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Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) deployed the National Guard during Wednesday night’s rioting where at least 11 were arrested, according to Fox News.
Governor Brown deployed the National Guard and State Police just one day after the presidential election. The Guardsman arrived on Portland streets as about 200 began to vandalize businesses in the downtown area. The deployment follows months of destruction caused from nightly protests and riots. Protesters continued their violence – vandalizing businesses, smashing windows, and desecrating a Catholic church. The rioting and protesting in Portland and Denver come amid nationwide unrest as votes in the 2020 election continued to trickle in.
Governor Brown also extended an order earlier Thursday that created a joint incident command structure in Portland, with the Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office co-managing the police response in the city. “Every Oregonian has the right to express themselves freely and to peacefully assemble. However, I want to be clear that voter intimidation and political violence will not be tolerated. Not from the Left, the Right, or the Center. Not this week, not any week in Oregon,” Brown wrote in a release by the governor’s office. “We’ve seen firsthand what happens when free expression is fueled by hate,” she continued. “We know that there are some people who might use peaceful election night protests to promote violence and property destruction.”
Two different groups rallied in separate locations Wednesday, before marching into downtown Portland. One group blocked traffic as protesters crossed the Morrison Bridge. According to Fox 12 Oregon’s Brenna Kelly, protesters threw a molotov cocktail and glass bottles. One person arrested was found to be in possession of a rifle. Police also shared photos of items that had been allegedly seized from protesters, which include commercial-grade fireworks, hammers, and spray paint. An American flag was also set on fire.
“Happy day after #ElectionDay. I’m out covering a rally to begin at 2 at the North Park Blocks in NW Portland. At least a dozen Portland police officers are here, attempting to talk to people setting up. @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/huMrix4jvz” Brenna Kelly tweeted.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s office announced that the National Guard has been deployed by Gov. Kate Brown to respond to acts of violence as well as “maintain public order and ensure community safety.” “Guard members are trained in crowd control and will be riding with local response teams. They are dressed in military style garb, which is their uniform,” the Sheriff’s office said. “Oregon National Guard members are civilian community members helping to protect us. We don’t take this decision lightly.” “Our goal is to keep our community safe,” police added. “We encourage demonstrators to gather peacefully.”
“The mass gathering in downtown Portland is still declared a riot. Leave the area now. Failure to adhere to this direction may subject you to arrest, citation and or/use of force including, but not limited to, impact munitions and/or tear gas.” Multnomah Co Sheriff tweeted.
Those who failed to leave the area were subject to arrest, citation, and or use of force including, but not limited to impact munitions and/or tear gas, according to police. Meanwhile, caravans of Denver police officers have deployed pepper balls and clashed with protesters who started a fire at the intersection of Washington and Colfax, according to FOX 31.
FOX 31’s Gergory Nieto added that a “handful of arrests” have reportedly been made. The protesters, who claim to be anti-fascist, carried a banner which read “Death to Fascim and the Liberalism that enables it” and were heard chanting “No Borders. No walls. No USA at all,” according to a video shared by the Daily Caller. The governor’s decision to send in the National Guard comes after she directed to place its members on standby ahead of potential election unrest in Portland earlier this week.
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