A standoff occurred on Saturday where left-wing "Antifa" activists clashed with members of the Proud boys during the appearance of a controversial pastor.
On Saturday, the street evangelist Artur Pawlowski appeared to host a worship service. Pawlowski is a Canadian pastor who has attracted controversy due to questionable claims about Canadian floods caused by God's disdain for homosexuality. Pawlowski also gained public attention when he hosted a church service that exceeded COVID-19 capacity limits. When police decided to intervene, he attacked many of the officers, describing them as Nazis.
According to the Portland Tribune, 50 people attended Pawlowski's event when several black-clad protesters, identified as Antifa, disrupted the event by setting off smoke grenades and grabbing the speakers. Several Proud Boys, acting as security, approached the Antifa activists while armed with paintball guns, batons, and other weapons. The two groups would argue for a time before entering into a physical altercation with one another.
The violent events did not disrupt Pawlowski's preaching, which would continue for 90 minutes before ending the event while police sirens approached.
Local Portland leaders from the Proud Boys disavowed those identified as PBs at Pawlowski's event, claiming they mimicked their uniforms.
The event drew much attention online. Select right-wing commentators framed the events as an attack on a "Christian prayer and worship service." At the same time, left-wing advocates presented it as a protest against a political rally. Pawlowski would express his thankfulness for the event, tweeting that he had a "Fantastic time with the real Christians and Patriots in Portland! Thank you all for coming and standing strong! Be blessed!"