Violent protests again draw attention to Portland, Oregon

Violent protests again draw attention to Portland, Oregon
Mack Stilson, left, plays his mandolin and Victor Reuther, right, plays his guitar in a park in Portland, Ore., as they practice for an upcoming bluegrass gig during their lunch hour on June 7, 2018. Stilson and Reuther, both Portland residents, say they are proud of the city's reputation for activism but they are concerned about dueling demonstrations that have turned violent in the past year in downtown Portland. A right-wing group called Patriot Prayer and self-described left-wing anti-fascists clashed in the streets on June 3, in some cases drawing blood, and police made four arrests. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Viral videos of bloody fistfights and skirmishes between right-wing activists and self-described anti-fascists have drawn national attention to Portland, Oregon.

It’s a city of storied political activism that has struggled to keep the peace at dueling rallies representing a microcosm of the nation’s political division.

Tensions erupted most recently when members of the so-called “antifa” movement showed up at a march organized by a right-wing group called Patriot Prayer.

As police tried to keep order, fist fights broke out in verdant downtown parks fringed with aspen trees and dotted with plaques honoring Portland’s founders and veterans.

Police made four arrests June 3.

They have recently become a gathering place for dissent in this liberal city already known for weekly protests against federal land management policy, police brutality and transgender discrimination.