PORTLAND — The mayor of Portland is calling on the federal government and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other events next weekend after the fatal stabbing of two people who confronted a man hurling racial slurs at two young women on a train.
Mayor Ted Wheeler said Monday that the community is sad and angry, and the rallies are inappropriate and could be dangerous. He says his main concern is participants are "coming to pedal a message of hatred."
Wheeler said the three men who intervened on the train Friday were willing to give their lives to stand up for people they didn't know. One of the dead is Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, who grew up in Ashland and graduated from Ashland High School. He was living in Portland at the time of his death. Also killed was 53-year-old Ricky John Best of Happy Valley, who was an Army veteran and a city employee. Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, also was injured in the attack. The student at Portland State University was hospitalized after being stabbed in the neck, and his girlfriend, Miranda Helm, told The Oregonian/OregonLive on Sunday that he was recovering his strength and eating.
Wheeler says he hopes their actions inspire "changes in the political dialogue in this country" and that people put aside their hate and honor the victims.
Jeremy Joseph Christian's social media postings indicate an affinity for Nazis and political violence. He was arrested and charged with aggravated murder, intimidation — the state equivalent of a hate crime — and being a felon in possession of a weapon and was scheduled to be in court Tuesday.