Thousands of 'Solidarity with Charlottesville' demonstrators march in Portland

Thousands march to protest hate in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Thousands of people marched through the streets of Portland Friday evening during an “Eclipse Hate: Solidarity with Charlottesville” rally.

Local activist group Portland’s Resistance, who organized many of the post-election protests in Portland last year, led the rally, which began at the Salmon Street Fountain on Southwest Naito Parkway at 5:30 p.m. The rally there speakers for two hours before demonstrators began marching through the streets of downtown Portland.

After weaving through downtown, demonstrators crossed the Hawthorne Bridge to the eastside of Portland shortly after 8 p.m. chanting "No KKK, No Fascist USA, No Trump" and "Whose bridge? Our bridge!"

Photos: 'Solidarity with Charlottesville' rally, march

They then marched through the eastside of Portland on Grand Avenue before going across the Morrison Bridge back to downtown Portland.

Watch: Demonstrators march in Portland

While on the Morrison Bridge, they held a four-and-a-half minute moment of silence. The group then marched silently back to the Salmon Street Fountain at 9:15 p.m., where after a short speech, they dispersed.

Portland police took a hands off approach but monitored the march and posted updates on social media.

Earlier in the week, Gregory McKelvey, one of the leaders of Portland's Resistance, said the rally and march would be peaceful.

“The peaceful rally and march will be held in solidarity with the community of Charlottesville, Virginia, after the recent acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists left one person dead and dozens injured,” McKelvey said in a press release.

The march, although not permitted, was peaceful, police said.

McKelvey said similarly to Charlottesville, Portland is healing from a deadly white supremacist attack. In May, police said Jeremy Christian stabbed three people, two fatally, during an anti-Muslim tirade on a TriMet MAX train.

“Like Charlottesville, Portland has recently faced tragedy at the hands of white supremacy, with a hate crime that targeted two young women, left two men dead and one critically injured," McKelvey said.

Portland’s Resistance said they were not in contact with police prior to the event and “we would not pay for our First Amendment rights nor would we coordinate with them.”

Furthermore, Portland’s Resistance said if there was a police presence, they hoped it would be for protection.

“We hope that for the safety of our participants, the police have little to no presence today and if they do show up that they come with the intention of protecting the community from right wing attacks rather than violently suppressing our speech,” the group said in a Facebook post prior to the rally.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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