Organized labor groups are mobilizing for a show of strength at a planned alt-right "free-speech" rally on June 4.
Ashley Jackson, a spokesperson for a coalition of labor groups, which calls itself "Portland Labor Against Fascists," says that several groups have committed to show up at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 12:30 pm on Sunday, June 4.
That's when Joey Gibson, a Vancouver, Wash.-based leader of local right-wingers and his associates plan to rally downtown.
In the wake of two murders on a MAX train May 26, Mayor Ted Wheeler asked federal officials, who control Schrunk Plaza, not to allow the event to go forward.
Jackson says if the event happens, groups including Painters (IUPAT) Local 10, IATSE Local 28, Carpenters 1503, Laborers Local 483, AFT Local 3544 (graduate teaching fellows) as well as Carpenters NW Regional Council and AFT Oregon will send members to counter what her group is calling "racist and fascist organizations."
"Portland has a powerful labor movement built on the principal that 'an injury to one is an injury to all,'" Jackson said in a statement. "We need to use labor's power to put that principle into effect on June 4."
Updated on May 31 at 11:15 am:
Carpenters Local 1503 issued a statement this morning saying that while its members will indeed show up at the June 4 event, they will do so independently, rather than part of the coalition "Portland Labor Against Fascism."
"Carpenters Local 1503 certainly supports the work that Portland Labor Against Fascists and others are doing to quell the rising of fascism in our city, and our country," said a spokesman for the union in a statement. "We will stand shoulder to shoulder with all those who are working on this effort and will continue to do so as Carpenters Local 1503."