Conservative rally at Oregon Convention Center draws thousands, sparks protest

Conservative rally draws thousands & protests

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Two thousand conservatives crammed into the Oregon Convention Center on Saturday for the 2017 Freedom Rally.

Just outside, about 200 protesters showed up to speak out against policies put forth by President Donald Trump.

"We're a nation built on largely immigrant labor, life, communities and this is very contrary to our values," said Maxine Fookson with Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition.

This protest's primary focus on immigration, and protected undocumented immigrants from deportation. Their goal was to send a message outside the convention center to those who paid money to go in.

"This group having the convention today really underscores the values of divisiveness and of hate," said Fookson.

It was a day of two parties and two tactics.

And for conservatives living in Portland, it was a refreshing change.

"Just walking down the street with this hat on, I wasn't sure who I was going to confront," said Dan Yoder, a Trump supporter.

Saturday's Freedom Rally was hosted by the Oregon Liberty Alliance, a group of conservative agencies including the Oregon Family Council and Oregon Right to Life.

An estimated 1,700-2,000 people attended the rally. Many at the rally are Trump supporters. Organizers say immigration is outside their wheelhouse.

"We tend to stick to what we know and what our organizations tend to care about which are life, liberty, religious freedom, and low taxes," said Teresa Harke, communications director for Oregon Family Council.

Star Parker, founder of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, signed on to speak.

"Donald Trump looked at the most vulnerable in our society and said I'm going to fix your inner cities," said Parker. "He said I'm going to do this because why should you have to live the way that you're living with the type of leadership that you've been living under forever?"

In addition to Parker, many came to hear the keynote speaker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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