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What you need to know about the upcoming far-right rallies in the Pacific Northwest

On Saturday, August 4, the far-right group Patriot Prayer is holding a “Freedom March” in Portland, Oregon, to support the candidacy of the group’s founder, Joey Gibson, who is seeking a U.S. Senate seat in Washington state.

Gibson and Patriot Prayer have been holding rallies in the Pacific Northwest since early 2017 alongside the hate group Proud Boys, who call themselves “Western chauvinists” and frequently engage in street fighting and harassment. The rallies have attracted a wide array of racist and antigovernment extremists.

A joint Patriot Prayer/Proud Boys rally in Portland descended into violence on June 30, and police declared it a riot. Extremists cheered when a video of a Proud Boy knocking out a masked counter-protester went viral. “I’m never makin fun of proudboys again,” tweeted the co-host of an influential white supremacist podcast.

It was the biggest demonstration of far-right street violence since the deadly “Unite the Right” in August 2017.

This weekend, the threat of violence looms again.

Emboldened by the June 30 fighting, more Proud Boys and other far-right activists have stated their intention to attend. And the far-right web forums are filled with paranoid rhetoric and talk about guns and other weapons.

The SPLC is watching the event closely and will be reporting on developments via Hatewatch and Twitter. Stay tuned for more information here.

Our coverage so far

More on the Proud Boys

More on Patriot Prayer

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Photo credit: AP Images