The Reawaken America Tour, scheduled to be held at Volcanoes Stadium in early April has caused an uproar in some quarters of Keizer. An hour of this week’s city council meeting was taken up by citizens addressing either their support or opposition to the gathering.
Scheduled to come to Keizer are former Trump National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and Mr. My Pillow himself, MIke Lindell.
The tour was relocated to Keizer after the city of Redmond denied the use of their exposition center. The denial in Redmond had nothing to do with content, message or personalities, it was because organizers said they would not adhere to mask mandates then in place.
Some were asking why the city of Keizer was allowing the group to hold a rally, on city property, no less.The city has no say in what happens or who comes to the stadium.
Due to a waiver implemented at the time of its creation, the owners of the stadium are not required to get permits for events other than baseball games. The stadium is private property, leased from the city.
City leaders follow Oregon’s free speech laws, which are quite muscular. The city couldn’t stop the Reawaken America Tour even if they wanted to.
Some of those speaking before the council cited their concerns about violence. The Keizer Police Department is not expecting clashes outside the gates of the stadium, but as Chief John Teague said, the police will respond if needed.
As former city councilor Brandon Smith said in his remarks before the council, “This is a great country, where people can express their opinions.” Yes, and that’s a reality that gets lost in too often in our current political climate.
Everyone has the right of free speech. Everyone also has the right not to go to a gathering whose message they disagree with. Don’t like the message of the Reawaken America Tour? Then don’t go.