Fists flew at the God, Guns, and Liberty event in Eugene, Oregon, a city where demonstrators routinely face off over conservatives’ free speech rights, accusations of hate speech and fascism during Donald Trump’s rise
Brandon Howard, 33, was arrested on disorderly conduct charges during the event
The crowd of 300 demonstrators left the Wayne Morse free speech plaza around 3.30pm
Police said the event was ‘mostly peaceful,’ despite a few fights
By CHAUNCEY ALCORN
11 August 2019
Conservatives and progressive demonstrators in Eugene, Oregon battled with words, signs, chants and a few fists once again on Saturday during the ‘God, Guns, and Liberty’ rally and counter-protest.
Only one man was arrested this time around, police said. Brandon Howard, 33, was charged with disorderly conduct during the 1.30pm event, where an estimated 300 people argued over the tenants of the First Amendment, gun rights, fascism and whether a handful of largely pro-Trump demonstrators had a right to march and express their views in public.
The conservative rally took place at Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza. Their anti-fascist detractors who picketed across the street argued that the gun-wielding conservative activists are bigots and fascists there to intimidate people and air hate speech that is inherently threatening, violent and therefore intolerable.
‘They espouse hatred and inequality,’ left-wing counter-protester Mariah Roth told KEZI. ‘We’re Americans and we have voices and we can raise our voices in loving, kind, compassionate ways and peaceful ways.’
The rally organizers marched around Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza with banners, signs, and flags, some wearing costumes and carrying firearms. Some of the counter protesters there to oppose them wore little to nothing at all.
The conservative demonstrators said they were just exercising their Constitutional rights while accusing their progressive adversaries of using force and intimidation to try and shut them down.
‘All I’ve ever seen is guys from our side be attacked and that’s it,’ a conservative activist who identified himself as Carl R told reporters. ‘That’s why they’ll walk into us,’ he added, ‘but when we walk in to their crowd, we’re attacked. They’re walking all over here and none of us are attacking them.’
Eugene described the event as, ‘largely peaceful,’ according to KOIN.