Because “Nazi, white supremacists” were to be supposedly marching in Portland’s 11th, annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, an opposing outfit chimed in with a threat to attack their enemies who would’ve walked in the city’s time-honored tradition. For fear of violence, city officials put the kibosh on the parade aspect of the yearly festival.
[Video: courtesy of KOIN6]
Had it not been for the immaturity of activists, Portlanders would’ve enjoyed a Saturday-morning gathering promoted as a “multicultural event, complete with bands, community members, government officials, schools, classic cars and representatives of the Portland Rose Festival.”
Direct Action Alliance ultimately gave power to the rumor via posting a Facebook event, “Defend Portland from Fascists at the Avenue of Roses Parade.” The activists intended to halt the parade, as they believed there would be “Nazis and fascists” walking amid performers and others.
“The fascists know that we’ll keep shutting their marches down,” DAA wrote on Facebook. “They are now planning to march within other parades to protect their message of hate and white supremacy—it won’t work.” (They just had to ruin it for everyone else.)
And DAA’s big, bad enemy? Apparently, it’s some outfit called “Group #67.” More, DAA claimed the entity is “registered to the Multnomah County Republicans.” The activists went further to say the “group” is a bunch of racists who “attacked[ed] a woman at PDX” and more violent acts.
More, an unknown person sent an e-mail to Rose Parade officials with a threat that over 200 activists would “rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push those people out” if officials didn’t deny registration for the Multnomah County Republican Party.
However, DAA stressed their efforts were not to ruin the parade, rather they meant to rally “against the fascists who intend to march through our neighborhoods and intimidate our marginalized communities.”
Regardless, Portland Commissioner Nick Fish wasn’t happy with the whole situation. “It’s a celebration of all the positive things happening in… our city,” Fish said. “For some politically extreme groups to have a fight like this to jeopardize a parade is shameful.”
In a seeming effort to clear their name, DAA put out a statement:
“‘We are disappointed that the Avenue of Roses Parade has been cancelled. As members of this community, we prize our neighborhood events and support events that promote community.
Known members of neo-Nazi and anti-immigrant hate groups planned to attend the group that was being hosted by the Multnomah County Republicans at the parade. 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.
They want to march in a family parade and normalize a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women; they want to march in our diverse community and normalize a man who wants to ban Muslims and build a wall between us and our neighbor, Mexico. They want to march as the Republican Party, but in their ranks are groups like the ‘Bible Believers,’ who have already come to this neighborhood to intimidate a local Latinex church and who were filmed assaulting an injured activist on the ground in Berkeley last week and were also filmed attacking a woman at PDX in January.
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, Direct Action Alliance”
Portland Rose Festival Representative Rich Jarvis felt disheartened over the matter. “The Rose Festival is saddened to learn that this wonderful community event, in one of Portland’s most culturally enriched neighborhoods, has been cancelled due the ongoing, political divisiveness in our country,” he wrote in a statement.
As a result of the entire fiasco, the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association wrote the following statement:
“‘For more than a decade, 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association, in partnership with local businesses, residents and community groups, has hosted the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade. This event, created to celebrate and promote East Portland and the diverse community that lives, works and plays on 82nd Avenue, is also the first sanctioned event of the Portland Rose Festival.
Following threats of violence during the Parade, by multiple groups planning to disrupt the event, 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association can no longer guarantee the safety of our community and have made the difficult decision to cancel the Parade originally scheduled for Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 a.m. The related Carnival at Eastport Plaza is also cancelled. We are deeply disappointed that the agendas of these outside groups have so regrettably impacted East Portland and the 82nd Avenue community.
While the formal Parade and Carnival are cancelled, we strongly encourage Portlanders to visit the great businesses on 82nd Avenue of Roses on Saturday and in the future.’ – 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association”
When it comes down to it, activists need to keep their playground fights to themselves and stop ruining life for everyone else.