Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has called on the federal government to immediately revoke the permit for an "alt-right event" scheduled in Portland on June 4 following Friday's attack on a MAX train that left two men dead.
In a series of tweets Monday, Wheeler said a pair of events are scheduled for Terry Schrunk Plaza on June 4 and June 10.
Wheeler said the city of Portland "has not and will not issue any permits for the alt-right events," but it's the federal government that controls permitting for the downtown plaza.
In calling for the revocation of the permit for the June 4 event, Wheeler also urged the federal government to not issue a permit for June 10.
"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," Wheeler wrote Monday on Twitter.
No details were immediately released about the events in question.
Police said 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian stabbed and killed two men on a MAX train near the Hollywood Transit Center on Friday.
The victims tried to intervene as Christian yelled hate speech at two female passengers, according to investigators.
Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, of Portland, were killed. Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, of Portland, was also stabbed and seriously injured.
"I am appealing to the organizers of the alt-right demonstrations to cancel the events they have scheduled on June 4 and June 10. I urge them to ask their supporters to stay away from Portland," Wheeler said.
Organizer of the rally on June 4, Joey Gibson, posted a video on Facebook responding to Mayor Wheeler's request to revoke the permit.
"I'm still having a hard time understanding what alt-right is," Gibson told FOX 12. "I just believe in the Constitution, I believe in liberty and freedom, that's what I believe in."
Following the stabbings, Gibson says people remember seeing Christian at one of his rallies but denies him every being a part of his group.
"Jeremy Christian showed up with a bat, crazy, yelling and screaming. Insane guy, like insane guy. He was there to cause problems, he was there to cause trouble. We kicked him out. We didn't want him there," Gibson said.
The ACLU of Oregon responded with a series of tweets Monday, saying in part, "The government cannot revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators. Period."
An emotional Wheeler spoke outside City Hall on Monday afternoon and addressed concerns that his call to cancel events violates free speech, saying, "but hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution."
"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.
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