Scores of U.S. right-wing and anti-fascist demonstrators squared off on Saturday in Portland, Oregon, where four people were injured in similar rallies on June 30.
Police tried to keep the two sides apart as protesters chanted and hurled insults at each other. Authorities set up a security perimeter around a waterfront park and officers frisked attendees and confiscated flag poles and other potential weapons.
Among the right-wing marchers, some of whom wore body armor and carried shields, were members of the Patriot Prayer group founded by Joey Gibson, a conservative Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate in November's midterm elections.
They were opposed by counter-protesters, some dressed in black with face masks, who shouted anti-Nazi slogans.
Police later declared the event a 'civil disturbance' and ordered everyone to leave the park.
The mayor of the Northwestern US city, Ted Wheeler, said in a statement on Friday: "It is particularly troubling to me that individuals are posting publicly their intent to act out violently. We don't want this here."
A police statement said weapons would be seized if the owner doesn't have the proper paperwork. It is illegal to carry a loaded firearm in public in Portland unless the owner is in possession of a valid Oregon concealed handgun license.
Counter-Protesters gather before a rally by the right-wing Patriot Prayer group in Portland, Oregon, U.S., Aug. 4, 2018. | Reuters
"The potent combination of bigotry and violence on the streets of Portland poses a serious threat to community safety, and particularly to residents who are people of color, women and LGBTQ," said a statement by the Western States Center signed by 40 activist groups.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit group that monitors extremism, Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys have appeared together at several rallies in the Pacific Northwest since 2017.