A crowd of demonstrators gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Jan. 20, 2017, and began marching through downtown Portland in protest of the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

A crowd of demonstrators gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Jan. 20, 2017, and began marching through downtown Portland in protest of the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Amelia Templeton / OPB

Portland had been a hotbed for political clashes between the far left and the far right for years before 2020. Sean Kealiher was among the people who regularly took to the streets to fight — sometimes physically — with people who opposed Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements. We look at who was in the streets leading up to one of the most significant years in American protests, and what brought them there.

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‘Dying for a Fight’ Episode 1: The Death of Sean Kealiher

Sean Kealiher was killed Oct. 12, 2019, near a popular bar for Portland’s anti-fascist scene. An SUV ran him over and crashed outside the Democratic Party of Oregon headquarters. Gunshots rang out through the night sky, and whoever was driving fled the scene, leaving the vehicle behind. Now, almost two years later, his mother Laura Kealiher is demanding police answer why his killing remains unsolved.