Peninsula Park.
Peninsula Park. Alex Zielinski

Update, 5:00 pm:

The afternoon is coming to a close with live music, speakers, and dancing at Irving Park. But, while the Proud Boys are off chugging brewskis in Vancouver, there's still nervous energy in the air around what the night may bring.

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Activists haven't announced a planned protest for this evening, but judging by the past four months (!!!) of nightly demonstrations, it wouldn't come as a surprise. And it could draw a response from the right-wing reactionaries still putzing around town. We're ending our live coverage of the daytime activities, but our reporters will continue to keep an eye on the streets this evening.

Stay safe, Portland.


Update, 4:30 pm:
Portland Police have confirmed that officers pulled over a vehicle without plates carrying weapons that had been at the Proud Boy rally. No reports yet of any police response to the Proud Boy members who were openly carrying AR-15 rifles in a public park (which is illegal unless you have a concealed gun permit).

Meanwhile at Irving Park, more speeches and music—and not a whiff of insecure Proud Boy testosterone.

Update, 3:30 pm:

Our Alex Zielinski filed this report from Peninsula Park:

The sun came out this afternoon just in time for speakers to take the stage, drawing a crowd of more than 1,000 to the lawn. The scene is familiar: several thousand Portlanders gathered at this same park on May 29 before marching downtown just days after George Floyd’s murder. Today's crowd heard from Demetria Hester, Albert Lee, Mic Crenshaw, Juan Chavez, Olivia Katbi Smith, and others. The park erupted in cheers after learning that the Proud Boy rally had wrapped—but leaders advised the group to be on the lookout for roving fascists tonight. By 3:15 pm, the group had begun to disperse—some lingering to pet a llama and others snacking on leftover pizza.

Meanwhile the Black Lives Matter car caravan has arrived at Irving Park, where speeches are now being delivered:

Also at Irving Park, a striking impromptu memorial for Portland's POC community who are experiencing houselessness.

Update, 2:35 pm:

The Vanport memorial rally has officially wrapped up, and the car caravan is still headed toward Irving Park. Here's one organizer reflecting on how peaceful the Vanport event was, despite some community concerns about its proximity to the Proud Boys rally:

Here's a peek at how things are going for the car caravan:

Portland police say they're investigating at least one instance of a Proud Boy rally-goer attacking a live-streamer. And here's a bizarre scene in which Proud Boys seem to be acting as traffic cops:

Finally, some words of encouragement from Peninsula Park, where a whopping 1.5 thousand people have turned out. Demetria Hester, an activist for Moms United for Black Lives PDX, is speaking: “This is about good trouble. This is about Black lives mattering... Everyone knows about Portland, Oregon. Look at us! This is why Trump’s scared.”

Update, 1:45 pm:

It's always nice to put things into perspective:

The group that started at the Vanport memorial is now headed to Irving Park (their flier said Irvington Park, but there doesn't appear to be an Irvington Park in Portland) in a car caravan. There's about 150 people altogether.

Meanwhile, the Proud Boys event is reportedly wrapping up (what, they couldn't even make it two hours?), and police are directing them to leave the area via Interstate 5 so as to not clash with the Vanport crew, which is Black-led.

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And at Peninsula Park, the speakers have just started! "People are booing Ronald Reagan," Alex reports. "Time is a flat circle.

Update, 1:15 pm:

Here's an update from reporter Cata Gaitán about the vibe at the Vanport historical marker:

About 200 people are gathered in the grass listening silently to Black speakers talk about the history of Vanport, Oregon’s history of racism, and their lived experiences of being Black in Portland. The mood is quiet and attentive as people in the crowd listen silently to the speakers. Other than the speakers and some occasional microphone feedback, the only sound in the park is the constant whirring of a helicopter hovering overhead.

An organizer holding an orange flag is giving direction to the crowd on how to safely participate in the car caravan [which is starting soon], including telling drivers to leave their hazard lights on, stay “bumper-to-bumper” and not exceed 8 miles per hour along the route to Irving Park.

Meanwhile, across the street in Delta Park, things are not so peaceful. Police are circling the outskirts of the rally, but the Proud Boys have so far been free to carry their guns (which is illegal in Portland city parks without an Oregon concealed carry permit), intimidate and attack journalists, and get a shield delivery from a far-right group called American Wolf.

And finally, here's a report from Alex Zielinski in Peninsula Park:

Some 300 folks are holding it down in Peninsula Park despite the heavy downpour. Umbrellas normally used for teargas defense are being used as... umbrellas! There are around a dozen tables set up here featuring different organizations, nonprofits, mutual aid groups. No speakers yet, just soggy socializing with Janelle Monáe bumping across the lawn.

Portland police (about 30 of them) swooped by an hour ago and arrested one person who was helping unload homemade foam shields from a vehicle. Officers told the crowd that shields weren’t allowed, despite them clearly being hauled around by Proud Boys this morning.

Nevertheless, most of the shields were still carried into the park. They’re being distributed for free or a donation.

Update, 12:30 pm:

Yesterday, OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton promised a "massive influx" of police officers in North Portland today, and that appears to be accurate.

Officers are already making arrests and confiscating shields at Peninsula park, but that doesn't seemed to have happened at Delta Park (where the Proud Boys are) yet. However, Proud Boys are reportedly chasing counter-protesters out of their rally and harassing independent journalists.

And here's some historical context for the area where all this is taking place:

Original post, noon:

The Proud Boys are back in Portland.

The far-right extremist group with white nationalist ties have a rally planned for today in North Portland's Delta Park. Antifascist and Black Lives Matter organizers have two counter-rallies planned: One across the street from the Proud Boys, and one a few miles away at Peninsula Park.

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Gov. Kate Brown has put the Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (MSCO) in charge of policing Portland this weekend, with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) working closely in tow. This morning we got news that some PPB officers will be federally deputized—meaning protesters who allegedly throw anything from water bottles to fireworks at them can be charged with assault of a federal officer.

Here's more context on the recent history of the Proud Boys and other far-right demonstrations in Portland from our own Alex Zielinski


In a press release, the Proud Boys said they were protesting on behalf of Aaron Danielson, the man who was shot and killed during a pro-Trump rally in Portland...

Over the past four months, Portland has seen demonstrations that largely pit racial justice protesters against law enforcement. Yet Saturday's events—which pull far-right activists into the mix—are a familiar dynamic in Portland. Since the 2016 election, far-right groups (whether its Vancouver-based Patriot Prayer or the Proud Boys) have used Portland as a destination for right-wing protests (whether it's in favor of men accused of sexual assault or a so-called "freedom march"). These rallies are usually met by counter-demonstrations organized by local left-wing groups. The clashes regularly end in serious injuries, numerous arrests, and concerns around Portland police officers appearing to play favorites with the right-wing activists.

The last time the Proud Boys organized a protest in Portland, in August 2019, Portland police offered the group a safe route away from groups of counter-protesters by escorting them across the Hawthorne Bridge. While Mayor Ted Wheeler and the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) declared that decision a success, many Portlanders saw police giving white supremacists what appeared to be special treatment.

This perceived bias in PPB's protest response came up again last month, when a right-wing rally in downtown Portland turned into a violent brawl against counter-protesters—and PPB declined to intervene. Officers stood by as at least one known member of the Proud Boys pointed a loaded firearm at a group of people, and as people from both groups threw punches. According to PPB Chief Chuck Lovell, this inaction was solely a numbers issue. With only 30 officers assigned to work that protest, PPB wasn't able to safely intervene, Lovell said.

The Mercury will be live-blogging (and live-Tweeting) updates from today's demonstrations, with input from our on-the-ground team: Alex Zielinski, Cata Gaitán, Mathieu Lewis-Rolland, and Suzette Smith. Check back here for updates.