I’d gotten a heads-up, from one of my CopsNW friends, that we were going to have “the mother of all rallies” today in downtown Portland.
I was expecting maybe 50 or 100 “patriots,” but it turned out that it was closer to a thousand (you can decide from the videos). Maybe more. Across from us were what looked like a smaller number of BLMers/Antifa. Our group consisted of Back-the-Blue activists, run of the mill conservatives, Patriot Prayer people, Christians and citizens who are simply tired of seeing their city/country being trashed.
Standing between us and violent BLMers was a contingent of Proud Boys. They came from various places in order to provide what amounted to private security; the police were way off in periphery, keeping an eye on things from a distance. With their large, burly bodies, the Proud Boys placed themselves in the line of fire, enduring projectiles and pepper spray, so that the rest of us could be relatively safe. I have renewed respect for these guys, and they told me how to get in touch with them, so that I can coordinate my activities with them in the future.
As mentioned, there were projectiles. It was inevitable. One lady I spoke with was hit by a rock. Luckily, it struck her gun and caused no injury to her. I wasn’t hit with anything, other than a few whiffs of tear gas. I don’t recommend getting it in your eyes :) The third video was cut short when a canister went off right in front of me. See what I put up with for y’all?
Edit: I’m including a reaction from one of the CopsNW organizers. It’s taken from our private Facebook group:
I wanted to address some of the feelings people are having after yesterday. Yesterday as we were leaving the area I was angry. We were being rushed out of the area and I didn’t know why. It looked like we were fleeing, like we had given up and were running scared. I had no idea what was going on behind us, or why exactly we were rushing out. Once we got far enough away and were able to slow down a bit, I was really angry. We knew how this would look, how Antifa would toot their horns about beating us back. We knew how the media would spin it and I hit my breaking point. We passed a group of lowlifes on the corner, the same group that had comments to make as we left our car before the rally, and when they opened their traps I fired back with anger and several f bombs. I was seeing red. I felt like we lost.
For many of us, this was the first time we experienced something of that magnitude. We saw so much hate, anger, and downright evil. When you see that first hand, it is disheartening and it feels like good will NEVER win. It’s easy to let it get to you and bring you down. I know I sure felt that way for a bit but you know what? We stood in the face of evil, we stared it down and they had to resort to violence and try and bring us to THEIR level. It did not work! Anything that went down on our side was in DEFENSE. The more I thought about it and processed, I went from down to being angry again. Once the anger subsided, I was filled with pride. We took a stand and I truly believe we put fear in them. So much so that the media had to spin it. We didn’t back down, we didn’t force the officers’ hands and make them have to come deal with any of it. We knew when to pull out and we had brave Patriots on our side ensuring we made it out.
We learned something yesterday, we saw how we could all come together with a common understanding. We learned what we could maybe do differently next time, what worked, what didn’t work. I personally learned that I want to be better prepared in what I bring next time. I will know what to expect, we will all know what to expect.
Don’t let any of the media spins or anything anyone else may have to say, discourage you from going out again. One of the best things I heard today was that the little thugs fizzled our earlier last night than they usually do. We wore them out. They certainly got up earlier as a group and used all of their energy fighting us. That alone should be considered a win, we made it easier for those who have to battle them at night, the same people we back, our officers. If we can make their job just a little easier, then we did something amazing.
Instead of being down or discouraged, look at the positives because it is there, and honestly, we don’t have to look very hard to find it. So please, continue coming to rallies, the bigger our presence the better. Keep making noise! Don’t let this silence us. We have the momentum, we need to keep it going and help it grow bigger and bigger. Let’s send them running with their tails between their legs. Let’s really make things easier on our officers, their hands are tied, ours are not!
Twitter tells a different version of events. I believe yours, not theirs.
It’s highly unlikely that violent Proud Boys are attacking innocent Antifa for no reason.