2 arrested in Portland as hundreds gather for opposing rallies

PORTLAND, Ore. — Police say two people were arrested in Portland, Oregon, Sunday as hundreds gathered for opposing rallies following the fatal stabbing of two men who tried to stop another man’s anti-Muslim tirade.

A pro-Donald Trump, free speech rally was organized by the conservative group Patriot Prayer, but will be met with groups of anti-Trump and anti-hate protesters. 

More than 60 separate groups have gathered outside Portland City Hall, CBS affiliate KOIN-TV reports.

“Portland will take a deep breath and realize this is a moment we need to stand up for,” Nico Judd, a protester with Portland Stands United Against Hate, told KOIN-TV.

Mayor Ted Wheeler unsuccessfully tried last week to get a permit for the event yanked, saying he feared violence after the May 26 killings. Counter protesters organized by religious and labor groups are also expected to show up downtown.

Mat Dos Santos, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, has said it was wrong and unconstitutional for Wheeler to try to stop the demonstration based on the viewpoint of the organizers.

Wheeler previously said that he will attend the rallies from the police command post. 

“The goal is to keep everybody separated, respect First Amendment rights for everybody to speak their piece,” the mayor told KOIN-TV.

Dozens of officers in black protective gear and others on bicycles are in downtown Portland were working to keep groups separated on opposite sides of the street.

Officers say they want protesters to stay with their groups and not cross the street to escalate tensions. They warned people to not bring weapons or weapon-like objects to the rally and posted images to Twitter of objects they confiscated, including hockey sticks, a knife, batons, a homemade slingshot and a makeshift shield.

“Police working to keep all groups separated. Protesters should stay with their groups, not attempt to cross streets to escalate tensions,” the department said on Twitter.

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