Circa via KATU
PORTLAND, Ore.(KATU) – Several demonstrations are taking place in downtown Portland on Saturday, just days after the City Council voted down Mayor Ted Wheeler’s proposed protest ordinance.
Authorities made their presence felt at Terry Schrunk Free Speech Plaza and the adjacent Chapman Square, with several officers in riot control gear surrounding the spaces. Police also closed off a large portion of the square between the two groups and have ordered the surrounding sidewalks be closed.
An offshoot of the conservative Patriot Prayer group calling itself “Him Too” is staging a rally at 2 p.m. in Terry Schrunk Free Speech Plaza.
Organizer Haley Adams says it is not a protest, but an event for men to speak out. “#himtoo” references supporting men accused of sexual violence without proof.
The rally was met by several counter-protests to show solidarity with survivors of sexual assault and allow them to speak out.
The Portland Democratic Socialists of America first held a rally at 11:30 a.m. in the park blocks in front of the Portland Art Museum for a “Survivors Are Everywhere” rally.
Organizers have called the “Him Too” rally an attempt to both troll Portland and cast doubt on survivors of abuse.
A half-hour later, more people started gathering in Chapman Square, which is across Madison Street from Terry Schrunk Plaza, for a “Survivor Shout Out.” Authorities had closed off part of the square before the group arrived at the area.
he Rose City Antifa members were among those in the square. They were initially expected to fill Terry Schrunk Plaza an hour before the “Him Too” group is scheduled to arrive in the area, however police had barricaded off the square prior to their arrival.
The "Him Too" group, including Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, started gathering in the free speech plaza at about 1:30 p.m.
This all comes just days after the city council rejected a proposal aimed at keeping protests from turning violent with time/place/manner restrictions.
Mayor Wheeler’s ordinance cited several violent clashes between protest groups. Critics expressed concerns that it could infringe on constitutional rights.