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

Memorial at Hollywood Transit Center

Gibson is organizing a Trump Free Speech Rally in Portland on June 4 - almost a week after the gruesome incident aboard a MAX light rail train in which Jeremy Christian allegedly verbally attacked two teenage Muslim girls.

The two gatherings - backed by different organizers - are planned for a park on federal land, which gives federal authorities control over issuing permits.

"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.

The announcement from the mayor came after a known white-supremacist murdered two men and injured another on a Portland light-rail train Friday evening.

It's understandable that citizens and civic leaders in Portland would be traumatized by this horrific crime and wary of hearing more of the sort of hateful rhetoric that preceded it. The attacks occurred hours before the start of Ramadan, a month-long Muslim holy period of fasting, prayer and charity. But is Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler correct when he argues that two upcoming "alt right" protests in the city should be shut down because, in Wheeler's words, "hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment"? Using a recent, racist attack on a train as his excuse, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is calling for the permit to be revoked and the rally to be cancelled because...

"I have reached out to all of the victims and their families, including the two women who were terrorized and subjected to such hatred and bigotry", Wheeler said in a statement on Monday.

It 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.

He had been seen at a Portland "free speech" rally in April, draped in an American flag and reportedly chanting racial slurs. Join the discussion on our Facebook page. Gibson is also concerned that Mayor Wheeler is using the stabbings as a political tool to oppose the Trump Free Speech Rally.

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.

A week before US President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, Christian posted a freakish and hateful tirade on Facebook, saying, "If Donald Trump is the Next Hitler then I am joining his SS to put an end to Monotheist Question". He hated us, he threatened me. "We didn't want him with us".

"He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia, and he told us we shouldn't be here, to get out of his country", Mangum said.

Indeed, because of free speech laws, Wheeler can't do much about the rallies other than publicly advocate against them.

The two men and a third victim who survived the stabbing intervened when a 35-year-old Portland resident, Jeremy Christian, began shouting anti-Muslim epithets at two teenage girls on the train, one of whom was wearing a hijab.

Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, was also stabbed but survived.

Earlier, in an interview with CNN, Wheeler called the three men heroes.

Said Santos. He's right, but I am not without Empathy for Mayor Wheeler.

Christian is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, police said. "So it's going to be extra work, I think, to have a safe event on Sunday". "I'm a libertarian. I'm not right wing, I'm for gay marriage, I'm against the drug wars". 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. That rally is an anti-Sharia Law rally that is set for cities across the US.

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