PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — The 11th annual 82nd Avenue of Roses parade might have been canceled, but it didn’t stop around 100 people from marching down the street in Southeast Portland anyway.
Riot police walked and rode alongside marchers in what started out separately on different sides of the street — those rallying and those protesting — but then intermingled.
It remained peaceful for the bulk of the march, although some engaged in heated debates, and there were three arrests.
Luis Marquez, 44, was arrested for disorderly conduct in the second degree, and harassment. Dressed in in a pumpkin suit, Marquez was arrested toward the beginning of the march and was found holding a collapsible baton.
Two more people were arrested at the end of the march, including 23-year-old Shayne Sellers for criminal mischief and two counts of theft, and 19-year-old Zoe McClain, for two counts of assaulting an officer, according to police.
The march followed a 9 a.m. picnic and celebration at Montavilla Park in lieu of the cancelled parade, at which separate groups showed up to rally or protest, including a right-wing group called Patriot Prayer, counter protestors and some who were there to try to keep the peace.
The march was made up mostly of supporters of President Donald Trump, who say they were marching in support of free speech.
A group that others identified as Antifa, an anti-fascist group, showed up on the other side of the street, several wearing clown masks or bandanas, and the two groups yelled back and forth to one another, including Antifa yelling “black lives matter” while some Trump supporters bellowed back, “all lives matter.”
Patriot Prayer organized the march after the 82nd Avenue Business Association, the parade’s sponsor, canceled the event.
The business association made the decision when the Multnomah County Republican Party, which was set to march in the parade, received an anonymous email, and a Facebook event page was created by Direct Action Alliance threatening to disrupt the parade because of “Nazis and fascists” participating.
Mayor Ted Wheeler reportedly showed up at the Saturday picnic but quickly left following taunts by protesters.
The groups marched from Montavilla Park down Southeast 82nd Avenue, ending at Burger King, where folks engaged in more political discussions. One man was asked to leave when he started yelling that Christians and Jews should die, and giving a Nazi salute. Afterward, Portland Police Bureau and TriMet organized to have marchers and protesters picked up in buses to transport them back to the park, a little more than two miles away.
Kathryn Townsend, from Gig Harbor, Washington, holding a Trump flag and wearing Trump + Pence shirt, said she attended the march to support free speech and to stand up against those who initially threatened the parade.
“I shouldn’t be afraid,” she said.
Patrick Garrison, an American Civil Liberties Union volunteer, observed the event to keep an eye on police activity and any other disruptions.
He said outside of the initial arrest and a few confiscations by police, that things were “much quieter than expected.”
“I was worried that this would just turn into a giant brawl in the park,” he said.
The Portland Tribune in a KOIN media partner.