‘March of Hope’ canceled over counter-protest

March of Hope was announced over the weekend

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales addresses the riot in Portland the night before, November 11, 2016 (KOIN)
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales addresses the riot in Portland the night before, November 11, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A planned “March of Hope” along Portland’s downtown waterfront was canceled Tuesday morning, hours before it was to begin.

Originally planned to include Mayor Charlie Hales, civic, community and faith leaders, the march was canceled in an announcement from the mayor’s office.

“After hearing about a planned counter protest, I am disheartened to announce that the March of Hope event planned for this afternoon at 3 p.m. will be canceled,” Hales said in a statement. “In the weeks following the election, I heard from many community leaders that the city needed to come together in unity and share a message of hope. The goal of this march was to show solidarity with our vulnerable communities and demonstrate that as Portlanders we are all stronger together. I am disappointed that the March of Hope cannot move forward as planned.”

This march was scheduled to take place just one day after a student-led rally began in Holladay Park before growing and marching through the city. The students were led by members of Portland’s Resistance, whose leaders — Gregory McKelvey, Micah Rhodes and Kathryn Stevens — were all arrested for disorderly conduct.

They have also been at the forefront of a series of earlier protests through the streets of Portland, one of which developed into a riot.

More than 100 people were arrested during those protests. Some of those arrested are accused of serious acts of vandalism and face numerous charges.

“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. “Reach out to our immigrants and refugees who moved here because they believed this was a good and safe place. Reach out to people of color, the LGBTQ community, those with disabilities, and to everyone who needs reassurance in their everyday lives that their civil liberties will remain protected, and say that Portland is a safe place for all and that we will work to keep it that way.”

KOIN 6 News will have more information later in the day.