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Jun 26, 19

“Shake Back the Streets”: PopMob Mobilizing in Face of Threats from Proud Boys

Call from PopMob (Popular Mobilization) to stand in solidarity with mass antifascist defense of Portland in the face of threats from the Proud Boys. Read call from Rose City Antifa here.

PORTLAND, OR: On Saturday June 29th, violent alt-right hate groups are once again coming from out of town to instigate violence. In response, PopMob invites all Portlanders to join us in Lownsdale Square for a surprise special guest DJ, dancing, free vegan milkshakes, and showing the alt-right we won’t let hate grow here — especially not on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising! We are allied with several community organizations, including Rose City Antifa, Timbers Army Left Flank, Critical Resistance Portland, Portland State University Student Union, and Portland DSA, among others. We all stand in solidarity as a united community against these violent alt-right groups.

Half a century ago, on June 28th, 1969 — the LGBTQIA2S+ community fought back against fascist police violence during a raid at the Stonewall Inn. This erupted into three nights of resistance and 1000s of people showing up to join the cause. While it was not the first time the community fought back, it was the match that sparked a powder keg after years of targeted oppression, igniting a worldwide movement that continues today.

PopMob aims to honor those who fought at Stonewall with Milkshake: a massive dance protest to “Shake Back the Streets.” The Stonewall Inn was the only place LGBTQIA2S+ people could slow dance; activists have said that anger over not being able to dance was an inciting factor of the rebellion. In the spirit of that history, we will not allow the anniversary to be co-opted or tarnished by hate groups marching in our city, especially as anti-LGBTQ violence is escalating across North America.

“far-right groups have been harassing Portland for over two years. Ignoring them does not make them go away.”

Various far-right, ultra nationalist groups have been harassing the Portland community for over two years. Ignoring them does not make them go away. This was demonstrated on May 1st when the planned alt-right march downtown faced no show of resistance, then traveled across town with weapons and violently attacked anti-fascists at a community event. Despite neighbors calling 911, police did not respond until the right wing group and violent threat was already gone.

This month, armed neo-nazis showed up at Detroit Pride and right wing religious extremists violently attacked Pride in Hamilton, Ontario. In both cases, police did not protect the community being targeted. Instead they protected violent far-right agitators and targeted anti-fascist community defenders, just as we’ve seen here in Portland. The police do not protect us. Portland needs to unite and stand in solidarity to defend our community.

Not everyone is comfortable confronting fascist threats in the same way — There are many ways to stand against them. PopMob’s mission is to build a large, broad based, and diverse movement, inspiring people with many different skills and tactics to join us. We provide opportunities to engage in antifascist resistance in various ways. We invite all LGBTQIA2S+ Portlanders, and those who support them, to show up and fight fascism in a defiant celebration of what we’re fighting for: the right to exist, to love, to dance, and to be joyful, in spite of their bigotry and hate.

Milkshake is this Saturday, June 29th, from noon-3 pm at Lownsdale Square, located in the Park Blocks between Third and Fourth Avenues and Salmon and Madison Streets.

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A group of concerned Portlanders united around a single, common goal: inspiring people to show up and resist the Alt-Right.

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