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Wheeler made the request to the governor and was not told when it was turned down

BRADLEY W. PARKS/OPB - Liaison officers with the Portland Police Bureau monitor a white supremacist rally under the Hawthorne Bridge on Aug. 17, 2019. The rally carried the potential for violence and attracted hundreds of antifascist counter-protesters.

As Portland officials prepared for a potentially explosive stand-off between far-right groups and anti-fascist demonstrators in August, Mayor Ted Wheeler formally requested that Gov. Kate Brown keep more than 100 Oregon National Guard troops ready to respond.

By the next day, the request had been denied — though communicating that decision to Wheeler appears to have been an afterthought.

Newly released documents offer a glimpse at the extent to which state and city officials planned for the Aug. 17 demonstrations, which drew national attention and worry of mass violence on the city's waterfront.

The documents also appear to be the first confirmation that city officials formally requested possible National Guard intervention for the protests, but were rebuffed. Spokespeople for both Wheeler and Brown had been cagey about whether such an ask was made.

The dueling demonstrations on Aug. 17 wound up being largely peaceful, with city police successfully keeping a right-wing demonstration organized by the Proud Boys separate from a larger anti-fascist gathering.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can find the rest of their story here.


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