Patriot Prayer rally to go on despite calls to cancel

Patriot Prayer rally organizer Joey Gibson says he's going to do everything that he can to keep Sunday's protest peaceful. (KATU Photo)

Weeks before we all knew his name, Jeremy Christian marched in a rally put on by the group Patriot Prayer.

Now, just a week after police say that same man stabbed three men on a MAX after yelling racial slurs at two young girls, that group is planning to rally in downtown Portland this Sunday.

“The hope is to get down there and spread the message of freedom, talk about God, peace, get in and out, no violence, and have a great positive day,” Patriot Prayer rally organizer Joey Gibson said.

But Margie Fletcher, the mother of surviving MAX hero Micah Fletcher, told KATU that just days after her son was stabbed she hopes the group will reconsider.

“I'm scared, if what I understand is going to happen, does. I’m scared people will be hurt,” Margie said.

Margie says she wants people to take a stand, just like her son and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Ricky John Best, 53, did on the MAX train. Namkai-Meche and Best did not survive.

“If we don't, then they take over and there is no more, no one to stand up,” Margie said.

Gibson, the organizer of the Patriot Prayer rally, says he recognizes Portland is healing.

“There is some real legitimate pain and suffering out there right now, and I feel that, and I know that I'm doing my best to make this a positive experience,” he said.

And Gibson says Christian was never part of his group.

“He came to one of our events, and he was not welcome there,” Gibson said.

He says his hope is that this weekend’s rally will help the city heal.

“There is so much fighting all over the county, and you can’t fight hate with hate, so I want to promote love,” Gibson said.

Counter protests have been planned for Sunday. Portland police, along with Homeland Security and the FBI, will be on hand to ensure everyone’s safety.

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