Portland, OR (KPTV) — The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners has condemned the planned rally by right-wing groups in Portland on Saturday.
In a joint statement, the board said, “These groups continue to use Portland and Multnomah County as a focal point for their combative and racist organizing. The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners has said this before, and we will say it again: Racism is not welcome here. Hate and division are not welcome here. Violence is not welcome here.”
The city of Portland denied a permit for the Proud Boys to conduct a rally at Delta Park on Saturday. The board also addressed that location as the rally site.
“It is particularly appalling that they have chosen the historic site of Vanport, which was home to a significant portion of Portland’s Black population, as the site for this weekend’s rally,” according to a statement from the Board of Commissioners.
The permit was denied, citing COVID-19 health guidelines. However, Mayor Ted Wheeler also tweeted Wednesday that, “These groups empower racism, intolerance and hate. Those are not Portland values, and they are not welcome.”
Similarly, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners stated Thursday that reports indicate people from around the country are planning to join the right-wing rally in Portland.
“And we have a simple message to those who intend on traveling to Oregon to pick a fight: Stay home. Multnomah County has no patience for these distractions,” according to the county statement.
The board’s statement also urges the community not to engage with “these outside agitators.”
A left-wing counter protest is planned for Saturday at Peninsula Park, about three miles away from Delta Park.
The Portland Police Bureau this week said they were preparing for two “mass gathering events,” however the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police have declined to provide assistance with crowd control, citing Wheeler’s ban on the use of tear gas by Portland Police Bureau officers.
On Thursday, Police Chief Chuck Lovell addressed that, saying, “Those are agencies that are independent of the city of Portland and they need to make the decisions they make.”
Lovell said the goal is to keep the peace this weekend.
“Violence and fighting and attempts to injure officers or destroy property is just not productive and we are asking that people take that to heart,” he said.
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