PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As Portland city leaders brace for confrontation on Sunday between differing political groups, some organizers are advising people not to bring their children.
The weekend’s events are growing quickly with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people expected to attend. Dozens of human rights groups are planning to gather in front of Portland City Hall, while across the street a pro-Trump rally is expected to bring hundreds.
The rallies garnered extra attention following the brutal attack on a MAX train that left 2 men dead and one seriously wounded. A convicted felon with extremist views, Jeremy Christian, is charged with aggravated murder in the attack. Mayor Ted Wheeler initially called for the federal government to revoke the permit for the gathering in Terry Schrunk Plaza, but the permit remained intact.
Another faction of anti-Trump activists will be gathering in nearby Chapman Square.
Wheeler, who said he will be at the police command post during the rallies, said there will be a significant police presence in the downtown area.
“The goal is to keep everybody separated, respect First Amendment rights for everybody to speak their piece,” the mayor told KOIN 6 News.
Portland police and federal law officers have been working on plans for days to handle the expected clashes between the groups.
Organizers of the Trump Free Speech Rally maintain their gathering at Terry Schrunk Plaza — which is federal land in downtown Portland — will be peaceful. Organizer Joey Gibson with Patriot Prayer said they will kick out anyone with racist speech or signs.
But one of their main speakers on Sunday afternoon is Kyle Chapman, known as Based Stickman who fought with anti-Fascist protesters in Berkley, California and broke a sign post over someone’s head.
Some of the groups expected to rally in Portland:Portland Stands United Against HateTrump Free Speech RallyDirect Action Alliance PDXRose City AntifaPatriot PrayerMarch for Truth PDXFascists out of PDX
Portland Stands United Against Hate, made up of dozens of community groups from churches, labor and immigrant rights, say they will stand up to what it sees as a hate group.
Nico Judd with Portland Stands United Against Hate told KOIN 6 News, “Portland will take a deep breath and realize this is a moment we need to stand up for.”
Patriot Prayer’s Gibson denies that accusation.
“What they’re trying to do is intimidate and instill fear in our community. No one is foolish enough to know they are here for any other reason.”
“Anyone causing problems, anyone saying stuff that we disagree with, anyone with any type of white supremacy affiliations will be gone,” Gibson said.
Law enforcement officials are expecting a confrontation between groups on Sunday between City Hall and the Federal Building.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.