The Latest: Right wing, counterprotesters in Portland

The Latest: Right wing, counterprotesters in Portland

Portland police officer Bonczijk stretches before the start of a protest in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Police have mobilized to prevent clashes between conservative groups and counter-protesters who plan to converge in the city. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on a right-wing rally and counter protests in Portland, Oregon (all times local):

10:44 a.m.

Right-wing groups and counterprotesters gathered in downtown Portland, Oregon, and authorities set up concrete barriers and closed streets in an effort to contain the two groups.

Flag-waving members of the Proud Boys and Three Percenters militia group began gathering late Saturday morning. Some wore body armor and helmets. Meanwhile black clad, helmet and face-mask wearing anti-fascist protesters also were on the streets.

Also on hand among the hundreds gathering were people who attended a nearby prayer service, holding signs that said things like “No Trump, No NRA.”

The right-wing rally is organized by Proud Boys, who are designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

____

8:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says “Portland is being watched very closely” as the Northwest city braces for a right-wing rally that’s expected to draw demonstrators from around the U.S. as well as counterprotesters.

More than two dozen local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are in the liberal city for the late Saturday morning rally. Self-described anti-fascists have vowed to confront the right-wing groups.

In a Saturday morning tweet Trump wrote: “Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.'”

Trump said he hoped Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler “will be able to properly do his job!”

Wheeler has said any groups preaching hate or engaging in violence are not welcome in the city.

___

9:01 p.m.

More than two dozen local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are in Portland, Oregon, to help police with a right-wing rally Saturday that’s expected to draw demonstrators from around the U.S.

Self-described anti-fascists have vowed to confront the rally.

Authorities have arrested six members of right-wing groups, including the leader of Patriot Prayer, in the run-up to the event on charges related to past protests.

The rally is organized by Proud Boys, who are designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.


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