Portland, Oregon, has denied a permit for a Saturday rally planned by the right-wing group Proud Boys.
In a statement released Wednesday, the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau said the group’s estimated crowd size of 10,000 people was too big to comply with coronavirus restrictions.
The bureau said it had consulted with Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner, and decided that those attending the rally would not be able to comply with social distancing rules.
“We must all do our part to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our community and keep ourselves and each other safe. Events like this are not welcome and are not allowed,” Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees the city’s parks department, said in the statement.
There have been over 100 consecutive days of nightly protests and riots in Portland. Wheeler himself joined one of them in July, telling demonstrators “what we’re doing tonight is actually the best thing we can do right now.”
The rally planned for Saturday was moved from downtown Portland to north Portland to accommodate what the Proud Boys called a “battalion of patriots” exercising their right to assemble freely.
Left-wing groups plan at least two events to oppose the Proud Boys.
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