Video footage has emerged of someone running up and grabbing an American flag as it was burning during clashes between Antifa and the Patriot Prayer in Portland, Oregon.
The two opposing groups fought each other in the streets with fists, clubs, bear spray, and other weapons, according to social media footage and a report from The Oregonian.
A person who uploaded the video on Twitter said that a “Patriot Prayer member” saved it from the fire.
At one point in a video, an Antifa member is seen lighting an American flag on fire as others cheer. A few seconds later, someone runs up and takes the burning flag and extinguishes the flames.
Antifa is a far-left extremist group that frequently advocates using violence and sparks riots to block conservative speakers and events. Antifa members often use black masks and are clad in all black.
On Oct. 12, Portland Police admitted to standing by as Antifa blocked traffic and assaulted an elderly man. In a video uploaded online, police officers could be seen standing by as the Antifa members attacked.
It took place as around 100 activists gathered to protest the shooting of Patrick Kimmons, a convicted criminal who was suspected of shooting two people before police officers shot him earlier this month.
Portland Protest Escalates into Riot on the Streets of Downtown
[October 6th, 2018 – 4pm – SW 4th and Salmon]#PatrickKimmons #Antifa #BlackLivesMatter #DontShoot #PDX #March #Oregon pic.twitter.com/W6V9hs7qcC
— Brandon Farley (@FarleyFilms) October 12, 2018
Black Lives Matter activists and activists from Don’t Shoot Portland joined the Antifa members.
Kent Houser, 74, was identified as the man who was driving down the street. The group, in the video, surrounded the car and began beating it. The protesters claimed that Houser tried to drive through them.
“I’ve lived here my whole life but I don’t want to go downtown anymore,” Houser told the Wall Street Journal. “When the streets are commandeered by a sponsored group of angry, agitated ingrates and criminals, we have no city.”
Houser reportedly called the police and asked for assistance but no officers came.
He told KATU that the mob did about $3,000 in damage to his vehicle.
Police told the WSJ that they didn’t want to intervene in the incident because it would “change the demeanor of the crowd for the worse.”
But Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley told KATU that what happened was a good example of why demonstrators need to have permits, so officers can keep them and drivers separated. The Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other protesters didn’t have permits when they surrounded Houser’s car, the report said.
“Recognize that it can be dangerous not only for marchers in a group, but also for drivers as well,” Burley said.
He said an investigation has been opened into the incident with Houser.
The Oregonian reported that Patriot Prayer on Oct. 13, organized a march called the “Flash march for Law and Order in PDX,” which was likely in protest of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s handling of the Portland Police in the wake of Antifa demonstrations.