PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In a show of unity between nearly 100 different groups — labor leaders, union leaders, business and religious organizations, even the Timbers and Thorns — Mayor Ted Wheeler made a major statement against violence in the days before rivalry protesters are expected to converge in downtown Portland.
Wheeler sent a strong anti-violence message to anyone planning on inciting violence at the protest this weekend. He said if that’s your intention — you’re not welcome here.
“Hear me loud and clear: To those of you who plan on using Portland on August 17th as a platform to spread your hate, you are not welcome here,” the mayor said.
Because Portland has seen violence break out multiple times between these opposing protesters, every single PPB officer will be working on Saturday.
The demonstrators will be located between the Morrison and Hawthorne Bridge and 4th Avenue and the Waterfront. Police ask anyone not protesting to avoid the area.
“Public safety is our number one priority for this event and for the entire city,” said PPB Lt. Tina Jones.
Watch the full gathering:
In a one-on-one interview with KOIN 6 News on August 6, Wheeler said “things will be different” at this planned protest.
On Tuesday, PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw released information about what they know, the areas that will likely be affected and what they’re planning.
The protesters are an informal coalition of white nationalists, white supremacists and extreme-right militias hones its focus on Oregon’s largest city as a stand-in for everything it feels is wrong with the US.
At the top of that list are the masked and black-clad anti-fascists — aka, antifa — who turn out to violently oppose right-wing demonstrators as soon as they set foot in town, the Associated Press reported.
A number of area businesses and event organizers have changed their plans in the face of the pending protest and potential violence.