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Community Rally in Portland, Ore., 1 p.m. Saturday Oct. 6, 2007

October 5th, 2007

(from an e-mail I just received. WM)

N.A.A.C.P. Portland Branch 1120 Responds to Racist Concert Organized by Hammerskin Nation

PORTLAND, OR – October 5, 2007 – Since opening our doors in 1914, the Portland NAACP Branch 1120 has steadfastly fought to win and protect the civil rights of African Americans and people of color.

Ever present were detractors who used the mechanisms of society and government to enforce their prejudice, and enemies who posed a real physical threat to the lives of our people. In our long history we have had to do battle with organizations such as the KKK, who have been present in Oregon and who are still here now, today in partnership with skinhead gangs whose mission, while not as overt as the lynch mobs and cross burnings of the past, send a message of hatred and intolerance to the entire world.

We are still active in our fight against such threats to our community, for the battle against intolerance is ongoing and can never be ignored. If one is persuaded to join their ranks while we sleep we face the same danger as before of being threatened with and victimized by crimes of hate.

We know that the activities of the Hammerskin Nation, a national organization,– who are convening in Portland October 5-7 for Hammerfest07, a festival of racist music – are being planned in conjunction with local groups that are aligned with the KKK. We know that many good and tolerant people of Portland are alarmed to discover that such an event is taking place. We respect everyone’s right to practice free speech under the protection of the First Amendment. We trust that the police and the authorities will ensure that this event will pass without incident or harm to any citizen of Portland .

Our hardest battles for civil rights were won through the simple act of peaceful protest, not through violence. We fought for equality and inclusion, not to stand apart as supremacists. We fought for the right to live as equals under God, not for the death and destruction of our enemies. We fought using the mechanics of America ’s legal system. These battles – through marches, parades, boycotts and being willing prisoners of conscience – sent shock waves throughout the world. Our cause was just and triumphed, and our enemies were conquered.

We encourage anyone who believes in the value of equality to attend the upcoming community rally at Lents Park, at the corner of SE 92nd and Holgate, on Saturday, October 6 at 1:00 p.m.

We can always achieve more through the promotion of tolerance and ideals than we ever will through the spreading of hatred and the encouragement of violence. We are stronger than the weak who gather here to celebrate hate. And Portland can stand strong as well if we all choose to listen to the message of unity.

Charlene McGee
President, Portland NAACP Branch 1120

About Portland NAACP Branch 1120: Portland ’s N.A.A.C.P. branch was originally founded in 1914 with Dr. J.N. Merriman as its first president. The organization successfully fought to repeal Oregon ’s exclusion laws, which were abolished in 1926 and 1927, established African Americans in unions, and opposed civic housing policies that excluded African Americans.

Founded in 1909, the N.A.A.C.P. is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Portland NAACP Branch 1120
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1 Comment

  1. FURIOUS nads! says

    Hammering HammerFest

    Time for the reminder: Tomorrow (that’s Saturday) at Lents Park, beginning at 1:00 PM, is the counter-rally (the local NAACP is involved as well) to protest this weekend’s “white power” HammerFest07 (which is taking place somewhere in the Portland …

    October 5th, 2007 | #

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