The group requested an official city permit for its protest on Monday. The march was scheduled to began at 4:00 PM near City Hall and end at the Mayor’s residence about 6:00 PM. The distance is about a mile and a-half.
The activist group’s leader Gregory McKelvey said that he had been told that the group had been subjected to violence in the past because they did not ask for permission. The city’s Mayor, Police Chief, and other city officials have repeatedly told the group that they must get a permit before they rally. This is a requirement for anyone, individually or as a group, who plans to hold a rally.
The planned march was cancelled at the group’s request because neither side could agree on traffic safety recommendations. McKelvey said on Twitter that he doesn’t “agree with requiring police to facilitate a protest against police use of force.”
In response, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler asked Police Chief Mike Marshman to “create a more positive space for expression and emphasize tactics that de-escalate tensions,” according to Oregon Live. He thanked Portland Police Officers for their “good work” but said that “mistakes will be made”. The Mayor said that “It is my job as police commissioner to address them and make changes when necessary. This is one of those times.”
This event would have been the second time this week that the group had marched to the Mayor’s home. A small group of protesters marched and asked for the city to separate itself from any companies associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline construction.
Since November, 2016, Portland Police Officers have arrested more than 150 people involved in protests that turned violent. The activists were blocking two highways, I-5 and I-84, through downtown Portland, and also other streets, interfering with rush-hour traffic. Other rioters smashed car and business windows. Portland Police Officers, in trying to keep its citizens safe, as well as its city, have responded in riot gear and used pepper spray balls, flash-bang grenades, and tear gas to clear the streets.
This activist group seems to want its own rules so that it can march, riot, block streets, destroy property, and disrespect police officers. Those that don’t play be the rules have consequences. They are called laws and ordinances. And, the Mayor should support his Police Officers, not claim that they are making mistakes by enforcing the law.