Annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade canceled due to 'threats of v - KPTV - FOX 12

Annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade canceled due to 'threats of violence'

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Annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade (KPTV file image) Annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade (KPTV file image)

The annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade and Carnival scheduled for this weekend has been canceled due to "threats of violence," according to organizers.

The parade, in what would have been its 11th year, is the first sanctioned event of the Portland Rose Festival.  

The event is put on by the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association in partnership with local businesses, neighbors and community groups. The goal is to "celebrate and promote the diverse community that lives, works and plays on 82nd Avenue."

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."

The festivities were set to begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

"We are deeply disappointed that the agendas of these outside groups have so regrettably impacted our community," according to the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association.

The Multnomah County Republican Party released a statement that it was their participation in the parade that drew threats. The Multnomah County Republican Party stated parade organizers received an email demanding their registration be revoked or a "riseup" group will send hundreds of people rushing into the parade to "drag and push those people out."

"It's unfair, yes. I mean, we've been there for years without any problem at all," said James Buchal who is the chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party.

Multnomah County Republican Party leaders stated "the participation of political parties in public events like the parade is not only an American tradition, but also reflects the most fundamental constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of assembly."

"The rise of the Nazi Party teaches that the road to fascism begins with armed gangs of thugs using violence to shut down opposing points of view. The question now is whether the City of Portland will be complicit in such conduct. We hope the city's new leadership has the courage to respond to these threats appropriately," according to a statement from the Multnomah County Republican Party. 

Activist group Direct Action Alliance also addressed the parade cancellation Tuesday, saying, "known members of neo-Nazi and anti-immigrant hate groups" planned to attend in support of the Republican Party and President Donald Trump.

"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," according to a statement from the Direct Action Alliance, adding, "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."

Jacob Bureros is part of the group Direct Action Alliance. He says it was his plan and others to show up to the parade and peacefully protest. But he says it wasn't against the Republican Party.

"It was against the fact that the Republican Party was allowing a hate group to march with them," said Bureros.

As for the threatening email, Bureros says even though his group was mentioned in it, he didn't send it and doesn't know who did.

"Our message was not to come and drag people out. There's going to be kids at this parade, there's going to be families at this parade," Bureros said.

A Portland Police Bureau spokesman released a statement Tuesday saying, "We were aware of threats to disrupt the Avenue of Roses Parade on Saturday and were prepared to provide a police response appropriate to the needs of the event, which has traditionally been a family-friendly affair. We have since learned that the parade organizers have decided to cancel the event. As a matter of course, we will continue to assess the information to determine if there is criminal conduct."

The business association still encouraged people to visit businesses on 82nd Avenue on Saturday and in the future.

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