PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Organizers with the “Greater Idaho” movement are planning a counterprotest in response to the “Say No to Idaho” rally that “Greater Idaho” opponents say will be held at the Wallowa County Courthouse on May 12.
Counterprotest organizers told KOIN 6 News that the “Greater Idaho” rally will be held across the street from the courthouse at the same time as the “Say No to Idaho” demonstration. Responding to the “Greater Idaho” Movement’s announcement, the group behind the “Say No to Idaho” event, Rural Oregonians for Oregon, called for the coinciding rallies to remain peaceful.
“The Rural Oregonians for Oregon would like to remind all those demonstrating on Friday to please leave weapons at home,” the group said. “This is for the safety of all in attendance. We look forward to a peaceful demonstration with our neighbors on May 12.”
On May 16, Wallowa County voters will choose if the county joins 11 other Eastern Oregon counties (Baker, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Union and Wheeler) that have already voted to support a proposed separation from liberal Oregon and join the Republican-led state of Idaho. If passed, ballot measure 32-007 would require county commissioners to discuss the local public’s interest in pushing Oregon’s border west, allowing Idaho to consume roughly half of the state of Oregon.
While the “Greater Idaho” movement has gained momentum in Eastern Oregon and Idaho, where state lawmakers passed a bill in February agreeing to hold “Greater Idaho” discussions with Oregon representatives, it remains unclear how the proposed border change would actually occur.