Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has asked the federal government not to allow two major events that are currently planned to take place in Portland. The demonstrations in question are the Trump Free Speech Rally Portland and the March Against Sharia — March for Human Rights. Wheeler believes that the city is still in shock after a Bernie Sanders supporter stabbed two people to death and injured another earlier this week, stating: "Our city is in mourning, our community’s anger is real, and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate an already difficult situation." Therefore, he has urged the federal government not to issue permits for what he called "alt-right demonstrations."
Both rallies are organized by Joey Gibson, who has no intention of canceling them. He explained that canceling the marches or not having the demonstration permits would not prevent people from showing up, it would just make it impossible to control them and remove troublemakers from the premises. Gibson stated that he doesn't support violence, stating: "You throw one punch, you’re going to jail."
Wheeler did not call for a ban on the antifa rally taking place on the same day as the Trump Free Speech one, despite the antifas' growing track record of inciting violent incidents. The Mayor wrote: "There is never a place for bigotry or hatred in our community, and especially not now."
The two men, Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, were murdered by Jeremy Joseph Christian, a known disruptor of public events and, reportedly, a Bernie Sanders supporter. Christian had been harassing two Muslim women when two men intervened to defend them and were, in turn, stabbed to death. A third man who tried to intervene was injured.