USS Portland? Democratic Socialists of America and Other Portland Activists Are Ready to Protest Naming a Navy Warship After the Rose City

The $1.6 billion ship is in its namesake city for its formal commissioning ceremony and public tours.

A newly-built, massive Navy warship sailed into Portland over the weekend.

The USS Portland, which is in town to be formally named after the city, has been received with planned celebrations, public tours and Mayor Ted Wheeler officially declaring April 21 "USS Portland Day."

The ship $1.6 billion can carry 800 U.S. Marines, is armed with missiles, and belongs to the same class of combat and humanitarian ships that aided Houston and Miami during last year's volatile hurricane season.

But not everyone is excited. In fact, some Portlanders are protesting the USS Portland.

The Portland Democratic Socialists of America object to naming a warship after Portland. Other groups like Portland's Resistance, Veterans for Peace, Portland Rising Tide, and the Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines have joined the DSA in protesting the ship.

The protest will take place in North Portland and demonstrators will march to the site of the commissioning ceremony on April 21.

The advocates raise concerns about connecting the city to military action, particularly in the immediate aftermath of U.S. strikes on Syria following a chemical weapons attack.

"I and others in Portland's Arab community have family living in Syria, whose lives are vulnerable to Trump's military actions," DSA co-chair Olivia Katbi-Smith said in a statement declaring the protest plans. "It's disgraceful that Portland City Council is essentially endorsing this war, by celebrating a vessel that could soon be deployed in the Mediterranean to help attack Syria."

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