Four people were arrested Sunday after peaceful rallies in Oregon turned violent as Antifa protesters clashed with a Patriot Prayer rally, triggering bloody fights in the streets.
Patriot Prayer, which describes itself as a peaceful First Amendment advocacy group, organized “Tiny’s Freedom March” in Portland as a going-away event for Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, who is close with group leader Joey Gibson.
Meanwhile, Rose City Antifa scheduled a counter-protest “to show Patriot Prayer, just as we showed them last year, that their violence and hatred has no place in Portland.”
Portland police started to warn the crowds at Terry Schrunk Plaza and Chapman and Lownsdale Square at around 4 p.m. that violence had started to break out. Police urged participants to leave the area due to the violence that started to spark between both groups.
About 45 minutes later, Patriot Prayer demonstrators marched on the sidewalks and clashed with Antifa protesters, according to KOIN-TV. Patriot Prayer rally-goers marched for about an hour before returning to Terry Schrunk Plaza with Antifa members on their tail, according to the station.
Federal Protective Service officers and a Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputy used pepper spray to breakup some of the clashes, Portland police said. Demonstrators were also seen using pepper spray and some threw fireworks, bottles and rocks at each other, according to The Oregonian.
Police also confiscated some weapons.
“The intent of our presence today was to provide a safe environment for all participants, non-participants, and community members while ensuring the peaceful exercise of the First Amendment,” Portland police Chief Danielle Outlaw said in a statement.
“The Police Bureau attempted to communicate directly with group organizers through the use of social media, a loud-hailer, and person-to-person communication in an effort to encourage an environment in which Portland community members could safely practice their right to free speech and assembly. Bureau members attempted to intercede by separating and arresting people on occasions when people's safety were in jeopardy.”
Four men were arrested in the protests.
Jonathan Feilt, 36, and Andrew Arbow, 32, were charged with second-degree disorderly conduct, according to KOIN-TV. Gregory Isaacson, 43, was given a federal citation for failure to comply with lawful order, the station reported. Another person was arrested but refused to give police their name.
The demonstrations came a year after the same two groups converged in downtown Portland for opposing rallies, KOIN-TV reported. Last year's protests resulted in 14 arrests.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.