Risk of clashes at rally mobilizes Portland, Oregon, police

Portland police are mobilizing to prevent clashes between out-of-state far-right groups planning a rally here and the homegrown anti-fascists who oppose them as America’s culture wars seep into this progressive haven. Saturday’s rally — and the violence it may bring — are a relatively new reality here, as an informal coalition of white nationalists, white supremacists and extreme-right militias hones its focus on Oregon’s largest city as a stand-in for everything it feels is wrong with the U.S. At the top of that list are the masked and black-clad anti-fascists who turn out to violently oppose right-wing demonstrators as soon as they set foot in town. “It’s Portlandia, and in the public mind it represents everything these (far-right) groups are against,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

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