The Rev. Walter Hoye, a prominent pro-life leader in the African American community, typically holds a pro-life walk every year in Oakland, California around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
But this year, because of fears about safety and anti-Donald Trump protests, Hoye said he decided to cancel the annual Stand Up 4 Life Rally and Walk.
California Catholic Daily reports more about the situation:
This Friday is the tenth anniversary of Walter Hoye’s Standing Up 4 Life Rally and Walk in Frank Ogawa Plaza on the eve of the annual West Coast Walk for Life. Unfortunately, Hoye is being forced to cancel this year’s walk out of an abundance of caution for the safety of his supporters. Several anti-Trump groups are preparing to take over Frank Ogawa Plaza, a location the protesters have dubbed “Oscar Grant Plaza”, in protest of the inauguration of Donald Trump.
In the past, Walter Hoye’s event has been overrun with pro-abortion forces with little action from the police. This year, with the promise of civil unrest and many different factions working together to ensure that happens, it was just too much of a risk to the safety of the pro-life contingent that normally attends. The City of Oakland has been shown to be unprepared to keep peace and expects their force to be spread thin over Friday’s events. His nighttime event on the eve of the Walk for Life is still going on as planned, however.
Hoye’s Issues 4 Life also posted a notice on its Facebook page about the cancellation. In it, Hoye said he decided to cancel after speaking with the Oakland Police Department about his concerns about safety.
“… it is clear to me our stage will not be protected,” he said in the post. “In other words, what happen to us in 2015 will be allowed to happen again as long as (and I’m quoting OPD) it doesn’t ‘get physical.’ It is also clear to me, that in light of the ‘Inauguration Day Protests’ scheduled in Oakland, OPD will have its hands full that day.”
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Hoye said he plans to be at the plaza Friday by himself. He said he will pray quietly and walk the route in memory of the lives lost to abortion. The Issues 4 Life benefit dinner on Friday night will still take place.
He encouraged pro-lifers to attend the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco on Saturday. Hoye also commended the San Francisco Police Department for keeping people safe and protecting free speech.
“The Walk for Life West Coast is ‘hands down’ our all-time favorite Pro-Life event. And we will be looking forward to seeing everyone there,” he wrote on Facebook.