Friday, April 28, 2017

Portland cancels annual Roses Parade after threats from 'resistance' - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

The family oriented event was threatened with disruption by thugs who promised to "stab to death" marchers associated with the Multnomah County Republican Party.

The city of Portland decided to cancel the annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade after email threats were received promising violence if the event went forward.

The family oriented event was threatened with disruption by thugs who promised to "stab to death" marchers associated with the Multnomah County Republican Party. After consulting police, organizers decided they couldn't protect marchers or bystanders and ended up cancelling the event.

At least two protests were planned for the day of the parade, one by Oregon Students Empowered and another by Direct Action Alliance. Both events were mentioned in an email sent to parade organizers on Saturday, threatening to shut down the event with hundreds of protesters in the street.
"You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely," the anonymous email said, telling organizers they could cancel the Republican group's registration or else face action from protesters. "This is non-negotiable."
The parade is organized by the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association, a part of the neighborhood business organization Venture Portland. Representatives from neither organization returned calls for comment.
The cancelation isn't necessarily a win for the protest groups. Jacob Bureros, an organizer with the Direct Action Alliance, said the organization - which intended to speak out against fascism and white supremacy during the parade - is sad to hear the news.
"We are disappointed that the parade was canceled," he said. "We're members of this community and this is an awesome parade."
James Buchal, chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party, said his group was ready to march despite the protesters. He said the party had no hand in cancelling the event, and was taken by surprise when they heard the news. After seeing the email last weekend, they had no plans to back out.
"We weren't willing to just walk away quietly," he said. "The next thing we knew the whole thing was canceled."
Organizers pulled out after contacting Portland police, according to Rich Jarvis, spokesman for the Rose Festival Foundation. When police said they couldn't offer any additional security for the parade, organizers decided to cancel it due to safety concerns.
"The showdown was imminent," Jarvis said. "They were boxed into a corner, they simply had no choice. In order to avoid a violent outbreak, they had to cancel the parade."
Lined up to oppose the thugs were pro-Trump supporters who promised to confront the thugs. These were the same two groups who clashed in Berkeley earlier this month and rather than having to deal with potential chaos in the streets, organizers decided to retreat. 

But at what cost? The parade is a "soft target" for the thugs. With families guaranteed to attend, they knew full well their threats would lead to cancellation - especially since their unreasonable demand that parade organizers ban the local GOP from marching could not be met. Any protestation they make about not wanting to disrupt the parade is a lie.

That said, there is an object lesson here for other cities. Unless the police are willing to strictly enforce the law and play hardball with the black shirts, they may as well roll up the sidewalks. These threats will only increase now that the thugs have been successful in their efforts. Any gathering of political opponents of the antifa movement will be targeted. 

When people's constitutional right to peacefully assemble or speak is curtailed by a mob, only strong action by government to forcefully, if necessary, guarantee those rights is possible. No other option is satisfactory. And that appears to be where we're headed if the violent thugs don't cease and desist their efforts to violate the rights of their political opponents.

Rick Moran


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