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People are warning a white supremacist rally in Portland could be this year’s Charlottesville

Written by gaytourism

People held vigils across the country after Charlottesville | Photo: Flickr/Fibonacci Blue

Two white supremacist groups are planning a rally in Portland, Oregon this weekend. Many fear it could become this year’s Charlottesville.

Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys are gathering on Saturday (4 August) in the Tom McCall Waterfront Park for the ‘Gibson for Senate Freedom March’.

The rally is for Joey Gibson, the leader of Patriot Prayer, and a Republican from Washington running for Senate.

Gibson announced the location of the park earlier this week. In line with local ordinances, and the state’s open carry law, members of the groups will legally be allowed to have guns on them.

The groups have held rallies like this before for Gibson and they have a history of turning violent.

Portland declared the last rally, on 30 June, a riot after numerous confrontations occurred. Six people were sent to the hospital, including one person with a brain hemorrhage. Police arrested another nine people.

This is some footage from that rally.

Could it be like Charlottesville?

The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last August was a virulently homophobic and hateful gathering. Numerous LGBTI groups condemned what happened, including the death of one young woman who was there protesting, Heather Heyer.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook donated $2 million to anti-hate groups after Charlottesville.

Charlottesville activists addressed the fears about tomorrow’s rally in a statement.

‘This so-called “March for Freedom” is a large-tent conglomerate of disparate fascist, nationalist, racist, and white supremacist provacateurs openly planning street violence against rightfully concerned Portland community members,’ they wrote.

They also mentioned that the Proud Boys were some of the people who ‘both organized and participated in the violence of last year’s deadly rally’.

The statement continued: ‘Charlottesville understands all too well what it means to have fascist agitators bring choreographed terror into our community. … We send solidarity and love to Portland, particularly to communites most targeted by the Islamophobic, transphobic, anti-immigrant, genocidal agenda of Saturday’s fascist event.’

Finally, they also mention another white supremacist rally being planned in Berkeley, California on 5 August.

Despite some recent homophobic and transphobic incidents in Portland, protesters still plan on turning out.

Effie Baum, an activist and spokesperson for Popular Mobilization, told HuffPost: ‘One of the things folks keep saying is ‘If you just ignored them, they’d probably go away. There are many examples across history that explicitly tell us this is not true. The community at large in Portland has tried ignoring them… Despite that, Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer have not gone away.

‘If nobody is there to oppose them, then there is nobody to prevent them from targeting the marginalized members of our community.’

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