FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement by Mayor Ted Wheeler on Saturday Demonstrations
Portland, OR – Mayor Ted Wheeler released the following statement on demonstrations planned for Saturday in Portland.
“There are many planning to attend demonstrations this weekend at Waterfront Park. I continue to strongly reject the idea that violence or hate speech are legitimate means to a political end. Chief Outlaw and I have serious concerns about the potential for violence at this weekend’s demonstrations. It is particularly troubling to me that individuals are posting publicly their intent to act out violently. We don’t want this here. The Police Bureau has put forth significant effort into preparing for tomorrow’s demonstration and will do their best to provide a safe environment.
“Chief Outlaw will be in command of the Portland Police Bureau’s response for Saturday’s demonstrations. I have complete confidence in her leadership and the Police Bureau’s ability to appropriately manage this challenging situation.”
The mission of law enforcement is to provide a safe environment for all participants, non-participants, and community members while ensuring the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights. Federal law and First Amendment protections have consistently found that 1) a jurisdiction cannot deny permits based on free speech, and 2) a demonstration cannot be preemptively banned based on the occurrences at a prior demonstration. I have been an active participant in a national discussion about how to balance the right to free speech with the responsibilities that come with that right.