Kelly Kenoyer

Update: The Portland Police Bureau sent out a last-minute announcement this morning explaining that some areas around the waterfront will be blocked off. It appears people will have to walk through a security screening entrance manned by police before joining in the protest. Here's a map of what that'll look like:

Portland Police Bureau

Original Post:

We're 24 hours away from what's expected to be another major clash between alt-right members of Patriot Prayer and local opponents of the violent, out-of-state protesters. By now, both the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and Mayor Ted Wheeler's office have sent out separate media releases alerting protesters and unassuming members of the public as to how the city will be handling the event.

Wheeler's office has responded as expected—noting the restrictions the city has on limiting permits based on free speech and banning a protest based on its members being violent in a previous demonstration.

"I continue to strongly reject the idea that violence or hate speech are legitimate means to a political end," said Wheeler in his office's press release. "Chief Outlaw and I have serious concerns about the potential for violence at this weekend’s demonstrations. It is particularly troubling to me that individuals are posting publicly their intent to act out violently. We don’t want this here."

The PPB, however, have appeared to update their approach to monitoring these types of rallies. In a morning press release, PPB spokesperson Christopher Burley announced that officers will be setting up "weapon screening locations" at the entrance of Tom McCall Waterfront Park and that dogs will sweep the park to sniff out explosives before the day's event. Burley also runs down the list of laws prohibiting concealed weapon carry in Oregon, Multnomah County, and Portland. Only those with a Oregon-issued Concealed Handgun License will be allowed to bring a weapon to tomorrow' protest.

"There will be a significant law enforcement presence in the area of the demonstration due to past threats and acts of violence," Burley writes. "Persons attending any of the events should not bring any weapons or items that can be used as weapons to any of the events."

In the past, protesters have been injured by flagpoles, chunks of concrete, sticks, waterbottles, and a number of other non-weapon items. It'll be interesting to see where PPB officers draw the line on what qualifies as a "weapon"—and what doesn't.

Another unusual line: "People near others who are preparing to or in the act of committing criminal behavior are encouraged to separate themselves from the group and notify police." I'd suspect it's rare a person preparing to commit a crime will give the police a heads up first. But, like with any Patriot Prayer event, we're ready to be surprised. Hold tight, Portland.

The 4th annual Portland Sketch Comedy Festival
Sketch comedy troupes from all over N. America descend on The Siren Theater for 3 glorious nights.