OREGON — Organizers of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade in East Portland canceled the event, having caved to threats made by a radical group that threatened to “drag and push” parade participants.
Parade organizers were told to bar the Multnomah County Republican Party in a threatening email sent by [email protected] The Giver warned of the power of activists in the area, reminding organizers about events that unfolded during previous demonstrations and riots.
“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 terrorist wrote. If organizers did not do as instructed, they were warned, “We will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade, into the middle, and drag and push those people out.”
The anonymous group would have targeted “known members of neo-Nazi and anti-immigrant hate groups” planning to be in the parade or attend the event. “[W]e intended to stand between them and those who they wanted to intimidate. We intended to block out their hate and shut down their violence,” said the group.
The parade is a community event that aligns with the annual Portland Rose Festival. Festival spokesman Rich Jarvis said they were sad to cancel, citing “ongoing political divisiveness in our country” as the culprit.
Multnomah County Republican Party chair James L. Buchal has been in communication with the mayor and the police about the activities of the activist group that made the threats. In a letter to police sent prior to the cancellation, Buchal asked them to identify the people organizing the radical group and “take steps to prevent their proposed criminal conduct.”
Buchal is upset about the reaction from authorities. In a statement released on the Oregon GOP website Tuesday, he calls upon the mayor, the police chief, and the district attorney to take action.
“The City allowed this cancer of lawlessness to grow to the point where its leaders are now bragging, like some sort of comic book characters, that ‘the police cannot stop us,’” he said.
He writes that the GOP group has a tradition of participating in the parade, but, more than that, a constitutional right of freedom to speak and assemble.
“The road to fascism begins with armed gangs of thugs using violence to shut down opposing points of view,” said Mr. Buchal. “The question now is whether the City of Portland will be complicit in such conduct.”
Buchal says the city leaders need to address “this criminal conspiracy to commit crimes of riot and disorderly conduct.”
Still, he has hope that “the City’s new leadership has the courage to respond to these threats appropriately.”
H/T: The Washington Times
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