'Patriot Prayer' organizer meets with city leaders after mayor's - KPTV - FOX 12

'Patriot Prayer' organizer meets with city leaders after mayor's call to cancel event

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Police Chief Mike Marshman greeting rally organizer Joey Gibson at City Hall on Tuesday. (KPTV) Police Chief Mike Marshman greeting rally organizer Joey Gibson at City Hall on Tuesday. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The organizer of a "Patriot Prayer" rally in Portland met with city leaders Tuesday after Mayor Ted Wheeler called on the federal government to revoke the permit for the event.

Joey Gibson was greeted outside City Hall by Police Chief Mike Marshman. The pair shook hands before heading inside to meet with the mayor.

Wheeler made an impassioned plea Monday for the federal government to revoke the permit for the rally scheduled for Sunday at Terry Schrunk Plaza downtown and not issue a permit for a similarly planned rally on June 10.

Wheeler said after the deadly stabbings on a MAX train at the Hollywood Transit Center Friday, the community needs time to heal. He said these planned events would only "exacerbate an already difficult situation."

"Back off and give the families and this community the space it needs to process this horrific crime, this horrific crime of hate and bigotry and terrorism," Wheeler said Monday.

Gibson said he's upset that his group is being linked to murder suspect Jeremy Christian. Gibson said Christian attended a previous rally, but he was kicked out.

"Do not connect me to this crazy man and his decision to murder two heroes," Gibson said.

Gibson said the mayor doesn't understand his viewpoint or that of the people who attend his rallies.

"It's not about Nazis or race or any of that. We don't care about that," he said.

Gibson said he was grateful for Tuesday's meeting at City Hall, but he's still hoping for another statement from the mayor.

"I asked him to diffuse the situation by coming out and saying what happened with Jeremy, the fact that he showed up, we kicked him out," Gibson said. "I'm asking for the mayor to come out and say that, to calm down the city and help them understand Jeremy Christian has nothing to do with us."

Gibson said Sunday's rally is going forward as planned and he is working with the Portland Police Bureau to make sure attendees are safe. Anyone there to spread hate speech will be kicked out, he said.

Marshman said officers will stay neutral and protect free speech. 

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