Thirteen people were arrested and four were injured, as over 1,200 right-wing demonstrators and counter-protesters descended on downtown Portland on Saturday, police said.
Portland Police Lieutenant Tina Jones said there had been at least 13 arrests, while at least one person had been take to the hospital with injuries. In addition, officers confiscated a number of weapons, including knives, shields and stun guns.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said that he was pleased that police were able to keep the city safe while also helping to “protect the core American value of free speech.”
Ahead of Saturday’s rallies, Wheeler issued a video message stating, “if you’re planning on coming here on August 17th with the intent to commit violence, we don’t want you here.”
Jessyca Jones, a counter-protester who was on the streets on Saturday, told ABC News the environment was “tense” and that there had been “lots of fights.”
At around 4:30 p.m. local time, and the Portland Police tweeted, that “Police are having plastic water bottles thrown at them as they are making an arrest on SW Yamhill and Park.” After that, police began advising people to clear the streets or face arrest.
“Police are advising this is now a civil disturbance. Crowd needs to leave the area and go Northbound on Park or any direction eastbound. This means everyone,” Portland Police tweeted.
The city has been bracing for several militant right-wing groups to arrive in the city, along with scores of counter-protesters.
Enrique Tarrio, national head of the Proud Boys, who describe themselves as an all-male “western chauvinist” group, and former InfoWars personality Joe Biggs, organized the “End Domestic Terrorism” rally on Saturday that started at 11 a.m. local time. Initially, the crowds moved in slowly, and were met by a heavy police presence, in which local police were bolstered by more than a dozen other law enforcement agencies.