By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) The leader of a conservative group poised to hold “free speech” demonstrations in Portland, Ore., was arrested prior to the event on a charge of “rioting” that stems from an alleged incident in May.
Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson turned himself in to police late Friday and was out on bail within a few hours. But he took to social media to highlight the fact that police in the city seem eager to levy alleged rioting charges against him while failing to act against far-Left Antifa demonstrators for committing acts of violence as well.
Gibson said authorities in the city were attempting to dissuade conservative groups from showing up for protests on Saturday.
“They want you to not show up in Portland, they want to put fear in your hearts,” Gibson said.
Gibson also appealed to supporters who planned to show up to protest peacefully.
“Force them to arrest you for being peaceful,” he said.
Leaders of another conservative, pro-patriot group, Oath Keepers, said the group would not participate in the Portland protests on Saturday because they did not think police and city officials had done enough to ensure that white supremacists would not be in attendance.
“We fully support free speech, and we fully agree that Antifa is a domestic terrorist organization that uses force and the threatened use of force to intimidate, silence, and suppress the free speech of Americans. However, we cannot participate in this event,” leader Stewart Rhodes said in a post on the group’s website.
“We have not seen adequate steps taken by the organizers to exclude known or suspected white nationalists from attending this event. Oath Keepers has a zero-tolerance policy for white nationalism or any other ethno-nationalist ideology that discriminates along racial lines (as our bylaws make clear) and we do not, and cannot, knowingly associate with known or suspected white nationalists,” Rhodes wrote.
As The National Sentinel reported last week, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) announced he had empowered his police department to do whatever is necessary to keep law and order.
“In these politically-charged times, the stakes couldn’t be higher. This is why I continue to empower and direct the Portland Police Bureau to use whatever means necessary – and amass whatever resources necessary – to ensure public safety and to uphold the law,” the mayor noted.
“We have more resources, more partners, more coordination and greater resolve than ever before to back our unified message: Don’t spread hate and enact violence in Portland,” said Wheeler. “This is our city, our home. Enough.”
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