Members of the Proud Boys, Three Percent militiamen, and Oregon Republicans gathered at Salem’s Riverfront Park on May 1, 2021 for an event billed as a gun rights demonstration. A weekend gathering billed as a Second Amendment rally in Salem led to far-right groups tied to the Jan. 6 Capitol invasion taking control of a public park. The Saturday event, promoted online as “May Day 2A Rally,” saw 100 to 200 attendees at Salem’s Riverfront Park in a show of support for their Second Amendment rights. The Proud Boys, a “western chauvinist” group who have violently clashed with members of the anti-fascist movement, provided “security” and co-sponsored the event. Some carried semi-automatic pistols or rifles and “closed” the public park to media, though they had no authority to do so. The armed attendees threatened reporters, forcing them to leave the immediate area and report from a distance. Salem’s municipal code requires community events such as public protests to obtain a city permit save for those planned less than 48 hours in advance. Organizers previewed the event online for five days or more. Others sold food and merchandise, both of which require short-term concessionaire permits under local law. The city permit office was not available for comment. Even though the event included members of a group that sparked violent episodes in Salem, no police were present. The exception being one police helicopter circling the area. A series of guest speakers take the stage bearing the mantra “One Nation Under God” in the shadow of the bridge named after Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem. Sam McAllister, a Mapleton-based firearm component manufacturer, took shots at the state’s gun control laws. (…) She referred to COVID-19 vaccines as a “bioweapon.” Perkins reaffirmed her intent on Saturday to run against U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, in 2022. She was also among the pro-Trump crowd that attacked the U.S. capitol on Jan. 6 but claims she did not enter it or commit violence. Absent at Saturday’s event was state Rep. Mike Nearman, who was scheduled to appear hours after he was criminally charged with aiding another Trump mob storm the state capitol on Dec. 21. A recent Washington Post report suggests the Polk County Republican may have contracted COVID-19. He has not responded to The Center Square’s requests for comment.
via thecentersquare: Far-right groups hold gun-rights rally in Oregon park, threaten media