Several hundred people from opposing protests stood toe-to-toe at the Turnaround in Seaside last Saturday evening.
Black Lives Matter demonstrators wore masks and hugged the south curb by the Prom, while supporters of President Donald Trump, generally unmasked with some carrying firearms, stood in front of the Lewis and Clark monument.
Chants of “four more years” and “all lives matter” juxtaposed against shouts of “Black lives matter.” Dueling public address systems vied to drown each other out.
Onlookers watched from upper floors at nearby hotels, many of them joining in the chants.
Seaside Police Chief Dave Ham, Fire Chief Joey Daniels and Seaside police officers maintained an uneasy peace between the groups.
Police closed off Broadway from Columbia to the Prom. The area was reopened to traffic by 9 p.m.
Local groups organized a counterprotest at Seaside’s City Hall at 6 p.m. after social media posts about an event led by the PNW Youth Liberation Front.
The group describes itself as a “decentralized network of autonomous youth collectives dedicated to direct action towards total liberation.”
The group of counterprotesters marched from City Hall down Broadway to the Turnaround after learning Black Lives Matter demonstrators had gathered there.
“We think BLM is backed up by a Communist organization and also antifa,” Richard Boisvert, of Astoria, said. “They’re trying to take down our government and our way of life.”