Portland Parks and Recreation has denied a permit for a planned Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer rally in Delta Park on Saturday, citing coronavirus concerns, New York Post reports. The event was expected to draw 10,000 Proud Boy supporters.
The application reads, “We the PEOPLE are tired of incompetent city leadership who neuters police and allows violent gangs of rioting felons to run the streets, burn buildings, throw molotov cocktails/rocks/fireworks/concrete and assault people with impunity.”
Portland police said they are preparing for two other counter demonstrations on Saturday. One at Delta Park, and the other at Peninsula Park nearby.
In a statement, City Commissioner Amanda Fritz said the rally would violate social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must all do our part to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our community and keep ourselves and each other safe. Events like this are not welcome and are not allowed,” said Fritz.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, ahead of the rally tweeted Wednesday,
“On September 26th, agitators plan on coming to Portland to spread messages of hate and racism– values we don’t welcome here in Portland. If you intend to come to our city, our home, to spread hate and provoke violence, don’t,” Wheeler wrote.
The Proud Boys were holding the “End Domestic Terrorism” demonstration in part as a response to the killing of a Patriot Prayer demonstrator by a left wing protester in downtown Portland in August.
According to the New York Post, Enrique Tarrio, a leader of Proud Boys, which has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the rally would be peaceful. He also urged anyone planning violence to keep out.
The goal of the rally, Tarrio said, is to call out Wheeler and other city leaders for their handling of the ongoing protests plaguing the city.