After more than 100 nights of unrest, Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has decided to declare an emergency for the city of Portland.
However, Brown made it clear Friday that she was acting only because the Proud Boys, a controversial conservative group, had said they intended to hold a rally in the city on Saturday.
The Proud Boys were planning an “End Domestic Terrorism” demonstration, despite the city’s rejection of a permit for the event, according to The Oregonian.
Counterprotesters were planning a simultaneous event, according to an online flyer that reads: “Calling All Everyday Antifascists: Join Us At Bloom … No Proud Boys in the Rose City.”
Tomorrow (9/26)! 12 to 3pm!
— PopMob (Popular Mobilization) (@PopMobPDX) September 25, 2020
A report from the Portland Tribune earlier this month estimated than more than 1,000 people have been arrested in the protests that have taken place in Portland since May.
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) September 24, 2020
However, Brown said that the Proud Boys are the real threat.
“We are aware that white supremacist groups from out of town, including the Proud Boys, are planning a rally,” Brown said, according to Willamette Week.
“The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer groups have come to Portland time and time again from out of state looking for a fight and the results are always tragic,” she also said, according to Fox News.
“Let me be perfectly clear: We will not tolerate any kind of violence this weekend. Those stoking the flames of violence, those coming to Portland looking for a fight will be held accountable,” Brown said.
Brown issued an order on Friday to put the Oregon State Police and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in charge of crowd management.
State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said authorities would try to keep the groups separate to keep a lid on violence. He added that the arrangement allows the use of tear gas on protesters — something that Portland banned for the antifa-fueled riots that have inflicted damage on the city for weeks.
We will be peaceful unless provoked. I encourage people to protest us. What we won’t condone or tolerate is violence towards attendees.
And as for the homeless population….We will be handing out White Claws and Budweiser. They’re in good hands. https://t.co/i5j3YAk5EB
— Enrique Tarrio (@enrique_tarrio) September 24, 2020
“It goes beyond free speech right now. Portland has franchised these riots across the country,” Tarrio said.
“Other cities see these things happening, and they’re like: ‘We can do this here, too.’ Portland leads by example.”
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