Rallies line downtown Medford

Medford, Ore. — Two separate groups gathered on 8th street to rally in Medford today — one protesting another.

The first group — which called themselves Back the Blue — gathered in front of the Medford City Hall at 9 am.

Their organizer says the rally had been planned for a couple weeks, to show support for local law enforcement.

However, the group who set up across the street — Oregon Action — says “Back the Blue” originally had an anti-Islam agenda and were part of the “Global Rally for Humanity” group.

NBC5 news spoke with organizers from both sides, to learn why they’re taking a public stand.

“We are not anti- anything, we are anti-hate, and pro-law enforcement,” Back the Blue organizer Patrick Leiser stated.

“We are here to affirm that everyone in our community is welcome, deserving of respect and equal protection regardless of religion. Just like everyone is welcome regardless of race or ethnicity,” said Oregon Action organizer Michelle Glass.

Oregon Action says Back the Blue only let go of their anti-Islam ties on Friday night and requested that the event be taken off the national list of several other anti-Islam rallies taking place today.

Meanwhile, Back the Blue says they weren’t ever going to hold an anti-Islam rally.

Police were on scene throughout the morning as well.

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