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13 arrested in Portland as far-right demo met by antifa counter-protest

Mayor says far-right not welcome – but white supremacists say President Trump's on their side

AT LEAST 13 arrests were made in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday as white supremacists and anti-fascist activists held demonstrations in the US west-coast city.

The far-right demo was organised by the Proud Boys neofascist group in protest at recent arrests of far-right activists. 

Far-right marchers wore body armour and helmets, as did many of the anti-fascists who mobilised to take them on. Every police officer in the city was deployed to keep the groups apart and confiscated weapons including metal poles, bear spray and shields. 

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler condemned “a rising white nationalist movement” and said of right-wing march organiser Joe Biggs: “We do not want him here. Period.”

But President Donald Trump said he was watching Portland “very closely” and “major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANISATION of TERROR’.” Mr Biggs cited this as proving the march had been a success: “He talked about Portland, said he’s watching antifa. That’s all we wanted.”

Since antifa is a style of mobilising rather than an organisation, and US law has no mechanisms for declaring domestic organisations terrorist anyway, it is not clear how Mr Trump could carry out his threat.

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