11th Annual Portland 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade canceled over “threats of violence”

82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Canceled
82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Canceled
82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Cancelled
82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Canceled

11th Annual Portland 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade canceled over “threats of violence”

This would have been the the 11th annual parade, and the first scheduled sanctioned event of the Rose Festival. It was set to begin at 9:30 a.m Saturday in Portland, OR. The Avenue of Roses Parade is one of the parades that eventually build into the Rose Festival in the Summer. Unfortunately, due to mounting threats, the 82nd Ave. parade was canceled by the organizers. The official website describes the event as a “multicultural event, complete with bands, community members, government officials, schools, classic cars and representatives of the Portland Rose Festival.”

According to Koin6, a Facebook group by the name of “Direct Action Alliance” had created a counter-event. This event is called “Defend Portland from Fascists at the Avenue of Roses Parade” where they promised to halt a specific group of marchers.  Even though all groups had been registered before hand, Direct Action Alliance claims that there were groups in it as well that they did not approve of participating.

[…]organizers canceled the parade after Direct Action Alliance created a Facebook event called “Defend Portland from Fascists at the Avenue of Roses Parade.” The group wanted to disrupt the march because of “Nazis and fascists” participating. “The fascists know that we’ll keep shutting their marches down,” the Facebook event states. “They are now planning to march within other parades to protect their message of hate and white supremacy — it won’t work.”

Direct Action Alliance was referring to group #67, which they said is “registered to the Multnomah County Republicans.” They described the group as white supremacists responsible for “attacking a woman at PDX,” among other incidents.

What were the threats?

The threats were specifically against group #67. That was registered to the Multnomah County Republicans who have participated in the parade for several years without any issue. There were multiple avenues that the violent threats came down from, with KPTV stating this.

In a statement released Tuesday, the business association said, “Following threats of violence during the parade by multiple groups planning to demonstrate at the event, we can no longer guarantee the safety of our community and have made the difficult decision to cancel the parade and carnival.”

KATU reports a group named “Rise Up” outlined specific threats that also may have lead to the cancellation. The full, leaked email can be found here. Here is an excerpt.

Someone with the group “riseup” sent out an email over the weekend that claimed they would have “two hundred or more people rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push them out.”

What’s next?

I’m curious to see who is inevitably going to be held responsible for the cancellation. While some of the threats mentioned that the intent wasn’t to disrupt the entire parade, I can’t see how it would be feasible to only interrupt a single portion of the parade. As far as I can tell, group #67 was registered to Multnomah County Republicans well in advance. So when I read quotes such as this from Commissioner Nick Fish:

“It’s a celebration of all the positive things happening in… our city,” he said. “For some politically extreme groups to have a fight like this to jeopardize a parade is shameful.”

Surely he can’t be blaming the people who were already registered to march and had marched in parades of years past with no issue. The next question is, shouldn’t something be done about the multiple threats of violence? This seems like a step above the average strong rhetoric being thrown about. I encourage everyone to check out Robert’s article and decide for yourself. 

Update 1:

there has been a response about the cancellation from Direct Action Alliance.

We are disappointed that the Avenue of Roses Parade has been cancelled. As members of this community, we prize our neighborhood events and support events that promote community.

Known members of neo-nazi and anti immigrant hate groups planned to attend the event that was being hosted by the Multnomah County Republicans at the parade, we intended to stand between them and those who they wanted to intimidate. We intended to block out their hate and shut down their violence.

They want to march in a family parade and normalize a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women; they want to march in our diverse community and normalize a man who wants to ban Muslims and build a wall between us and our neighbor, Mexico. They want to march as the Republican Party, but in their ranks are groups like the “Bible Believers”, who have already come to this neighborhood to intimidate a local Latinex church and who were filmed assaulting an injured activist on the ground in Berkeley last week and were also filmed attacking a woman at PDX in January.

No Portland child will see a march in support of this fascist regime go unopposed.

We will always stand with our neighbors, we will always defend our community.

They use the word “normalize” in their rhetoric more often as of late. I phrase it a little different, the new normal. I wonder if death threats because you don’t like a group marching in a parade is becoming the new normal.

Update 2:

In the latest update and response from some of the people that wanted to participate in the march, is that the event is still actually on. Although the specific parade/march in question is now called the, “March for Free Speech 82nd ave” hosted by “Patriot Prayer.” It is scheduled for 11am-1pm and here are the details. There are already 32 committing to attend with another 50 interested.

Antifa has shut down the annual parade using threats of violence. This is a direct attack on our first admendment, no matter where you stand politically. There is a big group of people who are extremely serious about our first admendment, and we will protect it simply by not letting Antifa stop us from marching. ALL LAWS MUST BE FOLLOWED. WE WILL NOT BLOCK TRAFIC, WE WILL NOT CAUSE ANY VIOLENCE. This is a peaceful march on the sidewalk, to go from start to finish. We will meet at Montavilla City Park for a quick speech then march together. Bring your flags to remind everyone that this is America, this isn’t North Korea or China where we should be afraid of wannbe tyrants like Antifa. There will be security to ensure the safety of average citizens from these mean and cruel Antifa members.
AntiFa has already responded, saying they will be in attendance. Their email that was leaked prior, again referenced here, mentions that they believes that Law Enforcement has no power to stop them. This sounds like Berkeley all over again. We’ll have to see what happens in Berkeley on the 27th, and then in Portland on the 29th. With threats flying around and nobody seeming to be held accountable, all I can really say is to stay safe.

Update 3:

Here is a video that the new event’s coordinator, Joey Gibson, has done as well. He has done a great job summarizing the situation. Check the video out for more explanation. They are very committed to showing up and marching on 4/29 for free speech.

About Aaron Lewis 38 Articles
Aaron Lewis is a professional Business System Analyst born in Seattle, WA with 10+ years’ experience ranging from internal auditing to Software QA and Corporate QA. He spends his days trying to trying to get his bills paid as best as he can. He’s known for heading towards complex issues when everyone else runs away. He really just wants to help people without all the roadblocks that seem to currently be in place for no reason. In his spare time, he writes dystopian novels and plays with his cats.

1 Comment

  1. BACKING DOWN from having our ROSE PARADE MAKES PORTLAND,OR look like pathetic morons — this town is horrible and government here is pathetic

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