PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Traditionally there are parades on Labor Day. Instead, there were pro-Trump cruise rallies in and around Portland on Monday.
Two separate events in Portland and Oregon City were organized. Another group of pro-Trump supporters gathered in Salem.
Hundreds of people gathered at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City for an “Oregon For Trump 2020 Labor Day Cruise Rally”, but organizers said they will not be going into Multnomah County. The exact route of the rally has not been publicly announced. Before the event, 6000 people responded to the posting on Facebook.
In a statement to KOIN 6 News, Clackamas Community College officials said they have “only recently been made aware of a rallying point occurring on its campus. The organizers did not go through the standard process for events such as this, and the event is not sanctioned by the college. For the safety of participants and the general public, the college is working with the Oregon City Police Department.”
Keith Diffenderffer, his wife Jo and their dog Cash were at the rally.
“We have to stand up for American because we are in control of it. If we take control of it and if we don’t, we have to accept what other people want,” Keith said.
Jo said she is “confused by all the different messages in the media” and said the governments of Oregon, Washington and California “are keeping us under their thumb with COVID fears.”
She also said she’s at high risk but “don’t ask me to wear a mask.”
Bobby Spicher of Gresham, who said he was raised in a union household, was selling Trump buttons. He told KOIN 6 News he was glad to hear government officials uniting to denounce violence.
“We are going to try our best to filter and keep everybody safe,” Spicher said. “The future rallies are the Silent Majority’s best friend.”
Carol Williams and Cassy Larson of Silverton were registering people to vote. Larson said she was helping people change their party affiliation and addresses.
“A lot of us hard working people, we work everyday anyway,” she said. “So having a Labor Day is furthering what we do.”
Williams said she just wanted to help people who haven’t had a voice recently. “Voting is what counts. If I only get 2 registrations, I’m happy today.”
The group from Oregon City drove to Salem and merged with another group. One man from the group in Salem used a loudspeaker to rail against LGBTQ rights. His comments were caught on video by @KohzKah
“I’m a God-fearing man but I think these Democratic leaders who allowed this to happen need to be shot dead in the streets,” he said. The crowd cheered.
The other simultaneous event, “Trump 2020 Labor Day Cruise Rally #2” is listed as starting “near Portland downtown” at 4 p.m., though the exact route of that rally has not been publicly announced yet either. The Facebook page, though, lists the event as starting at noon, though the details say they will meet near downtown Portland at 4 p.m.
Organizers for both pro-Trump cruise rallies said they will also pay tribute to Aaron Danielson, the Patriot Prayer supporter shot to death August 29 during a protest in Portland. Days later, federal officers killed suspect Michael Reinoehl.
Later, a Black Lives Matter family-friendly protest is expected to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Lents Park. Organizers said, “This is a peaceful, social-distance priority, family friendly protest. However, we are in support of the marches on the (in)justice center and police stations. Please show up for Black lives, and not to put down one protest modality or another.”
This is the 102nd consecutive day of protests in Portland. Over the weekend, a total of 74 people were arrested at protests that saw fires, Molotov cocktails and injuries.