About 1,000 people rallied in Portland, Oregon alongside the right-wing Proud Boys group on Saturday.

Another group of about 500 staged an anti-fascist counter-protest in a nearby park.

City braced for clashes between the groups after months of violent protests by BLM and Antifa activists.

Proud Boys waved MAGA flags and were seen distributing shields to their group during the rally.

Police say that shields were seen at both rallies, and would be seized by officers when possible.

At least one assault was reported, when a man was caught on camera kicking a livestreamer in the face.

Some held signs reading 'Free Kyle' about Kyle Rittenhouse who is charged with 'murdering' two protesters.

The right-wing rally drew a large crowd of supporters of Trump and his 'law and order' campaign.

It was organized by the Proud Boys which the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a hate group.

The group vowed to end 'domestic terrorism' and stop 'violent gangs of rioting felons' in the city's streets.

BLM protesters have been demanding an end to police brutality and racism following George Floyd's 'murder'.

Protests erupted once again this week over the decision not to charge cops with Breonna Taylor's killing.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Friday declared a state of emergency in Portland Friday amid fears of clashes.

Mayor Ted Wheeler said the arrival of the right-wing groups poses the 'greatest threat we've faced so far'.

Proud Boys have been spotted handing out shields at a massive pro-Trump rally to 'end domestic terrorism' in Portland, after Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency and Mayor Ted Wheeler said it poses the 'greatest threat we've faced so far' amid fears of clashes with left-wing protesters.

About 1,000 people gathered at the right-wing Proud Boys rally in Delta Park on Saturday, while a group of 500 left-wing counter-protesters massed at nearby Peninsula Park, leading to fears of clashes.

Photos show the Proud Boys, some heavily kitted out in military-style attire and toting bats and paintball guns, distributing makeshift riot shields from the back of a truck. Police say banned shields were spotted at both rallies, and vowed to seize them.

About 1,000 people gathered at the right-wing Proud Boys rally in Delta Park on Saturday in Portland, Oregon

'We are aware that shields are being displayed at both event locations. We want everyone to be safe, so we will seize weapons and shields as can be done safely and as resources allow,' a Multnomah County Sheriff's Office spokesman said. 'Our primary focus is life-safety and protection of free speech rights, without regard to the content of that speech.'

Police say there were at least three arrests between the two rallies, but further details were not immediately available. An assault investigation was launched after a man was caught on camera shoving a livestreamer to the ground and kicking him in the face at the Proud Boys rally.

Proud Boy organizers take the stage at a right-wing rally on Saturday, amid fears of violent clashes with counter-protesters

By 3pm PT, both rallies had broken up without major violence -- but Proud Boys were spotted loading into trucks with shields and paintball guns in a caravan headed to Vancouver, Washington, leading to fears of clashes on the road.

The event was organized by the Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a hate group, saying members regularly use anti-Muslim and white nationalist rhetoric. The group vehemently denies it holds racist ideology, insisting it is a fraternal group spreading an 'anti-political correctness' and 'anti-white guilt' agenda.

Members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing demonstrators attend a rally on Saturday in Portland, Oregon

At Saturday's rally, a black member of the Proud Boys took the stage and proclaimed: 'I am not an African American, I am an American.'

Just two miles away from the pro-Trump rally, left-wing counter protesters gathered in another park. Police have canceled all officer leave in order to ramp up efforts to keep the two groups apart.

Photos show the Proud Boys, some heavily kitted in military-style attire and toting bats and paintball guns, distributing makeshift riot shields from the back of a truck

At the counter protest, organizers led the crowd in chants of 'Nazis out' and 'cops and Klan, hand in hand'.

In Portland and across the country, Black Lives Matter protesters have been taking to the streets of America since May, demanding an end to police brutality and racism following the Memorial Day in-custody death of black man George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Police say banned shields were spotted at both rallies, and vowed to seize them 'as can be done safely and as resources allow'

Demonstrations erupted once again this week when a Kentucky grand jury decided to not bring murder charges against officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor - a black EMT who was shot six times and killed in a botched raid in March.

Portland has been the scene of some of the most violent demonstrations. On Wednesday, protesters lobbed a massive firebomb at police, and such attacks have increased in frequency.

The Proud Boys vowed that their rally will restore law and order. They condemn what they have branded anti-fascists, 'domestic terrorism' and 'violent gangs of rioting felons' in the city's streets.

Two hours before the event was to start, dozens of people began showing up, some packed into the beds of pickup trucks.

By midday when the rally started, just 200 people had descended on the park - far fewer than the thousands expected.

The rally kicked off with the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Almost everyone was wearing some sort of militarized body armor, including helmets and protective vests, but very few wore face masks to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Several were heavily-armed with rifles slung over their shoulders.

Many flew American flags or black flags bearing the logo of the Three Percenters, another far-right group and some wore Make America Great Again hats in a show of support for Trump.

A group of women wore 'Oregon women for Trump' and 'Asians for Trump' clothing.

Trump 2020 and MAGA merchandise stands were set up for supporters to stock up on more pro-Trump supplies, while men were seen offloading shields from a van in a sign of possible clashes to come.

Some attendees waved the Confederate Flag which has been branded a symbol of racism and white supremacy and banned from Portland schools as a result.

The Proud Boys flag with the laurel emblem also hung on a makeshift stage next to the American flag.

Some attendees carried signs reading 'Free Kyle Now' - a reference to Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Illinois teen charged with shooting dead two protesters and injuring another in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Members of the Proud Boys and other far-right groups knelt in prayer at one point in the rally, some of them clutching cans of Coors Light beer while praying.

Several speeches were held, with many condemning Black Lives Matter protesters who have demonstrated every night for almost four months to call for an end to racism.

The air filled with chants against Antifa and confrontations broke out when a large group of far-right attendees surrounded two men they suspected were from Antifa and pushed them out of the park.

In their permit application for the event filed with the city this week, the Proud Boys referenced Rittenhouse and raised the specter of a vigilante response to the actions of a 'mob'.

'Portland leadership is unwilling to stop the violence,' the Proud Boys wrote in the application.

'They have been blinded by their hatred of our President and will not allow outside help stopping the violence.'

Prosecutors say Rittenhouse murdered two protesters and wounded a third in Kenosha on August 25.

His attorneys are portraying him as a courageous American patriot who was exercising his right to bear arms during unrest over the police shooting of black man Jacob Blake.

The permit application also mentioned Aaron 'Jay' Danielson, a Trump supporter and Patriot Prayer follower, who was shot and killed after some vehicles in a pro-Trump car caravan diverted into downtown Portland and crossed paths with left-wing activists.

The suspect in the shooting, a self-described anti-fascist, was killed the following week by law enforcement as they tried to arrest him in Washington state.

TJ Detweiler, who works in construction and plumbing, said at Saturday's rally that he wanted to end domestic terrorism in the US.

'I would like to see people stop the looting and rioting and enjoy the country for what rights we have,' Detweiler said.

Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio was seen at the event talking with a law enforcement officer.

The Proud Boys have held multiple events in Portland since Trump's election alongside other right-wing groups such as Patriot Prayer that often end in violent clashes with left-wing counter-demonstrators.

The group has described Saturday's rally as a free speech event but local and state elected officials condemned it and rushed to shore up law enforcement ranks.

Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio said his group did not intend to cause violence.

'We will be peaceful unless provoked. I encourage people to protest us,' Tarrio wrote on Twitter on Thursday. 'What we won't condone or tolerate is violence towards attendees.'

The men-only Proud Boys group describes itself as a fraternal organization that is 'anti-racism' and 'anti-political correctness.'

Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Friday declared a state of emergency over the weekend due to risks of violence because of the rally involving thousands of members of what she called 'white supremacist groups'.

'I am incredibly concerned about the increased risk of violence in Portland this weekend,' Brown told reporters.

'These types of demonstrations in the past have often ended in fistfights, and sometimes escalated to bloodshed.'

Brown also noted, 'The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer groups have come to Portland time and time again from out of state looking for a fight and the results are always tragic.

She then added a warning to the group.

'Let me be perfectly clear: We will not tolerate any kind of violence this weekend. Those stoking the flames of violence, those coming to Portland looking for a fight will be held accountable,' Brown said.

Under her emergency declaration, state troopers and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office will lead a law enforcement taskforce authorized to use 'proportional force' including tear gas to keep the peace, said Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton.

Portland's Mayor Ted Wheeler said Saturday's arrival of the Proud Boys and other extreme right-wing groups poses the 'greatest threat we've faced so far'.

'The alt-right and white supremacist groups organising to come to Portland on Saturday present the greatest threat we've faced so far,' he said in a statement.

'These groups embody and empower racism, intolerance and hate. Those are not Portland values, and they are not welcome here.

'Hate has no home in Portland. They have actively threatened violence against elected officials and others in our community.'

Civil rights group The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) classifies the Proud Boys as a hate group, citing its members' anti-Muslim and misogynist rhetoric.

'Saturday's rally is the latest in a long series of sustained provocations that the Proud Boys have held in Portland,' SPLC research analyst Cassie Miller said in a statement on Friday.

The FBI has also warned of the dangers the group brings to national security, with FBI director Christopher Wray in February comparing 'racially motivated violent extremism', particularly from white nationalists, to the threat of Isis and other foreign terror groups.

Clothing brand Fred Perry released a statement ahead of Saturday's rally saying it has 'absolutely nothing to do with us, and we are working with our lawyers to pursue any unlawful use of our brand.'

The Proud Boys adopted the company's iconic black polo shirt with a yellow laurel as their uniform leading Fred Perry to pull sales of the style out of America.

President Donald Trump, who has made law and order a principal theme of his bid for re-election on November 3, has singled out Portland as one of several Democratic-led cities he calls 'anarchist jurisdictions.'

His Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, says Trump's rhetoric is stoking the violence.

This article is republished from Daily Mail Online. Read the original article.

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