Violence breaks out as competing protesters clash

The Latest on competing rallies in Portland following fatal stabbings (all times local): 2 p.m. Crowds have swelled to several thousand as demonstrators from varying groups have converged in downtown Portland.

Police in Portland girded for potential unrest on Sunday, citing "online threats of violence", ahead of dueling political rallies planned by supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump after racially charged killings convulsed Oregon's largest city.

A large police presence is expected in downtown Portland because so numerous rallies are planned with conflicting messages and within close proximity to each other.

He said his group is not racist or alt-right and it should not be held responsible for the actions of counterdemonstrators, many of whom identified as anti-fascists.

Police have detained a large crowd of demonstrators and others several blocks north of a free speech rally in downtown Portland, Oregon. Shortly after, police said all of Chapman Square had been closed. They also detained several dozen left-wing protestors, though it's not yet clear how many people were actually arrested.

Police said people gathered at the free speech rally organized by the conservative group Patriot Prayer and other counter-protesters at City Hall were not involved.

Portland police cleared people out of Chapman Square near where a free speech rally was being held Sunday afternoon.

Last week, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler asked on the federal government to revoke the Pro-Trump rally's permit but the government declined, saying there was "no basis" to recall the protest permit.

The suspect charged with fatally stabbing two Portland men who tried to stop his anti-Muslim tirade against two teenage girls built his life around hate speech and his right to use it.

Hundreds of people on the steps of City Hall are holding signs that read "Our city is greater than hate" and "Black lives matter". Counter-demonstrators chanted expletive-ridden slogans denouncing Trump and carried signs proclaiming "Supporters of Trump are traitors to America" and "Freedom ends where harm begins".

Authorities say that on May 26 Christian killed two men and injured another on the light-rail train when they tried to help after he verbally abused two young women, one wearing a hijab.

Christian faces charges including two counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder, two counts of second-degree intimidation and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon, police say.

"We're going to have the groups come downtown and do our best to keep them separated", Portland police chief Mike Marshmann said. "Protesters should stay with their groups, not attempt to cross streets to escalate tensions", the department said on Twitter.

At least 14 people were arrested on Sunday amid competing protests in Portland, Oregon, over a tangled web of emotions to arise from a deadly commuter train stabbing in May.

In a video posted on Facebook, Joey Gibson of the group Patriot Prayer condemned Christian and acknowledged that some rallies have attracted "legitimate Nazis".

Mat Dos Santos, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of OR, was in a television interview about the attacks last week when a man stood behind him performing a Nazi salute.