Amid Threats of Inaugural Violence, Oregon Legislature Delays Start of Session

Senate President Peter Courtney told KGW-TV he considers the threats terrorism.

A protester outside the Oregon governor's mansion on Jan. 1, 2021. (Justin Yau)

The Oregon Legislature has delayed the start of its upcoming session for two days, fearing it could be interrupted by armed demonstrators protesting the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The Statesman Journal first reported late Wednesday the cancellation of committee meetings and a floor session planned for Jan. 19 and 20. Right-wing protests are expected at all 50 state capitols, as loyalists to defeated President Donald Trump refuse to concede he lost.

In Oregon, that means a floor session scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19, has been delayed until Thursday, Jan. 21, says the office of House Speaker Tina Kotek.

As WW reported Wednesday, Gov. Kate Brown has activated the Oregon National Guard to assist with patrolling the Capitol in Salem, after police received credible threats that violence would occur on Jan. 20.

Kotek issued a brief statement to WW tonight. "The work of the people and the Capitol will be protected from those who seek to undermine our democratic institutions through violence and intimidation," she said.

Senate President Peter Courtney told KGW-TV he considers the threats terrorism.

"That's not even a strong enough word for what it is," he said. "In my lifetime, I never dreamed I'd see something like this."

On Thursday morning, Renn Cannon, the FBI special agent in charge of the Portland field office, said his team was was preparing for possible violent activity related to the inauguration.

"Given the unrest at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, we are maintaining a heightened posture to monitor for any emerging threats to our region," Cannon wrote. "We are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals who were involved in the siege of the U.S. Capitol and/or those who may continue to incite violence and engage in criminal activity here locally."

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said Thursday afternoon he was unaware of any credible threats to Portland.

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