The city of Portland has denied a protest permit requested by the Proud Boys, saying its demonstration slated for Saturday would likely draw a crowd too large to comply with social distancing measures required under coronavirus restrictions.
While COVID-19 risk was cited as the reason for rejecting the permit, officials in the Oregon city — which has been plagued by left-wing protests that have often descended into violence for months — say the group isn't welcome regardless of the virus.
What are the details?
ABC News reported that Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees the city's parks department which issues the permits, said in a statement explaining the Proud Boys' denial, "We must all do our part to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our community and keep ourselves and each other safe. Events like this are not welcome and are not allowed."
The Proud Boys state on its website that "all that is required to become a Proud Boy is that a man declare he is 'a Western chauvinist who refuses to apologize for creating the modern world,'" and lists a set of core values including "anti-racism," "anti-racial guilt," and "anti-political correctness."
According to The Daily Mail, the group's permit application described its rally as a march to "end domestic terrorism."
The outlet noted that the Proud Boys "have rallied in Portland several times in recent years and draw large crowds who show up to oppose their presence in the liberal city."
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared on Twitter, "On 9/26, alt-right groups and white nationalists are intent on coming into our community. These groups empower racism, intolerance and hate. Those are not Portland values, and they are not welcome. Hate has no home in Portland."
On 9/26, alt-right groups and white nationalists are intent on coming into our community. These groups empower raci… https://t.co/iSoszZtzHr— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@Mayor Ted Wheeler)1600905865.0
But rallygoers and counterprotesters are still expected to show up.
Fox News reported that "Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency in Portland on Friday as authorities anticipate violent clashes between opposing groups over the weekend" during the Proud Boys' planned demonstration. The governor also named another group, Patriot Prayer, as a threat to the city.
The outlet noted:
In August, a Patriot Prayer supporter was shot and killed in downtown Portland during a confrontation. Michael Forest Reinoehl said he shot Aaron Danielson in self-defense. He was killed by law enforcement officers as they attempted to arrest him in Olympia, Wash.
Portland has grappled with more than 100 consecutive days of protests that have included fights, arson, vandalism, assault and murder.