Patriot Prayer group holds rally near Portland Marathon, met with counter protest

FILE - Photo of Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson at a rally in downtown Portland on Sunday, Aug. 6 (KATU News photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – A Patriot Prayer group rally in downtown Portland's Terry Schrunk Plaza was met with counter protests on Sunday afternoon, which coincided with the annual running of the Portland Marathon.

Federal agents arrested one person for trying to bring a gun into the federally-controlled park.

The Vancouver-based Patriot Prayer group is led by Joey Gibson, who announced the impromptu rally and march on Facebook Saturday evening. He said his goal is to “go into these hardcore hateful places and bring in some light.”

The group met at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 2 p.m., which is two blocks from the Portland Marathon's start/finish line at 3rd Avenue and Salmon Street.

A counter-protest was announced on Facebook by the anti-fascist group Rose City Antifa. They gathered across the street from the plaza at Chapman Square before moving into the plaza.

The groups started to march out of the plaza along the sidewalk at about 2:50 p.m., returning about a half hour later.

Neither protest group has a permit to march in the streets on Sunday, Portland Police said.

Aside from the one arrest, the day was relatively peaceful. Both groups went their separate ways at about 4 p.m.

Previous clashes between the opposing groups have ended in violence and several arrests. Most recently, Patriot Prayer hosted two rallies on the same day – one in Portland and another in Vancouver.

Gibson’s group has held rallies around Portland and in other west coast cities like Seattle and San Francisco. He says these events are to promote free speech.

This is a developing story; updates will be posted as information comes in.

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