PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A group held a rally in Portland on Sunday to promote peace, love and unity across the city.
"I Choose Love PDX" - that's the message a group of Portlanders hope to amplify across the city, adding their voices of optimism, compassion and peace during a time when a glaring national spotlight puts much focus on the chaos and hate plaguing Portland.
"There's darkness in our city. Our city is being destroyed. We're consuming ourselves," said Pastor Noah Battle II.
Pastor Battle is a founding member of "I Choose Love PDX."
The group says it supports racial justice and equality, but denounces the violence and destruction that has accompanied protests and riots on a near-nightly basis following the police killing of George Floyd.
"We can't destroy things and hope things will now be better. We have to heal things, we have to bring things to a positive light," Pastor Battle said. "Let's become more unified. Let's work the problems out together."
The tone of the family-friendly rally in a north Portland park was happy and hopeful, but at the same time in downtown Portland there was another tense, yet brief scuffle between right- and left-wing groups. Riot police responded to monitor the situation. Police say they didn't make any arrests.
With the presidential election coming up, it's unclear whether Portland will trend toward peace.
"Portland is a city that is struggling to find itself," Ray Leary, community activist and spokesperson, said.
The group hopes Portland will come out stronger.
"The message is, we love this city. This city deserves a chance to grow," said Leary.
To show that most people in Portland do not agree with the violence, hate and destruction that we've seen, "I Choose Love PDX" is selling lawn signs and t-shirts in hopes of bringing more awareness to the group and the message.
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