PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - As the weekend draws closer, businesses in downtown Portland are preparing for planned demonstrations set for Saturday.
On Tuesday, the Portland Police Bureau released a map showing the area they believe will be impacted. It extends from Waterfront Park to Southwest 4th Avenue, and from Southwest Madison Street to Southwest Alder Street.
FOX 12 spoke with more than a dozen businesses in this zone, and they all said they feel comfortable staying open Saturday. However, they will be keeping a close eye on everything that’s going on around them.
Kelly Casperson, the president of Artistic Portland, said planned demonstrations certainly hamper their business.
“It has been a little scary sometimes, but we have not been personally, physically impacted by any of the protests yet,” Casperson said.
Artistic Portland, a co-op for local artists, is right on the edge of the zone PPB expects will be impacted.
“It’s more of being aware and being alert,” Casperson told FOX 12. “We’ve told the members who will be here on shift, if they’re uncomfortable, they should definitely close and lock the doors.”
Casperson said they’re ready for anything, even if it comes down to boarding up their business.
“Some of our members are big, strong, strapping young men, and so they’ve been alerted that they may need to come down with plywood in case we need it,” she said.
Half a mile away, and three blocks out of the red zone is Michael Parsons Fine Art, a gallery with an owner that knows all too well about vandalism.
Two years ago, during May Day demonstrations, Parsons told FOX 12 their window was broken by protesters.
Coincidentally, two weeks ago, another window was broken. It was the first time it’s happened since the 2017 protest.
It’s so close to Saturday, Parsons said he can’t help but be concerned about what’s around the corner.
“We’re not going to allow a few bad apples to change how we live or how we run our store,” Casperson said. “Violence is not the answer...It doesn’t fix anything, it doesn’t change anybody’s mind. In fact, it probably makes it worse.”
Portland police are asking people to stay away from that area they expect to have the most impact.
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