PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Originally, Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson had plans for speakers and a rally at the Waterfront on Sunday. But on Saturday, Gibson, via his Facebook page, announced a change of plans, moving the main rally and protest to the Port of Vancouver Amphitheater in Vancouver at 2 p.m.
Gibson said the original plan for a rally in Downtown Portland will still happen, saying the “inner circle” would still rally and meet at Salmon Street Fountain at Waterfront Park. Portland Stands United Against Hate announced Friday they will hold a “Rally & March Against White Nationalism” beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Terry Schrunk Plaza. They then plan to march to Salmon Street Fountain at Waterfront Park, the same location of Gibson’s original rally.
“We will be there with flags,” Gibson said of the Portland rally and protest.
Authorities said Friday there will be a significant police presence due to past threats and acts of violence between the groups — both locally and nationally — at both rallies.
Gibson said on Facebook Saturday that Portland and Vancouver police would also be at the Vancouver rally.
“There will be heavy police presence,” Gibson said. “As you know, in Vancouver, they don’t mess around, so if antifa wants to come over it’s going to be a problem for them.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler released a statement Friday on the upcoming, conflicting rallies on Sunday.
“On Sunday, Portland will find itself – once again – in the middle of national events, as demonstrators and counter-demonstrators converge on our city. This is not the first set of demonstrations in Portland. This will not be the last. But how we conduct ourselves as a community will send a message about our city to the rest of the nation.
“Portland rejects racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. We reject white supremacy. Messages of hate are not welcome in Portland. We have seen – far too often – how these words of hate can quickly turn to acts of violence. Portland also rejects violence.
“Around the country, we’ve seen demonstrations that have involved arrests and illegal acts. My hope is that we are better than that. We can do it better. We can do it the Portland way. In Portland we celebrate diversity, we stand up for others, we promote unity, and we practice non-violence.
“Over recent weeks, my office has worked closely with the Portland Police Bureau, as well as state, local and federal officials, on plans to protect the safety of everyone who chooses to demonstrate on Sunday. Portland Police will focus on ensuring that people’s right for freedom of expression and speech is protected. However, illegal behavior is not acceptable.
“We will not tolerate acts of violence. We will not tolerate vandalism. We will not tolerate criminal behavior. I call on everyone who plans on demonstrating here Sunday to do so peacefully, to help ensure that everyone goes home safely.”