2 take on anti-racism activists


Dozens of civil-rights supporters confronted two men yelling 'White power' near the end of an anti-racism rally Saturday at Gabriel Park in Southwest Portland.

The confrontation ended without violence after about 15 minutes when the men, who refused to give their names, left by cab from the Southwest Community Center at the intersection of Southwest Vermont Street and 45th Avenue.

According to Portland police spokesman Brian Schmautz, the two men were passengers in a car pulled over about 1:40 p.m. near Southwest 45th Avenue and Flower Street for having illegally tinted windows. The driver, Michael Lee Luyster, 21, was arrested for not carrying a license.

After his car was towed, the passengers in his car walked to the community center, where hundreds of people had gathered to protest racism. One of the men wore a leather jacket with a swastika on the back. They yelled 'White power' as they walked to the center, Schmautz said.

After calling a cab, the two men stood on the steps of the community center and exchanged insults with dozens of people at the rally. Although the scene was tense, police stood nearby and no one was hurt. The crowd cheered when the men left.

A group called Tualatin Valley Skins had threatened to hand out fliers in the park, but no other apparent racists showed up.

As this was happening, more than 1,000 people attended a unity rally at the Multnomah Center in Southwest Portland. They heard speakers, including Mayor Tom Potter and Mostafa Arifin of the Bilal Mosque Association, denounce intolerance.