Memorial to two men who were fatally stabbed in Portland, Ore.(Photo: Gillian Flaccus, AP)

The mayor of my town, Ted Wheeler of Portland, Ore., has refused city permits for two upcoming events scheduled by and organized by alt-right leaders, a “Trump Free Speech Rally” on Sunday and a “#MarchAgainstSharia” protest on June 10.

The mayor has my support and that, I daresay, of many of my fellow Portlanders for trying to block the rallies. While Sunday’s event will go forward, organizers discussed moving the June 10 rally to Seattle.

Before Friday’s attack, planned rallies by the alt-right were all well and good and very American, as we do have a First Amendment right to free speech and assembly. But then, one of the people most visibly and audibly alt-right in his routine public protests commenced screaming racial and religious slurs at two young women on a light-rail train, was asked by three men on the train to cease his invectives, and he slashed their throats.

Rick Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, were killed. Micah Fletcher, 21, survived but was hospitalized. The young women escaped.

Only after this horrific act of domestic terrorism did Mayor Wheeler intervene to ask federal authorities to revoke the rally permit for Terry Schrunk Plaza, an urban park controlled by the federal government.

OUR VIEW:

How Portland, Ore., can honor stabbed heroes

OPPOSING VIEW:

Mayor Ted Wheeler: Portland has seen enough

He did this after learning about the killings and about the reported social media vows by both the alt-right and “antifa” (anti-fascist left wing) to battle each other in the street, and the alt-right has invited accused street brawler “Based Stickman” to join in.

This is nothing short of common decency, common sense and proper, prudential discharge of mayoral duties in response to an imminent threat. Arguments that this is a free speech issue are erroneous. In the immediate wake of three good Samaritans having their throats slashed and two violence-prone groups (one of which is sprinkled with the sort of hate that the attacker spewed) threatening battle on our streets, the mayor would be remiss to do anything else.

Tom H. Hastings teaches conflict resolution at Portland State University and is a co-founder of the Portland Peace Team.