Today, I introduced two resolutions—one to cease all cooperation between the Portland Police Bureau and the federal occupiers, and one affirming the rights of members of the press and legal observers covering the protests against police brutality—and I am pleased to share that both of those resolutions were adopted unanimously by City Council.
Here are my remarks from this afternoon:
I want to take a moment to focus on the gravity of our current situation. Not only is the Trump administration violating the constitutional rights of Portlanders, but they are also attempting to use Portland as a proving ground for fascism, and they plan to invade cities across the country, cities that are political targets of the President. This resolution serves as a statement of our opposition to their presence in our city, direction to our police bureau, a template for policies that other cities can advance, and a national call to action.
I want to make something clear—I stand in solidarity with protesters defending Black lives, demanding racial justice, and the transformation of our justice system, but whether you agree with the protesters or not, if you believe in the constitution of the United States, you must oppose the actions of this President and the violent suppression of individuals exercising their constitutional rights.
The violence perpetrated against members of the media and legal observers by the Portland Police Bureau and by federal occupiers is unacceptable. Freedom of the press is a fundamental constitutional right and a tenet of our society. The press helps hold government accountable for its actions, and the lack of government accountability for police violence is what has led millions of protesters around the globe to take to the streets. We unequivocally need local press, independent journalists, and legal observers to document the actions of the PPB and federal occupiers—without their commitment to reporting the facts, we wouldn’t have accurate documentation of law enforcement assaulting Portlanders and targeting members of the press.
I want to thank every member of the press and legal observers who are risking their safety to report on this national uprising for justice, for Black lives, for transformative changes to law enforcement, and now, the federal occupation of our city. You should not have to risk your safety to do your job—your government should protect your constitutional rights—and I am hopeful that the action we take today makes you safer on our streets. I look forward to the PPB’s strict adherence to this resolution. To all Portlanders, please consider supporting our local media outlets, all of whom have been hard hit during the COVID-19 crisis. They need our support, and we need them.
I want to thank my staff for moving this forward so quickly, PBOT’s Director of Public Affairs Noah Siegel for consulting, and my colleagues on Council and their teams for making this possible.