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The Democratic Party of Oregon (DPO) canceled its budgetary meeting and holiday party for this weekend over a reportedly credible threat of pro-Palestinian protestors.
DPO’s State Central Committee planned to meet in person to discuss the 2024-25 budget and hold a holiday party. However, DPO Chair Rosa Colquitt said in emails obtained by the Willamette Week that she canceled the events due to a credible threat of pro-Palestinian protestors.
“We have received highly credible information that we cannot confidently hold safe and secure in-person DPO events and meetings this weekend,” said Colquitt.
Brad Martin, DPO executive director, told Willamette Week that they opted to cancel because they couldn’t ensure anyone’s personal and physical safety at the meeting.
“The party has always supported the rights of individuals to peacefully protest, but we were not confident we could hold these events safely and securely for either DPO participants or protesters,” said Martin.
Local activist and influencer Matilda Bickers shared a flyer outlining the protest, encouraging masks to be worn. The flyer declared that there would be “no business as usual” without a cease-fire. The flyer didn’t mention which, if any, groups were behind the protest.
“Democratic Party leadership and the majority of Democratic elected officials are out of touch with their constituents; almost 70 percent of Americans want a cease-fire,” read the flyer. “Let them know: no votes for any candidate who doesn’t call for a cease-fire!”
Despite DPO canceling, a local activist by the name of Robin Lanehurst said in a statement that the protest would still be held.
“Democratic voters and allies will gather outside the Beaverton Elks Lodge to protest the Oregon Democratic Party’s continued silence on the genocide in Gaza,” said Lanehurst.
This state party’s cancelation comes days after Wednesday’s pro-Palestinian protest at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington, D.C., turned violent. U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) said that a 150-strong mob was “illegally and violently protesting,” prompting lockdowns at the DNC and House office buildings. In a statement, USCP said the rioters blocked off building exits with dumpsters, pepper sprayed and punched officers, and attempted to pick up their bike rack.
— The U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) November 16, 2023
The protests demanding cease-fire don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon across the nation, least of all in Oregon.
Jewish Voice for Peace Seattle (JVPS) announced another protest on Sunday, at an undisclosed location near South Lake Union. JVPS instructed protestors to wear all black.
Similarly, activist groups Samidoun Seattle and Falastiniyat have held protest marches every Saturday in Seattle, and pledge to continue doing so until state officials call for a cease-fire and the end of support to Israel.
Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant — who describes herself as “the only socialist” on the council — also called for her followers and protestors to pack the Seattle City Hall during their meeting next Tuesday, November 21, and demand a cease-fire.
Sawant lamented that her fellow Democratic council members didn’t support her resolution in support of Palestinians, proposed earlier this month. The resolution not only called for a cease-fire, but an end to U.S. funding for the Israeli military and an end to Israeli presence in the land.
“By refusing to support the resolution, Seattle Democrats chose the side of warmongering and imperialism,” stated Sawant.
On Friday, the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) of Portland, ANSWER Coalition, and Free People PDX held a protest at the Boeing Facility in Gresham.