Proud Boys and Antifa Activists Clash in Portland With Tear Gas and Explosive Devices

Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group, on Sunday violently clashed with left-wing antifa activists following separate demonstrations in Portland.

The Proud Boys attended a planned gathering in the parking lot of an abandoned Kmart in Northeast Portland on Sunday morning, as roughly 300 left-wing protesters arrived at Tom McCall Waterfront Park to protest the Proud Boys gathering, according to Oregon Live.

Proud Boys member Tusitala Toese told the outlet that the group moved the event away from downtown in the morning to avoid clashes with left-wing activists. "We relocated the rally to avoid the altercation and the violence between us and the people on the left, but if they do show up here, we're going to defend ourselves," Toese said.

Some left-wing protesters broke away after noon to crash the Proud Boys "Summer of Love" event, prompting verbal arguments and an ensuing physical street brawl.

Videos and photos shared to social media show the use of pepper spray, paintball guns, fireworks and other explosive devices, though it was not immediately clear which side deployed the explosive devices.

In one video shared by journalist Tayler Hansen, members of the Proud Boys can be seen attacking and holding down an individual dressed in black clothing, believed to be an antifa activist, as another individual dressed in black sprayed the group with an unknown substance.

Continuation of the clash, directly hit with a artillery piece.

— Tayler Hansen (@TaylerUSA) August 22, 2021

At 4:49 p.m. ET, freelance reporter Sergio Olmos tweeted that Portland police "are nowhere to be seen" alongside a video of a desecrated white van that had been flipped sideways.

Portland police are nowhere to be seen

— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) August 22, 2021

During press conferences Friday, local police, politicians and leaders urged citizens to "choose love" as they revealed a hands off strategy to the violence that was expected to occur at the planned Proud Boys rally.

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said "all available personnel will report for duty," adding that he would not ask Governor Katie Brown to use the National Guard. "It's not necessarily the best tactical approach to have officers wading into situations where groups are clashing with each other."

"The police are developing an appropriate plan with adequate resources," said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. "If you're somebody coming from out of our community for the purpose of spreading hate, vitriol or causing fear, we don't want you to come here."

Far-right groups and left-wing counter-protesters have repeatedly clashed in downtown Portland in recent years.

Major clash between Proud Boys and Antifa happening now on 122nd in Portland

Pepper spray and airsoft deployed, fighting ongoing in the streets

— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) August 22, 2021

Newsweek reached out to the Portland Police Bureau for further information.

Proud Boys Antifa Portland skirmish tear gas
Members of the Proud Boys and other similar groups attend a rally at Delta Park in Portland, Oregon on September 26, 2020. Maranie R. Staab/Getty Images

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts