Portland City is witnessing constant rallies between two opposing groups. Namely, the entire week has been filled with conflicts between the Proud Boys, a right-wing organization of white supremacists and nationalists, and Antifa supporters. As more of the clashes are expected on Portland streets for the weekend, two professional soccer teams are struggling to maintain the focus on the match rather than politics.
MLS’s Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders decided to forbid “Iron Front,” the symbol which Antifa followers use. Therefore, soccer fans will not be allowed to display the symbol inside the soccer pitch. Mark Abbot, MLS president, gave the explanation for such a decision. He stated that the key objective of the MLS and both clubs was to let fans enjoy the match. He also added that their stadiums are not the right place for third-party organizations to express their views.
The “Iron Front”
The “Iron Front” symbol consists of three arrows that point earthward and to the left. Antifa followers selected this symbol since a German anti-Nazi organization used it back in 1939. There is another variant of the symbol in which three axes replaced the arrows. That could also suggest the support for Portland Timbers.
Soccer devotees, especially those in the Pacific Northwest area, have a greater tendency to show their political attitudes during the matches compared to other sports fans. Antifa supporters and soccer lovers expressed their dissatisfaction with the MLS’s decision on various social networks.
The Outcome of Clashes
The clashes that have been raging in Portland among Antifa followers and the Proud Boys have burst into disorder and violence. Even Andy Ngo, a notorious conservative writer, was attacked. Having been severely criticized for not tackling past clashes accordingly, the city Mayor Ted Wheeler and Danielle Outlaw, the Police Chief, declared that both organizations ought to expect a strong presence of police troops on Saturday.
Mayor Wheeler warned all the supporters that, should any act of violence burst, the City would be ready to react immediately. Police Chief Outlaw added that those who provoke violence are not welcome, regardless of the side they support.
Portland Timbers are playing a home match with Atlanta United on August 18, and with Seattle Sounders on August 23. The greatest clash between Proud Boys and Antifa supporters is expected on August 17.