Trump supporters descended on downtown Portland this weekend, wreaking havoc in the name of the sitting president, who happens to be campaigning for reelection right now on the promise of restoring “law and order.”
The pro-Trump caravan, which drew hundreds of trucks full of rightwing rabble-rousers to the Oregon city, began in the suburbs with a route that purportedly intended to keep all vehicles on the highway, The New York Times reports. Some of those demonstrators splintered off from the main group, however, and drove into the city’s downtown, where they harassed locals as well as counterprotesters of various affiliations.
Caravan organizers encouraged protesters to arm themselves, according to The Oregonian, though videos posted on social media mostly show Trump supporters shooting paintballs and firing mace at counterprotesters, who themselves hurled unidentifiable objects back at the trucks while yelling at the outsiders to leave. Some caravan participants left their vehicles to punch and otherwise physically antagonize counterprotesters, who stood their ground.
A man whom the Times confirmed was a supporter of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group that The Oregonian says has been involved in multiple violent clashes in recent weeks, was shot and killed in downtown Portland on Saturday night. The shooting recalls what happened in Kenosha, Wisc., earlier this week when white teenager Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly shot and killed two Black Lives Matter protesters standing up against the police shooting of Jacob Blake, though it should be noted that local authorities have not linked the Portland man’s death to either the caravan or counterprotesters.
“It is too early in the investigation to draw those kinds of conclusions,” a Portland police spokesperson told Reuters.
In the meantime, Trump is using some galaxy brain level idiocy to blame his own supporters’ chaos on the past three months of anti-police brutality protests in the city, which began after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
“Law and order!” the President tweeted on Sunday. “The big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected after 95 days of watching [an] incompetent Mayor admit that he has no idea what he is doing. The people of Portland won’t put up with no safety any longer.”
“Bring in the National Guard!” he added, as if he hadn’t already sent federal agents to crack down on Portland protesters earlier this summer.