Approximately 20 Patriot Prayer supporters gathered on Aug. 27 outside the Multnomah County Justice Center to show support for Joey Gibson before his hearing.
A handful of counter-protesters were present as well, but there were no violent encounters. Police presence was also minimal.
On the Facebook page for the event, organizers asked that participants not engage with any counter-protesters who turn up.
“Because Portland has now made it illegal for Christians and conservatives to march on sidewalks, it is important that no one is violent, even if in self-defense,” the page stated. “While self-defense is morally, ethically and legally justified, Portland has a corrupt system that appears to be bent on prosecuting Christians and Conservatives. This is eerily similar to the racist, Democrat-controlled cities during the civil rights era, [that] would persecute peaceful, Black freedom fighters.”
Participants in the protest marched around the courthouse several times before and after the hearing.
Gibson is being charged with riot after a violent encounter between Patriot Prayer followers and antifa broke out outside Cider Riot on May 1, 2019.
The fight reportedly included around 60 individuals, with one-on-one fist fights breaking out and the use of pepper spray. Most media reported the fight was provoked by the right-leaning group, Patriot Prayer.
Gibson pleaded not guilty to the felony charges. The court set his criminal trial for Oct 11.
Five other men have also been accused of riot from the same May Day violence: Mathew Cooper, Russel Schultz, Ian Kramer, Mackenzie Lewis and Christopher Ponte. Ponte is also accused of third-degree assault relating to the incident.
All of the men, excluding Shultz, are also named in a $1 million dollar lawsuit filed by the owner of Cider Riot, Abram Goldman-Armstrong.