Mayor cancels anti-hate march
PORTLAND — Portland Mayor Charlie Hales called off an anti-hate march he was planning to lead on Tuesday after hearing that counter-protesters would show up.
Hales has come under criticism from activists for the arrest of more than 100 people involved in demonstrations that have been organized in Portland since Donald Trump became president-elect.
The early Portland protests were marred by masked anarchists using baseball bats to break store windows, as well as causing other mayhem.
Hales had planned to lead what he called a March of Hope Tuesday afternoon. He said he had heard from community leaders that "the city needed to come together in unity and share a message of hope."
So he organized a Tuesday afternoon rally and march to "show solidarity with our vulnerable communities and demonstrate that as Portlanders we are all stronger together."
Tuesday morning, Hales issued a statement saying he was "disheartened to announce" that the march was off because of plans for a counter-protest.
"Canceling this event does not mean our community is canceling hope. I encourage everyone to continue to reach out to each other and stand against hate," Hales said.
Hales has received criticism for saying earlier this month that the protests would not bring change.
That angered organizers of the anti-Trump demonstrations, who announced on Facebook they would show up at the Tuesday event to show what they called Hales' hypocrisy and to show solidarity with protesters who have been arrested.
Anti-Trump demonstrations continued on Monday, when demonstrators blocked downtown streets.
Three leading activists were arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, including Gregory McKelvey, who helped start the activist group Portland's Resistance.