There are those who believe that Black Lives Matter protests are inherently violent and that the violence always happens at the hands of liberal-left-Marxist-communist-socialist-Antifa hooligans. Those people will ignore report after report after report that shows white supremacists are responsible for much of the violence that happens at BLM demonstrations as well as at their own white nationalist rallies—not to mention reports that show the vast majority of anti-racism protests have been peaceful. Video footage from a pro-Trump rally in Salem, Ore., on Monday that shows Trump-supporting Proud Boys chasing down and attacking BLM counterprotesters is also unlikely to change those people’s minds.
Newsweek reports that during the Labor Day rally, in which Proud Boys members drove to Salem from a pro-Trump vehicle rally at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City to join several dozen Trump supporters outside the Oregon State Capitol, at least two members of the right-wing group were arrested after being recorded chasing down, beating and macing BLM demonstrators on multiple occasions.
One man was seen hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat and knocked to the ground after being rushed by a group of Proud Boys in a video posted on Twitter by Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Sergio Olmos.
He was then seen being repeatedly punched in the face by another Proud Boy and then maced in the face by a woman.
“That’s for everything that you did to me, b****. Told you I’d get you!” She can be heard saying in the clip.
According to Olmos, police arrived and told the Proud Boys to turn around, but no arrests were made at that time.
A short time later, videos showed a group of Proud Boys chasing down a sole Black Lives Matter supporter in a park near the state capitol. “Get out of here, you f*g!” one of the Proud Boys is heard saying.
Seconds later, a group of local police officers are seen stepping in and detaining people.
The Associated Press reports that the far-right group also fired paint-gun pellets at their rivals.
According to Newsweek, Twenty-year-old Eddie Coleman, one of the counterprotesters who was reportedly attacked, told the New York Times’ Mike Baker—who was at the rally and recorded much of it including the violent attacks—that he arrived at the capitol building after a friend requested back-up on social media because “there were a lot of Proud Boys with weapons and a lot of white supremacists and they were outnumbered.”
“I was carrying a Black Lives Matter sign and T-shirt and I couldn’t find any of my friends,” Coleman said. “I was walking across the main area and a bunch of people rushed at me yelling slurs and firing paintball guns at me and empty rounds of something, I don’t know.”
“When I stood my ground finally one of them pushed me to the ground and hit my face repeatedly and kneeled on my chest with his full weight until finally, somebody pulled him off,” he continued.
It’s unclear exactly how many arrests were made, what the attackers were charged with (if anything), or whether they are still in custody.