On Saturday, August 4th, there will be one of the largest actions against Patriot Prayer, and their acolytes the Proud Boys, in the two years they have been terrorizing the West Coast. Coming from Washington and areas around Portland, they have been converging on the city to hold far-right rallies with deep anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, homophobic, transphobic, and incredibly violent rallies where they have been attacking leftists. Patriot Prayer, while using the civic nationalist rhetoric of “independent Trumpism,” have made themselves a vessel for white nationalist groups, including the active support and participation of groups like Identity Evropa, the Traditionalist Workers Pary, Cascadian Legion, Operation Werewolf recruits, as well as members of neo-Nazi skinhead gangs and “Patriot” militia groups like the Oath Keepers and 3%ers.
The last several rallies and marches from Patriot Prayer have increasingly become centered on the Proud Boys, the civic nationalist street gang that is known for its violent attacks. On June 30th, the Proud Boys brutally attacked counter-protesters, critically hospitalizing community members, and this came after several unprovoked street attacks from various Proud Boys in the weeks before. This Saturday they will be holding another public rally, centered on founder, and Senate candidate in Washington Joey Gibson. This event has a vague goal of “freedom” and other buzzwords, but the point is to attack the left.
This action is being countered by a massive coalition. Pop Mob, which means “popular mobilization,” has organized a mass coalition to march and amass on Patriot Prayer. Rose City Antifa and other militant organizations will be having a huge direct response to Patriot Prayer, and both projects are coming together in mutual aid to shut down Patriot Prayer.
Here are the critical things that every attendee on Saturday should know.
There will be a rally at City Hall in downtown Portland made up of a number of community groups and labor unions to stand against Patriot Prayer’s hateful rhetoric. This will include SEIU Local 503, the Western State Center, Portland Jobs With Justice, and others.
Converge on Tom McCall Waterfront Park at the Salmon Street Fountain. This is where Patriot Prayer will be coming. This action will be frontlined by militant antifascists, including Rose City Antifa, Eugene Antifa, PNW Antifascist Workers Collective, SHARP, and RASH NW. This will be backed by Pop Mob, which makes up the large mass of participants. This coalition has been endorsed by a range of groups, from the one’s listed on the 10:30am rally to other groups like KBOO, Black Rose – Rosa Negra, the Democratic Socialists of America, and many other churches, labor unions, and community groups. This is one of the largest coalition actions of the year. This means that there will be spaces for both type of participation, and the “green zone” behind the militants intended to be a space where protesters can be protected to speak their views and support the protest of Patriot Prayer.
People are no longer meeting at Chapman Square, that was a placeholder location until Patriot Prayer revealed their actual location.
Patriot Prayer will have the ability to carry guns, and many promise to be armed. If they are in Terry Shrunk Plaza, where they often amass, they are banned from bringing in weapons because it is a federal park and their are regulations preventing that. This is not the case for Waterfront Park, and they have been open about bringing guns. The announcement of the guns is intended to frighten counter protesters, and in a recent video from Joey Gibson he included a young boy playing with a semi-automatic weapon.
Patriot Prayer is also saying that they are going to be putting upwards of 35 members of their own group, including Proud Boys, dressed in black bloc clothing into the antifascist crowd. Those people can then attack counter protesters or try to catch them being foolish. This groups is supposed to be run by Russell Schultz, one of the violent Proud Boys doxxed by Rose City Antifa. This is likely bluster to create a sense of internal discord, but may be something to watch for.
The far-right side is raising money to bring in Proud Boys from other state, and they had between 60-80 at the June 30th rally. They could be bringing even more this time, and they will all be coming in at least four busses from Vancouver, across the river in Washington. Those busses will have armed security on them. The Proud Boys are the most violent contingent, and will come in body armor specifically to fight.
- Go in groups, do not walk by yourself. Stay with the large crowd of protesters.
- Prepare for police repression, depend on antifascists for defense and not the police.
- The large mobilization is safer when they are all together, and the militant bloc is prepared for community self-defense.
- Rose Hip Medics will be there, they are street medics trained to provide support to protesters injured by far-right thugs and the police.
- InfoWars “reporters” are going to be there to try and harass protesters on camera. Gibson and Proud Boys have gone on InfoWars to celebrate brutalized community members and to erroneously claim antifa are bringing guns.
- Reporters and photographers/videographers should respect boundaries, including avoiding close-up shots on masked protesters. Movement photographers should be aware that PP members are going to be using cameras in your crowd, so make sure to check in with others in advance so they know what you are filming and you can get good boundaries.