Law enforcement braces for Portland protest confrontations

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced a plan to keep the peace in the City of Portland.

On Friday, Brown said she’s using her executive authority to create a joint incident command structure ahead of what could be a confrontation between two ideologically opposed groups. Oregon State Police’s superintendent and the Multnomah County Sheriff will be in charge in Portland this weekend.

“As we head into the weekend, we are aware that white supremacist groups from out of town, including the Proud Boys, are planning a rally on Saturday in Portland,” Governor Brown said. “Significant crowds of people are expected to join—some people will be armed, with others ready to harass or intimidate Oregonians. Many are from out of state. These types of demonstrations in the past have often ended in fistfights, and sometimes escalated to bloodshed.

“In America, we have the right to peacefully assemble, and everyone in Oregon has a right to express themselves freely—even those who the vast majority of Oregonians would deeply disagree with. However, the First Amendment does not give anyone license to hurt or kill someone because of opposing political views.”

“When free expression is fueled by hate, and coupled with an intention to incite violence, then I need to do everything I can as Governor to ensure the public safety of Oregonians. We will not tolerate that violence and tragedy this weekend. Violence is never the answer. Violence never brings anyone over to your side. Instead, violence only deepens divisions.”

A full transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available here.

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