The event’s organizers said their “Oregon For Trump 2020 Labor Day Cruise Rally” was designed to show support for the president, following weeks of protests and violent clashes between protesters and police, as well as between protesters and pro-Trump counterprotesters in downtown Portland.
The crowd, which initially gathered in a community college parking lot in Oregon City, Ore., about 30 minutes from downtown Portland, included armed people wearing bulletproof vests or shirts bearing the name of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, the slain supporter of the far-right group Patriot Prayer. There were also families with young children and adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Some identified themselves as members of the Proud Boys, a self-identified western chauvinist group that the FBI has said has ties to white nationalism.
The rally’s organizers wrote on Facebook that the caravan would not enter Multnomah County, where Portland is located, to keep its participants safe. At a similar rally last weekend, drivers deviated from the route and entered downtown Portland, where a rally participant, Danielson, was shot and killed.