PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Portland police are warning a protest and counter-demonstration will be held at Terry Schrunk Plaza this Saturday, the first since a proposed protest ordinance was voted down by the city council Wednesday.
For many, the exasperation with these sometimes-violent events is growing, including one civil rights leader, who sat down with FOX 12.
Reverend Dr. Chuck Currie has been an activist in Portland for three decades and said he’s asked the mayor to bring city officials and community leaders together to brainstorm a solution. While they have not yet had the opportunity to do so, he said it has never been more pertinent.
“As we grapple with violence on our streets, the nation watches us.”
Those were the words of Commissioner Amanda Fritz moments before she voted ‘no’ on the proposed ordinance Wednesday that sought to regulate the time, place and manner certain groups could protest.
One many civil rights leaders, including Rev. Currie, opposed.
“I appreciate that our mayor brought up the ordinance and that he's concerned about violence. I think our leaders ought to be trying to develop solutions but the solution the mayor came forward with is the wrong answer,” Currie said.
Which begs the question, how do we stop the violent clashes that have affected so many?
Sandra Tabor, who works near Pioneer Courthouse Square told FOX 12 the protests have become too much and sometimes business owners are not given a warning when they’re coming.
“Maybe they can come around and tell us there is going to be a protest. Not to make everyone anxious but to make us informed?”
Tabor said although the shop in which she works, Ecru Modern Stationer, has been lucky, others have not.
Since 2016, many downtown Portland rallies have ended in bloody brawls, broken glass but few arrests.
According to civil rights activist, Currie, “One of the things we need to do as an activist community, myself included, is we need to model better behavior.”
Currie said while ideally he’d like to see Portlanders ignore demonstrators who may want to pick a fight, he knows sometimes you must stand up for your values.
In these cases, he recommends people “protest in other areas that are safe where you can still get your message out. One that is positive. One that is strong but also one that is non-violent.”
Saturday, two-opposing groups are expected to face off --- Antifa and Him-too --- a group advocating for men falsely accused of sexual assault or misconduct.
It’s still unclear if Portland Police will handle this rally different than past protests.
PPB said it will be providing updates throughout the day on its twitter account, as will FOX 12.
They encourage anyone with plans downtown tomorrow to be aware of possible traffic delays and to plan alternate routes.
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