Freedom march, counter-protests planned for Sunday at the Portland Waterfront
PORTLAND, Ore. —
Several marches and rallies are planned for Sunday at the Portland Waterfront.
A 'Freedom March' hosted by the Patriot Prayer group is expected to gather at the Salmon Street Springs fountain around 2 PM. More than 400 people have said they're either going or interested in going on the event's Facebook page.
The Patriot Prayer group has been behind several other right-wing demonstrations in the Portland area, most notably, a large protest in downtown on June 4 in the wake of a fatal stabbing of two men who tried to stop another man's anti-Muslim tirade on a MAX train.
The man accused had attended a Patriot Prayer rally less than a month before the killings.
The group on June 4 was met by hundreds of counter-protesters organized by immigrant rights, religious and labor groups. Fourteen people were arrested.
"The more hatred we see the more we have to stand against it," reads the Freedom March Facebook page for Sunday's event. "The more threats that we get the more we have to come out to show no fear... We will continue to come into Portland with a simple message that is focused on truth, love, and freedom."
"Sunday's Freedom March is another attempt by Patriot Prayer to challenge the status quo in Portland," said Joey Gibson, a prominent member of the group who's organized and attended several Patriot Prayer Portland events in the past. "Communist, ANTIFA, liberals, socialists, conservatives, libertarians, Christians, and Aithiests will be marching together. Some groups will come to oppose Patriot Prayer, some groups will come to support but in the end we will all be together with an opportunity to talk, learn and grow."
A counter-protest titled, 'Rally for Freedom, Solidarity and Justice' is planned for 1:30 PM Sunday at Battleship Oregon Memorial Marine Park on the Waterfont.
The protest is hosted by the Portland Stands United Against Hate group, and more than 600 people have said they're going or interested in going on the event's Facebook page.
"On Sunday, August 6th, these same [Patriot Prayer] extremists are staging a 'Freedom March' on the waterfront... though they have softened their rhetoric, make no mistake, their plan is to instill fear and attack Portland's immigrant, Muslim, Jewish, Indigenous, Black and LGBTQ+ communities," reads the description on the Facebook page. "We are gathering in solidarity with communities who are under attack and calling on activists and concerned residents to join a peaceful mass mobilization on the Portland waterfront."
Another protest titled 'United against fascism-Enough is enough,' also plans to gather at Battleship Oregon Memorial Marine Park at noon, with nearly 150 people listed as 'interested' in going on the event's Facebook page.
"Wear black, cover your face, come with a friend," reads the description on the page. "Make nazis afraid again."
The Portland Police Bureau says it will have "adequate resources" for Sunday's events.
Sergeant Christopher Burley says he's not releasing the official police plan for Sunday.
Be prepared for possible traffic impacts in the area.