Police order crowd dispersal after projectiles thrown at protesters in US

Published August 6, 2018
Portland: Police push protesters back with tear gas and flash-bang grenades during 
a rally.—AP
Portland: Police push protesters back with tear gas and flash-bang grenades during a rally.—AP

PORTLAND: Activists hurled rocks and bottles during a rally in the US city of Portland, Oregon organised by two far-right groups that drew a counter protests, said police, which ordered demonstrators to leave not long after the marches got under way.

Police in the western state of Oregon’s largest city had maintained a heavy presence during the duelling demonstrations, which had raised fears of a replay of last year’s “Unite the Right” protests in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended in bloodshed.

The projectiles were thrown at officers, said police, who ordered those in the area to “immediately disperse” — warning “failure to comply with this order may subject you to arrest or citation, and may subject you to the use of riot control agents or impact weapons.”

Footage of the rallies that drew hundreds showed plumes of smoke rising in the city of about 640,000 people. Portland police later said “protest officers seized firework mortars,” while some activists on the left accused police of shooting “stun grenades.” Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys, right-wing groups linked to violence at a previous Portland rally, were marching in the city’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park in support of Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, who is running as a Republican for the US Senate.

A group called Popular Mobilisation had also organised a counter-demonstration at the park, accompanied by a marching band and protesters in clown costumes.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2018

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