Sep 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Oregon governor declares state of emergency ahead of Portland rally

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in Roseburg, Oregon, in October 2015.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in Roseburg, Oregon, in October 2015. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency on Friday in preparation for a far-right rally in Portland that's expected to draw thousands of attendees this Saturday, the Statesman Journal reports.

Why it matters: Far-right protests in Portland have recently provoked counter-demonstrations, spurring clashes and violent street brawls. One man was fatally shot in August when skirmishes between the groups erupted in the city.

What they're saying: “The First Amendment does not give anyone license to hurt or kill someone because of opposing political views,” Brown said, according to the Statesman Journal. “And when free expression is fueled by hate and coupled with an intent to incite violence, then I need to do everything I can as governor to ensure the safety of Oregonians."

  • Brown's declaration gives the Oregon State Police and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office authority to respond to the rally and any counter-demonstrations. Given this “incident command structure,” the Portland Police will follow the lead of those agencies, she said.
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