Portland mayor calls for cancellation of 'alt-right' rallies


Wheeler asked the federal government, which he said is responsible for permits at Terry Schrunk Plaza, where the events are scheduled to occur, to revoke the first, issued for June 4, and deny a second, for June 10. "Our City is in mourning, our community's anger is real, and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate an already hard situation", Wheeler wrote Monday on Facebook.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has asked the organizers to cancel the events voluntarily while also urging the federal government to block the protests.

"My main concern is that they are coming to peddle a message of hatred and of bigotry", Wheeler told reporters, referring to organizers of the two rallies. The Federal government controls permitting for Shrunk Plaza, and it is my understanding that they have issued a permit for the event on June 4th.

Police said the men were trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Musllim slurs at two young women - one of whom was wearing a hijab - on the train. A third was seriously injured. He was arrested at a March protest at the University of California, Berkeley, which has become a hotbed of anti-free speech activity.

Christian has posted offensive material and anti-Muslim rhetoric on social media, said Heidi Beirich, with the Southern Poverty Law Center. He is charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder and other charges. Since President Donald Trump's election in November, the city has been beset by violence at political rallies from groups on the left and the right. The SPLC also notes ACT For America's affiliation with Breitbart News, the far-right publication with notable ties to white nationalist movements founded by White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

Screen grab of Portland murder suspect Jeremy Christian at a "free speech rally" in Portland, Oregon, on April 29, 2017.

Wheeler's call for the rally to be cancelled comes amid a wider debate in the USA about the First Amendment, often in liberal cities like Portland and Berkeley, California, and on college campuses, where violent protests between far-right and far-left protesters have derailed appearances by contentious figures. "We didn't want him with us", Gibson said.

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"I have confirmed that the city of Portland has NOT and will not issue any permits for the alt-right events scheduled on June 4th or June 10th".

Gibson urged his supporters to remain calm. It says the aim of #MarchAgainstSharia is to promote human rights.

"The government can not revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators".

"It may be tempting to shut down speech we disagree with", the ACLU tweeted, "but once we allow the government to decide what we can say, see, or hear, or who we can gather with, history shows us that the most marginalized will be disproportionately censored and punished for unpopular speech". Local and federal law enforcement will be present, he said. The looming threat of violence at the rally justified a shutdown while the city worked out a long-term solution. "But there's no long fuse anymore".

Wheeler didn't say which agency was responsible for those permits, and the mayor's office did not immediately respond to requests for clarification. And earlier this month, dozens of "black bloc" anarchists destroyed property at May Day protests.

So a rally created to promote something positive (supporting the President) rather than marching against something is what has the mayor anxious about "hate speech" this week.

An emotional Micah Fletcher said in a six-minute video on his Facebook page that Portland has a "white savior complex" and residents are heaping praise on him, but the real victims are the women.