Shane Dixon Kavanaugh of OregonLive.com describes a demonstration billed as a march for “law and order” in the streets of Portland that descended into chaos as rival political factions broke into bloody brawls downtown Saturday night.

Members of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer and their black-clad adversaries, known as Antifa, used bear spray, bare fists, and batons to thrash each other outside Kelly’s Olympian, a popular bar on Southwest Washington Street.

Antifa used bear spray, bare fists, and batons to thrash each other outside Kelly’s Olympian, a popular bar on Southwest Washington Street

The melee, which lasted more than a minute, ended when riot cops rushed in and fired pepper balls at the street fighters.

The Portland Police Bureau reported seeing protest and counter-protest participants outfitted with hard knuckle gloves, knives and firearms earlier in the evening. Police said they made no arrests Saturday night, but will continue to investigate.

The wild scene unfolded amid mounting tensions among both groups, fueled in part by a pair of national news stories.

A march in Portland against police brutality last week drew headlines after law enforcement’s hands-off approach to the event was blamed for an encounter between protesters and an elderly driver, which outraged many, including Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson and his supporters.

Continue reading at OregonLive.com

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