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Mayor Wheeler Statement Regarding Governor’s Emergency Declaration In Portland For The Weekend of Sept. 26-27

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I am pleased that, as elected leaders responsible for the safety and wellbeing of this community, we were able to come to a collaborative solution that achieved the mutual aid resources necessary to implement the great planning work Portland Police have done to be ready for this weekend’s potential protests. The additional resources provided by the state police will go a long way to ensuring we are able to do everything possible to be ready when alt-right and white nationalist groups come to our city.

We all agree our state and our nation are facing unprecedented threats. I want our entire community to know — first and foremost — our shared priority is to ensure and protect the safety and well-being of everyone in the face of rampant divisiveness and ongoing violence. Having a unified command structure uniting the resources of the state, the county and the city is a timely and appropriate response to the threat we face.

I categorically condemn violence of all kinds by all people. But let me be clear, the alt-right and white supremacist groups organizing to come to Portland on Saturday present the greatest threat we’ve faced so far.

These groups embody and empower racism, intolerance and hate. Those are not Portland values, and they are not welcome here. Hate has no home in Portland. They have actively threatened violence against elected officials and others in our community.

For Saturday to remain peaceful, we need everyone’s help – the state, the county and the community. We must stand together, and we are. Together, we can prevent white nationalists from achieving their goals of spreading fear and intimidation and of misrepresenting Portland for political gain.

We will always support the rights of people to peacefully assemble. And we will always stand against those who provoke violence, regardless of their beliefs.

Again, I want to thank the Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff for their support. Because of their leadership, combined with that of Portland Police Chief Lovell, I’m hopeful everyone will stay safe this weekend. I also want to thank other local governments and agencies who are providing support.

Finally, I know there’s a lot of interest in the use of tear gas. My directive to the Portland Police regarding tear gas for crowd control remains unchanged.

This weekend, don’t give out of town racists and bullies the satisfaction of distracting us, or slowing us down. Let’s keep our focus on what’s important and keep pressing forward together. And once again, thanks to our partners for responding to our request for mutual aid under these extraordinary circumstances.