SALEM — Scuffles broke out between several groups of differing ideologies who came to the Oregon Capitol on Saturday, Aug. 15, to protest, but there were no police on hand, and the conflicts were broken up by those participating.
Groups including Open Up Oregon and Ones Purpose arrived at the steps of the Capitol before noon Aug. 15, but before the organized rallies could start, several people with the Black Lives Matter movement were shoved down the steps and into a crowd of BLM protesters.
“We had a little interference today by these people over here to the left,” Tim Davis, one of the Open up Oregon speakers, said of the BLM protesters. “There’s nothing peaceful about them.”
The opposing sides of a few hundred protesters were clearly separated from each other early, with a Black Lives Matter group sitting on the steps on the west side of the Capitol’s steps and the other sides on the center and the top rung. Several people reported seeing state police officers looking out from the glass doors of the Capitol, but they did not interfere.
On one of the hottest days of the year, many in the crowd did not wear face coverings or maintain social distance. Many of the speakers railed against Gov. Kate Brown’s mask mandates.
“That’s what they do not want is us to talk; that’s why they put masks on our faces,” said Josh Michael of Open up Oregon.