New Ordinance Aimed At Violent Demonstrations

Mayor Ted Wheeler released the following statement, vowing action to crack down on recurring street brawls in Portland.

“There are some basic ideals we should be able to agree on as Americans: We don’t tolerate violence in our streets. Violence is not—and has never been—a legitimate means to a political end. 

“I will not allow continued, planned street violence between rival factions to take place in Portland, Oregon. And I will ask those in positions of influence – elected officials, lawyers and law enforcement, community organizations, and people of conscience – to join with me. 

“Portland will do our part. 

“I will introduce, as soon as possible, an ordinance to enact reasonable content-neutral time, place, and manner regulations for demonstrations held in the City, with the goal of protecting both the freedom of expression for demonstrators and the safety of the entire community.

“I have also asked my staff to evaluate options to hold accountable those who recklessly drain our public safety resources by using our city as a venue for planned street violence.

“As Portland does our part, I will call on other jurisdictions to do theirs. 

“We have agreements with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and we will ask them to help us prevent violence. We will ask prosecutors, and jails to enforce laws against those planning or engaging in violence. And we will ask those with investigatory authority to bring forward a full suite of options for changing the dynamic on our streets.

“This is not a partisan issue. This is not about ideology. This goes beyond Democrat and Republican. This is about delivering a strong and principled message that we will not tolerate violence in our community.” 

Portland business leaders stand in support of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s action for an emergency ordinance to put an end to the violence happening in our fair city.

"Portland has, and should always be, a place known for its outspoken civil discourse. Our rich tradition of exercising our First Amendment rights is what sets this great city apart from others," said Andrew Hoan, president and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance, Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce. "Our protests, debates and disagreements have been a hallmark of what makes us special as a community. We do not always agree on every issue, but we all work to make this city a better place. When we do disagree, we must do it with respect."

As community members, we speak with one, unequivocal voice to say with absolute clarity that violence is never the way to resolve our differences. To those among us who think that violence is a way to change the world, we say to you, it is not.

We call on everyday Portlanders to join together in calling for peaceful discourse and expression through civil means.

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