smaller group of members of the right-wing group the Proud Boys went on to Salem, where a crowd of several dozen pro-Trump supporters had gathered.
At one point Monday afternoon, the right-wing crowd rushed a smaller group of Black Lives Matters counter-demonstrators, firing paint-gun pellets at them.
Videos on social media showed right-wing protesters chasing, tackling and assaulting left-wing protestors with weapons, their fists and with pepper spray, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Paintballs were also fired between the two groups.
After unfolding a large American flag on the steps of the Capitol, right-wing protesters charged counter-protesters, leaving several of them injured, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Right-wing protesters made a second rush later, tackling and beating at least one person, leading to two arrests, the media outlet said.
Organizers of the earlier vehicle rally in Oregon City said they did not plan to enter Multnomah County, where Portland is located. Oregon City is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Portland.
In Portland on Monday, Black Lives Matter supporters rallied in a city park and demonstrated peacefully, KOIN TV reported.
“Teacher unions are part of the labor movement, and I feel like it’s really important for people who are members of a union to step up and say, ’Our labor supports Black Lives Matter and we are ready to organize in support of systemic change,’ ” educator Joanne Shepard told the TV station.
On Aug. 29 Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, was killed in Portland after a pro-Trump caravan went downtown. Trump supporters fired paint ball canisters at counter-demonstrators, who tried to block their way.
Danielson’s suspected killer, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was fatally shot by police Thursday. Reinoehl was a supporter of antifa — shorthand for anti-fascists and an umbrella description for far-left-leaning militant groups.
Demonstrations in Portland started in late May after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and have continued for more than 100 days.
A fire started outside a police precinct on Portland’s north side resulted in about 15 arrests during protests Sunday night into Monday morning, police said.
Demonstrators protesting police brutality began marching about 9 p.m. Sunday and stopped at the North Precinct Community Policing Center, the site of several volatile protests in recent months.
Officials warned demonstrators against entering the precinct property, saying they would be trespassing and subject to arrest.
Shortly after arriving, the crowd began chanting, among other things, “burn it down,” police said. Some in the group lit a mattress on fire.
Most of those arrested were from Portland. Others were from San Francisco; Sacramento, California; Mesa, Arizona; and two from Vancouver, Washington.
Charges included interfering with an officer, resisting arrest, reckless burning and possession of a destructive device.