“Let me be perfectly clear: We will not tolerate any kind of violence this weekend.”
PORTLAND — Governor Kate Brown today announced a law enforcement plan to keep the peace and protect free speech in the City of Portland this weekend. With the support of other local elected officials, the Governor is exercising her executive authority under ORS Chapter 401 to create a joint incident command structure, with Superintendent of State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff in charge of public safety 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,” said Governor Brown. “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.”
The Governor added: “The Superintendent and the Sheriff will work closely with the Portland Police Chief to keep people safe this weekend.
“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 .
A recording of the Governor’s press conference is available here .