As the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County District Attorney's office methodically round up some of the most visible figures in the far right ahead of Saturday's planned protest at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, one group has been absent from planning for the event.
In an Aug. 5 interview with The Oregonian about preparations for the event, which has been expected to draw a heavy out-of-state contingent of right-wing militants, PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw said that the Oregon National Guard might be part of the law enforcement response on Aug. 17.
"We'd be remiss in our duties in planning if we didn't at least consider it, given that we've trained with them the last few years,'' Outlaw told The Oregonian.
Since then, spokespeople for Gov. Kate Brown, who commands the Oregon National Guard, have repeatedly declined to answer WW's questions about whether the National Guard would be activated on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner, convened a diverse group of community leaders at an unusual Pioneer Courthouse Square gathering aimed at tamping down tensions ahead of the protest.
But Wheeler's spokesman, Tim Becker, was no more forthcoming than the governor's office about whether the National Guard will be on hand.
"We appreciate you reaching out and offering the opportunity to respond," Becker said in an email. "The Mayor's office has no comment."
But at a press conference this morning PPB spokeswoman Lt. Tina Jones put the issue to rest.
"The National Guard will not be deployed," Jones said at a press conference.
Jones added that the Hawthorne Bridge and parts of SW Second Avenue will be closed to all traffic from 4 pm Saturday morning until the event is over.