Portland's Resistance leaders say their arrests were politically - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland's Resistance leaders say their arrests were politically motivated

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The charges against Kathryn Stevens, Gregory McKelvey and Micah Rhoades were “no complainted” in court Tuesday following the trio’s arrests Monday night during a protest in downtown Portland (KPTV) The charges against Kathryn Stevens, Gregory McKelvey and Micah Rhoades were “no complainted” in court Tuesday following the trio’s arrests Monday night during a protest in downtown Portland (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Three leaders of Portland’s Resistance were in court Tuesday following a demonstration with students Monday night and ahead of a planned protest of an event that was scheduled by Mayor Charlie Hales.

Hales sent out a statement earlier in the day, however, canceling his planned March of Hope on the waterfront because of the planned counter-protest.

Even with the cancellation, people gathered at the Salmon Street Springs, several of whom wanted to still march while others held a group prayer.

The counter protesters with Portland’s Resistance are also there, including the three who were in court earlier in the day.

The student march came to an abrupt end for Gregory McKelvey, Kathryn Stevens and Micah Rhoades Monday when police arrested them, claiming they encouraged students to break the law.

McKelvey challenges that claim, saying they were only at the protests as advisers.

“We were at a peaceful march. We came only to assist the students,” he said. “We did not lead the march. We did not direct the march. We gave no directions of the march. We had nothing to do with any of it.”

FOX 12 captured video of McKelvey using a bullhorn on the Burnside Bridge, instructing students sit down for a moment of silence.

“I need you guys to please, a moment of silence, 4 and a half minutes, let’s go.” He could be heard saying.

McKelvey, however, thinks he was really arrested for political reasons.

“I don’t think it’s coincidence that it came shortly after we declined the invitation to be part of Charlie Hales’ March of Hope,” he said of the arrests. “And I think this was a tactic to make sure we didn’t attend that march by any means necessary.”

Portland Police Bureau Sgt. Pete Simpson said the trio was arrested for criminal behavior and nothing more, explaining that police cleared a path for the march to keep students safe but that McKelvey and Rhoades pushed the students to walk to traffic lanes.

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“It’s just patently false to suggest that they were politically targeted for their arrest,” he said. “Mr. Rhoades and Mr. McKelvey were actively working against that with officers to get kids to go into the opposite lanes of traffic, to lay down in the street.”

In court Tuesday, the charges against all three were dropped for the time being.

McKelvey said the arrest is not going to stop him from getting back in the streets.

“I don’t think it’s ok for police to be charging people with charges that are consistently being dropped by the D.A. just as a tactic to silence people’s First Amendment rights,” he said.

The ACLU of Oregon released a statement, speaking out against last night’s arrest, saying in part that “silencing the voices of community leaders” through arrests is “clearly unconstitutional.”

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