ACLU: Revoking alt-right rally permits unconstitutional

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler addressing the public on May 29, 2017 (KATU)

Portland, Ore. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s plan to cancel two alt-right rallies in his city is unconstitutional.

Mayor Wheeler’s announcement came in the wake of a fatal attack on a TriMet MAX train. The fatal stabbing was allegedly committed by a self-proclaimed white supremacist who has attended alt-right rallies in the past.

According to Mayor Wheeler, the upcoming rallies should be scrapped out of respect for the victim’s families. He also stated the City of Portland “has not and will not” issued any permits for the two rallies.

Mayor Wheeler also called on the federal government to revoke its permit for the June 4 rally and not issue another for the June 10 rally.

In a statement, Wheeler said he is urging the event organizers to “ask their supporters to stay away from Portland.”

Mat dos Santos, the legal director for ACLU Oregon, said “Our hearts are broken, but government censorship is not the answer. We must defend the constitution even when it is uncomfortable.”

The ACLU of Oregon posted more about their opinion on Twitter. “The government cannot revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators. Period.”

When asked about the legality of canceling the events if there are threats of violence, the ACLU replied, “If the government has concrete evidence of an imminent threat they can and should address it, without restricting 1A rights of all.”

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