Lake Oswego business owner plans 'March 4 Trump'
Local business owner Kevin "The Geek" Kerwin is organizing a "March 4 Trump" rally in Lake Oswego on March 4 in conjunction with a nationwide series of events designed to show support for President Donald Trump.
"We're happy with what Trump's been doing, as conservatives," he says. "We feel like the mainstream press is doing everything they can to assassinate what he's doing."
The Lake Oswego march, one of more than two dozen planned across the country, is scheduled to take place on the same day as a gathering on the Capital Mall in Washington, D.C. Kerwin says that when he heard about the primary event several days ago, he contacted the organizers' website and added the Lake Oswego march to the list.
Kerwin's march appears to be the only one planned in Oregon so far.
The Lake Oswego march is scheduled to begin at noon in George Rogers Park. From there, Kerwin says the plan is to march down State Street to his Lake Oswego Computer Repair store, then continue up A Avenue. He says he intends for the march to remain on the sidewalks, which he says will bypass the need for a permit.
"It's just a friendly walk down the sidewalks," he says. "We're not going to block traffic, smash windows or light cars on fire."
The City's code does require permits for non-recurring events, but officials say that does not apply to groups of people who are simply meeting up.
"Generally speaking, a gathering of people at a public park does not require a permit," LOPD Lt. Doug Treat told The Review on Tuesday.
"Any time there's a large group of people, we always want to make sure that public safety is number one," Treat added. "We always want people to be able to exercise thier constitutional rights, but we also want to be able to balance the impact of any event on our citizenry, whether that be the Lake Run, the Festival of the Arts or something along these lines."
Kerwin has made headlines in recent years thanks to his outspoken support of Trump, most visibly in the form of large signs that adorn the front window of his downtown Lake Oswego shop. He says he's reaching out to his followers and contacts to help promote the event, and he says he wants it to be open for any Trump supporters and conservatives who want to participate.
"I'm kind of the local conservative hot spot for Oregon," he says. "I just like telling people how I feel."
While the primary focus of the March 4 event is to show support for Trump, Kerwin says the Lake Oswego event is also intended as a protest against Gov. Kate Brown's decision to maintain Oregon's status as a sanctuary state. He says he hopes the event can also serve as a response to what he characterizes as Multnomah County's "stranglehold" on state politics.
"We're all truly upset over Kate Brown making our state a sanctuary state and losing federal funds," he says. "A lot of people outside of Multnomah County want to see Oregon go red again."
To that end, he says he's trying to get the word out to people outside of Lake Oswego, and so far he says people in Salem and Hood River have expressed interest in attending the March 4 event.
"We could have five people or a hundred people — I'm hoping it's a thousand," he says. "I'm not sure what the weather will be like, but I don't think that will stop true Oregonians."
The march is scheduled to last from noon-4 p.m., and Kerwin says he's asking participants to donate any leftover Trump signs from the election to be used at the event. The national event's website is www.march4trump.com; more information about the Lake Oswego march can be found at www.facebook.com/events/283725755375146.