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Mayor Ted Wheeler organizes a coalition that says those planning violence are not welcome at scheduled demonstrations

KOIN 6 NEWS - Those gathered in Pioneer Square posed for a picture before the start of the press conference.Mayor Ted Wheeler, other elected leaders, and representatives of nearly 100 organizations and businesses denounced violence at political demonstrations on Wednesday.

During an hour-long morning rally and press conference in Pioneer Square organized by the mayor's office, Wheeler and the others said anyone planning to incite violence at the dueling demonstrations scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17, are not welcome in Portland.

"This is our city, this is our home, we don't want your violence here," Wheeler said after denouncing what he called a rising national tide of racism and white supremacy.

Also speaking were city commissioners Amanda Fritz and Jo Ann Hardesty, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, former State Sen. Avel Gordly, State Rep. Janelle Bynum, Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal, Metro Council Chair Lynn Peterson, Western States Center Executive Director Eric Ward, Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams, and more.

Although most speakers criticized right wing agitators, Williams said, "We need to call out violent perpetrators on the right and left, and stand up for civility."

The crowd gathered on the steps of the square around 10 a.m. on Aug. 14. The organizations included city agencies, labor unions, universities, civil rights groups and others.

A small group of hecklers associated with the right wing Patriot Prayer group showed up and occasionally shouted denials at the speakers. There were no physical confrontations between the two groups, however.

KOIN 6 NEWS - Mayor Ted Wheeler kicked off the press conference by denouncing what he called a rising national tide of hate and bigotry, and said white supremacists are not welcome in Portland.

Far-right activists have announced they will demonstrate against far-left activists, and counter-protests are expected.

The conservative rally, "End Domestic Terrorism," is being organized by Joe Biggs, a Florida veteran who gained notoriety while working for the conspiracy-pedaling site InfoWars. Local liberal counter-protesters — including some who call themselves anti-fascists or antifa — have vowed to challenge that rally.

"We call on the community to defend itself, as it has countless times before," Rose City Antifa wrote online.

The demonstrators will be located between the Morrison and Hawthorne Bridge and 4th Avenue and the Waterfront. Police ask anyone not protesting to avoid the area.

"Public safety is our number one priority for this event and for the entire city," said police spokeswoman Lt. Tina Jones.

Because of the violence that has broken out at previous protests, ever Portland police officer is expected to be working on Saturday.

According to the mayor's office, the following people and representatives of the following organizations were expected to be at the Aug. 14 rally: Portland Timbers; Portland Thorns; U.S. Attorney Office, District of Oregon; Multnomah County Sheriff; Travel Portland; Portland Business Alliance; Venture Portland; Business for a Better Portland; Oregon State Representative Janelle Bynum; former Oregon State Senator Avel Gordly; Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs; Laborers Union; Portland Public Schools; Portland Public Schools Board of Education; Oregon Commission on Black Affairs; Oregon Commission of Hispanic Affairs; Somali American Council of Oregon; Coalition of Communities of Color; Native American Youth and Family Center; Latino Network; Muslim Educational Trust; Chinese American Citizens Alliance; Black Male Achievement; Multnomah County Commission; Multnomah Youth Commission; Portland Office of Government Relations; Portland City Attorney's Office; Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights; Portland Office of Community Technology; Portland Bureau of Emergency Management; Portland Office of Management & Finance; Portland Bureau of Development Services; Portland Office of Community and Civic Life; Portland Police Association; Portland Fire and Rescue' Portland Police Bureau; Portland Water Bureau; Portland Children's Levy; Downtown Portland Clean & Safe; Joint Office of Homeless Services; Word is Bond; Friends of the Children; Unite Oregon; Portland United Against Hate; Portland Parks & Recreation; Pearl District Neighborhood Association; Reed College; Concordia University; Warner Pacific University; Northwest Labor Council; AFSCME; SEIU; IAFF 43; Oregon Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals; Oregon Alliance for Retired Americans; Mayor of Oregon City; Police Chief of Oregon City; AFT Oregon; Leisure Hour Jr. Golf Program; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc-Omicron Theta Chapter; Weird Portland United; Portland State University; Portland State University Campus Public Safety Office; Portland Saturday Market; Dr. T Allen Bethel; Dr. Steven Holt; Rabbi Michael Cahana; Rev. Katie Larsell; Interfaith Alliance; Western States Center; Parkrose School District; Building Owners and Managers Association of Oregon; IRCO; APANO; Salvation Army; PTE; Building Trades; Portland Bureau of Fire & Police Disability & Retirement; Prosper Portland; Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability; Lewis & Clark College; Mayor of Vancouver; Mental Health Association of Portland; Oregon State Senator Lew Frederick; Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications; Portland Bureau of Environmental Services; Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes; Mayor's Office of Youth Violence Prevention; Portland Housing Bureau; Portland Bureau of Transportation; City of Portland Auditor's Office; and University of Portland.

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