- Proud Boys and Antifa exchanged paintball gunfire and pepper spray at an event in Portland.
- It was hosted by controversial pastor Artur Pawlowski, known for his anti-LGBT and anti-COVID views.
- Videos show the groups clashing before dispersing.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Members of the right-wing Proud Boys militia group and left-wing Antifa, also known as anti-fascists, clashed at a rally in downtown Portland on Saturday, according to the Portland Tribune.
The confrontation took place at a religious gathering organized by Pastor Artur Pawlowski at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Pawlowski is a controversial Canadian pastor known for his street sermons. He has previously claimed that floods in Canada were caused by God’s unhappiness about homosexuality and has called police who enforce COVID-19 safety rules “Nazis.”
The Portland Tribune reported that around 50 people attended Pawlowski’s event and that members of the Proud Boys appeared to be acting as event security.
A video shows black-clad protesters carrying shields, identified as Antifa, disrupting the event by setting off smoke grenades and appearing to grab the group’s speakers in an attempt to dismantle the public address system.
-Independent Media PDX (@NDpendentPDX) August 8, 2021
Proud Boys wearing their signature black and yellow colors and PB insignia then marched to their announced gathering point in response, armed with paintball guns, batons, and other weapons, The Portland Tribune said.
-Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) August 7, 2021
The two groups can be seen arguing before clashing and exchanging paintball gunfire and pepper spray. The Proud Boys were forced out of the park, the local paper reported.
-Balloonbloc (@balloonbloc) August 7, 2021
The clashes continued on the street around the corner. Police sirens can be heard in the background, but no arrests were made.
-Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) August 7, 2021
Right-wing commentators online framed the event as Antifa attacking a Christian gathering, while left-wing commentators described it as a protest against a political event.
Andy Ngo, a far-right commentator, wrote on Twitter that Antifa had tried to “attack & shut down a family Christian prayer & worship event on the waterfront.”
-Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 8, 2021
In response, Reverand Chuck Currie from Portland wrote, “Christian minister in Portland here. This was no “family Christian prayer event.” It was a far-right political rally organized by a failed MAGA congressional candidate from CA.”
-Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie (@RevChuckCurrie) August 8, 2021