PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) —  The Multnomah County Republican Party is criticizing Gresham’s promotion of what they called the “radical Marxist BLM” group.

The Gresham City Council has unanimously approved the flying of a Black Lives Matter sign that has three yellow stripes below the letters. The MCRP says those three yellow stripes in the flag are the same as the flag the group sells on their website.

“We as Republicans, the party of Lincoln, obviously have no objections to promoting messages of racial equality,” Chairman James Buchal said. “But these city councilors are tarnishing the City of Gresham by flying the flag of a radical Marxist organization hostile to all fundamental American values.” 

They say two of the group’s organizers have publicly admitted that they are “trained Marxists.”

Marxism is defined by Merriam-Webster as the “the political, economic, and social principles and policies advocated by [Karl] Marx.” It says that Marxism is also known as “a theory and practice of socialism, including the labor theory of value, dialectical materialism, the class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat until the establishment of a classless society.”

According to the Black Lives Matters website, the organization defines itself as “a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” It also states that by combating and countering acts of violence, the organization works to create space for “Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”

The BLM movement was first spurred by the death of Trayvon Martin. It has since grown into a worldwide movement that has stepped back into the spotlight amid national unrest over systemic racism and police brutality since the killing of George Floyd.

The MCRP tells us that a demonstration will be held outside the Gresham City Hall Council Chambers at 6 p.m. Wednesday in opposition to the sign. They are encouraging attendees to wear masks and maintain social distancing throughout the event.

KOIN 6 News has reached out to the Gresham City Council for comment. We will update this story when new information is available.