Oregon City officials took actions Wednesday meant to discourage the repeat of a violent clash last week between members of the Proud Boys extremist group and antifascists in Clackamette Park.
“In an effort to protect our community from future acts of violence and to preserve the integrity of Oregon City parks, the City of Oregon City is canceling reservations by the same person who reserved Clackamette Park on Friday, June 18,” the city government said in a statement.
Violence between the Proud Boys and antifascists erupted June 18 during an alleged Republican voter drive planned by the Proud Boys. Police eventually declared the event a riot and separated the two sides.
The Proud Boys have frequently engaged in violent street fights with counter-protesters in the past, particularly in Portland and Salem. Members of the group from across the country also participated in the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead.
According to the Portland Tribune, people who were enjoying Clackamette Park on June 18 were caught unaware as Proud Boys carried blunt force weapons and filled the park with bear spray in an all out melee with antifascists, who had shown up at the park in opposition.
“We are not willing to risk further property damage and personal injury caused by the unacceptable behavior of a small group of individuals,” Oregon City officials said in their statement, justifying the reasons for rejecting the permit. The city said it would also review its parks policies to see if any changes could prevent future violence.
Oregon City police confirmed the same person who had arranged the rally June 18 was planning another gathering this Friday. City officials said they will continue to reject any future permit requests from people involved with the June 18 clash.
Police said they are currently investigating potential crimes committed at the park, and that they intend to bring charges where possible. No arrests have been made related to the June 18 rally.