Two rival groups that violently clashed in Portland, Oregon, last weekend are expected at protests in D.C. on Saturday, and area law enforcement officials say they are ready.
“We are prepared. We do have intelligence units that work together to glean any information that we can prior to their arrival,” said Sgt. Eduardo Delgado, a spokesman for U.S. Park Police.
The “Demand Free Speech Freedom Rally” is scheduled for noon Saturday at Freedom Plaza in D.C. Among those expected to attend are the Proud Boys, a far-right group that had violent run-ins with anti-fascist “antifa” in Portland last weekend, during which there were injuries.
On Twitter, police said some protesters threw milkshakes containing quick-drying cement.
Antifa are expected to be at the “Stop the Alt-Right” rally, organized by All Out DC, to protest the other protest. It’s set to start a few hours earlier.
Delgado said while they don’t happen every weekend, free speech events are common in D.C., and the department has plans to help keep the peace, including physical barriers that will be used to separate the opposing demonstrators.
“We do have a robust security footprint in conjunction with our agency partners, to ensure the protection of visitors and demonstrators alike,” Delgado said.
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