A group of white supremacist, alt-right, and similarly-affiliated groups inadvertently raised tens of thousands of dollars for a group that helps undocumented immigrants avoid deportation, Yahoo News reports.
Back on August 17, Portland, Oregon was the scene of a rally, attended by the Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer, Three Percenters, and other so-called “alt right groups.” And in the weeks leading up to the event, counter-protesters began plans to hold their own demonstration against the emerging alt-right movement.
One such protest was organized by Popular Mobilization (or PopMob), a coalition of leftist and anti-fascist groups based in Portland. The group decided to use the event as a means of raising money for Causa, a Portland-based immigrants-rights organization that, among other things, helps undocumented immigrants fight deportation. Specifically, PopMob solicited pledges for donations based on the number of alt-right protesters who showed up. Some donors pledged a few cents per alt-right protester, some pledged a dollar or more.
About 300 alt-right protesters attended the rally, and when the dust had settled, PopMob had raised “$36,017.69 to support their work with Latino immigrants and their families,” according to a statement from the organization. By the math, that means that each attendee of the alt-right rally is responsible for raising $120 to help undocumented immigrants fight being deported.
This isn’t the first time opponents of a right-wing rally have raised money in such a way, and indeed, in a statement, PopMob confirmed that its inspiration came from a similar fundraising effort in Europe. Back in 2014, as CNBC reported in 2017, neo-Nazis showed up in the German town of Wunsiedel for their annual march, as they had been doing for decades. Ordinarily, townsfolk would try valiantly to ignore the march, but this time, they showed up in droves to cheer the neo-Nazis on as they marched through town. That’s because the town had pledged to donate 10 euros (about $11) to every step (or every meter, according to conflicting reports) that the neo-Nazis marched. In the end, the marchers indirectly raised 10,000 euros (about $11,000) for an organization that helps people escape white supremacist organizations.
Back in Portland, the alt-right march was not without its issues. In the days and weeks leading up to the event, there were fears that there would be violent clashes between the protesters and counter-protesters. However, Portland police kept the two sides thousands of feet apart, according to CBS News. And although there were “numerous conflicts” between protesters from the two sides, there were few injuries and few arrests.