Hundreds march in ‘Eclipse Hate’ rally in Portland

Demonstrators started marching around 7:30 p.m.

Charlottesville solidarity marchers crossing the Hawthrone Bridge on August 18, 2017. (KOIN)
Charlottesville solidarity marchers crossing the Hawthrone Bridge on August 18, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A peaceful rally ended in mostly silence Friday night after a group of several hundred people marched around Portland for 2 hours in solidarity against the display of hate in Charlottesville, Virginia last week.

Portland’s Resistance leader Gregory McKelvey spoke to kick off the “Eclipse Hate” rally, telling those gathered they need to be united against fascism and white supremacy to block out hate.

An image from Chopper 6 shows Charlottesville solidarity marchers crossing the Hawthrone Bridge on August 18, 2017. (KOIN)

“Love is more than hate, that’s the only way we can heal anything,” attendee Kevin Planey said.

Hundreds left the Salmon Street Springs after 7 p.m. and started marching around downtown, sometimes blocking traffic. Marchers chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” “this is what democracy looks like” and carried signs with messages against hate.

“We need to stick together,” attendee Chris Connelly said. “We’re a country and we’re supposed to be all Americans, not just a few of us and we need to treat everyone like they have a chance. We’re all equal in this, we’re all in the same boat.”

Demonstrators briefly blocked the MAX near Pioneer Courthouse Square, angering some commuters. After making a loop downtown, the group moved to the Hawthorne Bridge, blocking traffic in both directions.

McKelvey called the group to stopped on the Morrison Bridge for 4 and a half minutes of silence. After that, they walked silently back to Salmon Street Springs where people started to disperse.

The Portland police said the group did not have a permit for the gathering, but officers did not get involved with the rally or march and made no arrests.

In a statement Friday night, Portland police spokesperson Sgt. Chris Burley said:

We evaluate each event independently, based on the crowd size and dynamics and message sent from the event organizers.

We communicated with the organizer about the expectations of the City. We conveyed an expectation that the march and event not block bridges and TriMet. We believed the organization would be able to police themselves and fulfill the expectations set forth.

While they did march on the roadways and bridges we evaluated traffic levels. Traffic was minimal this evening. Additionally, there was little interaction with motorists, the march was almost continuously moving and we observed no violence. All of these observations and factors go into weighing our response. We also know our presence may change the dynamic.

Though marchers did not follow all expectations we are grateful the march was peaceful.