Salem police declare Antifa protest at Oregon State Capitol an ‘unlawful assembly’
The Salem Police Department (SPD) declared an “unlawful assembly” at the Oregon State Capitol after violent Antifa protests broke out on Sunday evening.
Hundreds of Antifa demonstrators clashed with right-wing protestors in response to a planned “Freedom” rally and flag wave.
“Shortly before noon, approximately 100 individuals wearing black clothing and ballistic vests and carrying firearms, bats, skateboards, umbrellas, shields and gas masks arrived on the capitol mall grounds,” the SPD said.
The crowd was “heavily armed,” according to the SPD.
SPD said they received reports of vehicles driving past the Capitol being struck with balloons filled with paint as well as lasers being pointed at drivers.
Author and journalist Andy Ngo shared a video of Antifa members smashing vehicles that displayed U.S. flags.
Ngo shared another video of a female who was almost killed inside of her car by an Antifa attack.
Police issued a warning to protesters that were participating in the unpermitted event and blocking the streets.
“Exit the roadway and obey all laws,” they said. “Failure to do so may result in arrest. Stay on the sidewalks and exit the roadway.”
Oregon State Police and Salem Police declared the gathering as an “unlawful assembly” and police formed a line in front of the Capitol building.
Authorities advised residents and visitors to avoid the Capitol area and added that the SPD, Oregon State Police and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office would be monitoring the situation and were “prepared to act in the interest of the public’s safety.”
Four hours later, the SPD announced that the riots had ceased and protestors had left the scene.
“Activities have come to conclusion as protestors have left the area. Our thanks to the many partner agencies that assisted with handling the protest activity and the criminal conduct of a several individuals,” the department tweeted.
Several individuals were arrested and booked at the Marion County Correctional Facility on charges related to criminal activity, the SPD wrote in a press release.
The police department said they will continue to investigate the matter and encouraged anyone with information related to the incident to contact the Salem Police Department.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy