The following is a statement from the office of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler:
The City is aware of the potential for large gatherings that may occur this upcoming weekend. Our latest information suggests that most of the activity will happen during the early afternoon hours on Sunday, Aug. 22 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
To prioritize public safety, City Council offices and City bureaus are working collaboratively—along with local and regional law enforcement partners—to monitor and coordinate responses, if necessary. The City will respond to the situation to the best of its ability given current legal and logistical constraints.
The City of Portland has long embraced and continues to support the most cherished of American values for generations: The right to assembly, the right to free speech and ability to petition the government for redress of grievances. But as we’ve seen in the past, these events can be subverted by a contingent of people with the intent to commit acts of violence or vandalism.
To the people who want to engage in that behavior: Do not show up to these events.
If you do show up and engage in criminal conduct, you are subject to arrest and prosecution.
Two weekends ago, our city experienced some unacceptable acts of hate that threatened our community’s safety. The behavior of a few people escalated into violent acts and conduct that incited hate and violence towards others. In response, Mayor Wheeler signed on to a statement of peace with Governor Kate Brown, Metro President Lynn Peterson, and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury.
Earlier today, community partners convened through a virtual gathering to unite together and denounce hate and violence, and instead choose love. Those who choose to engage in criminal activity and violence are not choosing love.
Our City’s leaders are coming together to show solidarity for the vision of a healthier, safer, inclusive, and more resilient City.
We have united across differences before to make the same call to action – to cast aside politics and declare and reaffirm our shared values for this community.
We are asking you to help us keep the peace this weekend, to support your community and refrain from any acts of hate and destruction. Your community needs you right now, we need you right now. After 18 months of a deadly pandemic, an economic recession, wildfires and other environmental crises, this is the time to support one another. There is no more room for hate or violence in Portland. Our ask is simple: we are asking you to choose love. Please join us.