Proud Boys Repeatedly Rush, Attack Black Lives Matter Supporters in Salem

Members of the far-right group the Proud Boys repeatedly rushed and attacked Black Lives Matter counter-protesters in Salem, Oregon on Labor Day.

The Proud Boys had driven to Salem from a pro-Trump vehicle rally at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City on Monday afternoon, the Associated Press reported.

In Salem, they joined a crowd of several dozen Trump supporters outside the Oregon State Capitol and were met by a smaller group of Black Lives Matter counter-demonstrators.

Videos posted on social media showed the Proud Boys repeatedly bull rushing the Black Lives Matter group and attacking at least least two counter-demonstrators.

According to the Associated Press, the far-right group also fired paint-gun pellets at the Black Lives Matter counter-protesters, who dispersed shortly after police arrived.

One man was seen hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat and knocked to the ground after being rushed by a group of Proud Boys in a video posted on Twitter by Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Sergio Olmos.

He was then seen being repeatedly punched in the face by another Proud Boy and then maced in the face by a woman.

"That's for everything that you did to me, b****. Told you I'd get you!" She can be heard saying in the clip.

According to Olmos, police arrived and told the Proud Boys to turn around, but no arrests were made at that time.

A short time later, videos showed a group of Proud Boys chasing down a sole Black Lives Matter supporter in a park near the state capitol. "Get out of here, you f*g!" one of the Proud Boys is heard saying.

Seconds later, a group of local police officers are seen stepping in and detaining people.

"Proud boy chases down another BLM supporter, beats them down. Police make arrests," Olmos wrote alongside the clip.

Twenty-year-old Eddie Coleman, who was attacked by the far-right group, spoke to Mike Baker, a reporter with The New York Times. They said that they had arrived after a friend requested backup on social media because "there were a lot of Proud Boys with weapons and a lot of white supremacists and they were outnumbered."

Coleman said: "I was carrying a Black Lives Matter sign and T-shirt and I couldn't find any of my friends. I was walking across the main area and a bunch of people rushed at me yelling slurs and firing paintball guns at me and empty rounds of something, I don't know."

"When I stood my ground finally one of them pushed me to the ground and hit my face repeatedly and kneeled on my chest with his full weight until finally somebody pulled him off."

Asked how they felt about what had happened, Coleman replied: "I'm feeling like it can't be even half of the fear that Black people experience every single day and that's really scary."

Olmos later tweeted that two men were arrested for attacking the Black Lives Matter protester, but both were released from custody not long after being detained.

The rally was held just over a week after Aaron "Jay" Danielson, a supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, was killed after a pro-Trump caravan traveled into downtown Portland.

Michael Forest Reinoehl, the suspect in the August 29 killing, was fatally shot by police last Thursday.

Baker tweeted that Monday's rally included Proud Boys, supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory and people from the Three Percenters militia group. The rally's organizers said they did not plan to go into Portland, according to Baker.

Protests in Portland against police brutality and racial injustice have taken place for more than 100 days since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May.

Salem
Police arrest a far-right protester after a clash with counter protesters during a rally on September 7, 2020 in Salem, Oregon. Nathan Howard/Getty Images
Proud Boys Repeatedly Rush, Attack Black Lives Matter Supporters in Salem | U.S.