KSLM's right-wing radio talk show host Jeff Kropf has been plugging a Freedom Celebration to be held this Sunday, January 31. I've heard that Trevor Womack, the Salem Police Department chief, won't be attending even though he was invited.
UPDATE: I've heard that 400 people have registered for this event. Oregon's COVID rules for an Extreme Risk area (where this event will be held) say that a maximum of 50 people can attend an outdoor entertainment event. So it looks like the Freedom Celebration will be in violation of that rule. And it could be a super spreader event, given that most of the right-wingers who attend won't be wearing masks or practicing social distancing.
FURTHER UPDATE: A commenter reminded me that this event is to be held in an airplane hanger, so it is indoors. That means six is the maximum number of people who could attend under current Covid rules. I stand corrected. However, that rule seems a bit unfair if everyone is wearing masks, which admittedly almost certainly won't happen. Grocery stores can let in people to the extent of 50% of capacity, I believe it is, if everyone has a mask on. The problem is that most of those going to the Freedom Celebration wrongly think "freedom" means going maskless.
Wise decision, Chief Womack.
While your officers are free to attend on their own time, it would have been a bad idea to give credibility to this event -- given that it was Biden-hating Republican extremists like Kropf who sowed the seed of the insurrection at the nation's Capitol that cost the lives of three police officers (one was murdered by the Trump rioters and two have committed suicide following the attack).
If you want to endure a You Tube video where Kropf speaks his mind at a January 1, 2021 rally at the state Capitol in opposition to Governor Brown's Covid "tyranny," here it is.
I watched enough of the video to learn that, among other things, Kropf is against wearing masks to fight the pandemic and that he believes a wacko accusation of Brown having ties to the Chinese Communist Party needs to be investigated.
Someone sent me a recording of Kropf claiming on his radio show that the Salem Police Department would be attending the Freedom Celebration along with the National Guard, Marion County Sheriff's Office, and other groups. Hopefully none of them will show up in an official capacity.
Jeff Kropf obviously doesn't understand that freedom is defended by many others than the sorts of people invited to the Freedom Celebration: law enforcement, military, first responders.
Trump's failed attempt to overthrown our democracy by having the results of the free and fair 2020 presidential election overturned shows that judges, election officials, Secretaries of State, advocates for voting rights, lawyers, journalists, and many others who don't carry a gun deserve to be praised at their own Freedom Celebration.
Those people also have been "fighting the good fight for our freedom," as the Freedom Celebration puts it. But right-wingers like Kropf don't acknowledge this, which is why I'm a proud progressive.
We on the left side of the political spectrum have a much more expansive view of freedom than conservatives do these days, even though genuine conservatives also believe that democracy is protected by assuring that as many people are able to vote as possible, which means making it as easy to vote as possible.