Left and Right-Wing Protesters Gather in Portland

The Proud Boys Rally in Portland: What happened?


Oregon governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency on Friday in anticipation of a Proud Boys rally in Portland, which had a much lower turnout than expected.

  • Hundreds of supporters of the Proud Boys rallied in Portland yesterday for a peaceful show of protest in response to the killing of Aaron “Jay” Danielson in Portland during a clash in Portland a few weeks ago. Danielson was allegedly murdered by an Antifa activist.
  • The Proud Boys are a group of “western chauvinists” founded by Gavin McInnes in 2016. They are a right-wing group that has been associated with white nationalist and antisemitic Last year, the FBI categorized them as an extremist group.
  • The group gathered in northern Portland yesterday for a rally which included speeches and chants condemning right-wing media and the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • The Proud Boys anticipated 20,000 attendees at the event, entitled the “End Domestic Terrorism” rally, and officials worried about the potential for violence. Instead, less than 1,000 Proud Boys attended the rally.
  • Two counter-protests gathered about three miles away from the rally, chanting anti-police slogans. Police gathered to keep the protests separate. A few arrests were made, but no violent clashes nor major incidents occurred. Protests have rocked Portland for months, and events have increased since an indictment was issued in the Breonna Taylor case.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Lauds Oregon governor Kate Brown for using caution and preventing a violent escalation throughout the weekend.
  • Portrays the Proud Boys as dangerous, reporting that many of the rally’s attendees had long guns and body armor and covering an assault that occurred at the rally.
  • Reports extensively and somewhat gleefully on the low turnout of the rally, insinuating that the Proud Boys have less support than they thought.
  • Talk about the implications of the Portland clashes on the Democratic party’s strategy overall, raising concerns that left-wing and right-wing extremists could distract from the issues at hand in the upcoming election.



  • Focuses reporting on left-wing rioters, downplaying the threat of the Proud Boys in comparison to rumored threats from counter-protesters.
  • Portrayed the rally as a free speech event, and lauds the police as well as Oregon governor Kate Brown for keeping the event safe and peaceful.
  • Argues that the Proud Boys received unfair backlash for their rally while left-wing protesters have been allowed to gather in Portland without pushback for months.
  • Portrays the Proud Boys as a degenerate extremist group that is not reflective of the mainstream right.


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© Evelyn Torsher, 2020