The Proud Boys, an alt. right group is coming into town with the promise to terrorize the Black Lives Matters (BLM) protesters. As a result of the increased risk of violence, Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for Portland on Sept. 25, 2020.
Under this order, Multnomah county sheriff’s officers and state police will be in Portland to lead a law enforcement task force. Brown authorized the use of “proportional force.” They have permission to use tear gas on the protesters.
Interestingly, earlier this week Portland’s mayor received notice that the state police would not be assisting the Portland Police Department. Furthermore, the mayor ordered the Portland Police to cease using tear gas less than a month ago.
The BLM began protesting in cities around the United States as a result of George Floyd was killed at the hands of police officers on May 25, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In Portland, demonstrators filled the streets — mostly in the downtown area — every day and night with the exception of the short break taken during the fires threatening the North West.
During a Pro-Trump protest on August 29, the Proud Boys diverted their trucks from the planned route to go into downtown with the intent of spewing their hate. They drove in, spraying mace, and shooting tear gas and paintballs into the BLM crowd. Several suped-up 4×4 pickup trucks with oversized tires drove through people in the crosswalk.
That night in Portland, waves of anger flared. A live-video shows a group of Proud Boys stalking BLM protesters. They are heard saying, “I think I see one.” Then viewers hear a gunshot and see a person fall to the ground. Aaron J. Danielson, a Proud Boy, was shot by a BLM protester.
The alt. right group vows they will not be violent unless provoked. Every time they come into Portland they instigate the violence simply by crossing the state line fully armed with handguns and semi-automatic weapons.
Moreover, they are extremely present on Facebook and Twitter with hateful curse-laden descriptions of BLM as anarchists. Threatening to overpower them, photograph them, then turn those over to the authorities to be prosecuted.
Today, September 25, a “lawsuit, filed by the Oregon Justice Resource Center on behalf of the plaintiffs, seeks damages for assault, battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress,” according to Willamette Weekly. The suit alleges four Portland residents suffered injuries at the hands of Proud Boys members.
Governor Brown prays there will be no violence tomorrow.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Reuters: Oregon governor ‘incredibly worried’ about violence at Proud Boys rally; Andrew Hay
Willamette Weekly: In Million-Dollar Lawsuit, Plaintiffs Say Proud Boys Injured Them With Paintballs and Bear Mace; Arron Mesh
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Jack Ketchen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Matthew Roth’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License