While Portland residents took to the streets Saturday to cheer, dance and pop champagne to celebrate Democrat Joe Biden being declared the winner of the presidential election, another group supporting current President Donald Trump gathered at the Oregon State Capitol Building in Salem.
Among them was Jordan Tibbals, who was recently elected to the Canby City Council, according to unofficial results.
“We are not going to let this roll down,” Tibbals said, addressing the crowd Saturday, in video recorded by freelance OPB reporter Sergio Olmos. “I am not going to look my daughter in the face and say, ‘There was a time where we had free speech, but we rolled over and did nothing when they took it from us.’ I am not going to do that.”
“I am not going to say, ‘There was a time when we had free and fair elections, until the media and the establishment deep state decided that they could choose our president for us,'” Tibbals continued. “No longer are we going to take that. We are going to stand up and fight, and we welcome everyone from every generation who’s willing to do that.”
He called for Trump supporters to join him in fighting what he characterized as a fraudulent election — the same election in which he is likely to claim victory — albeit in a much smaller race.
Jordan Tibbal says this generation hasn’t faced real struggle and urges parents to prepare their kids for the times ahead.
For context: last 20 years have seen longest running war, the 2008 Great Recession, and a global pandemic at a scale not seen since 1918 pic.twitter.com/kwRFpM9PGR
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) November 7, 2020
“We are fighters,” the Marine veteran and first-time City Council candidate said of conservatives in Oregon, and “it is gut-check time.”
“My generation, for the most part, has lived a relatively soft existence, where we did not have to fight to keep our freedom,” Tibbals said. “We didn’t have a major problem facing our generation, saying, ‘You may not have free speech. You may not have freedom of religion. You may not get to pick your president.'”
“What do I want my children to remember me for?” he told parents in the crowd to ask themselves.
“When this crisis happened, and they tried to steal an election from us, am I going to look my kids in the eyes and say, ‘Darn it, I wish that didn’t happen, but what could I do?’ Or am I going to say, ‘We are not going to take it. We are going to fight, because we have children that are going to live in this land too, and we need to stand up for them.'”
Jordan Tibbals, running for Camby city council, says the “deep state” and the “media” don’t call the election, wants it to go the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/RTQrT8wd5u
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) November 7, 2020
The demonstration in Salem included several hundred people, many of whom waved Trump flags and chanted protests of the election result.
They echoed claims by many prominent Republicans and the president himself that the election was illegitimate — though they have not yet offered evidence of the widespread fraud that would be necessary for Biden to have collected tens of thousands more votes in the multiple battleground states that paved his path to the White House.
Some of those in attendance wore jackets identifying themselves as members of the Proud Boys — an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a hate group and links to white supremacy and the alt-right — though the group staunchly denies any racist ideology.
Oregon State Police later reported that there had been two demonstrations in the state capital Saturday: the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Capitol Building, followed by a second one that started at roughly 5 p.m. at Pringle Park and later marched to the Capitol.
A Molalla man, 29-year-old Nathan Arnett, was one of four arrestees OSP reported. He faces charges of fourth-degree assault and unlawful use of pepper spray.
Also in custody were Jeffrey Mustin, 37, of Eugene for fourth-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm; Ryan Swanzey, 32, of Portland, for disorderly conduct and offensive littering; and Jesse Baughman, 22, of Salem, for disorderly conduct and interfering with police.
Police are aware of “other criminal behavior” that allegedly took place during the night and will continue to investigate, OSP said.
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