As reported by Fox News, a “freedom rally” in Portland, Oregon, sponsored by the right-wing group Patriot Prayer was cut short last Saturday after it was disrupted by masked counter-demonstrators from the hard left-wing group Antifa, some carrying bats and knives. Portland police revoked the Patriot Prayer’s march permit after a melee ensued, with Antifa tossing eggs, half-empty water bottles, and firecrackers at the Patriot Prayer contingent.
Antifa is the same organization that disrupted a demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 organized by opponents of plans to tear down statues of historical figures who had supported slavery. On that occasion, President Trump created a firestorm when he suggested that both sides contained “good people”; that white supremacists had infiltrated the ranks of local organizers of the protest; and that violence-prone Antifa members had joined with local counter protesters.
The president was accused of giving his seal of approval to the white supremacists. Of course, at that time almost nothing was known about the program of disruption embraced by Antifa, which is sometimes carried out by armed members. It is very sad that the full story of the depredations of Antifa and the dangers it presents are still not on the public radar screen – especially as the anti-Trump hysteria is becoming increasingly unhinged.