Portland City Council rejects new protest limits

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland City Council has rejected an ordinance that would have given Mayor Ted Wheeler new powers to regulate protests.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the mayor’s proposal failed 2-3 Wednesday when Commissioner Nick Fish cast the deciding vote against it.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Chloe Eudaly also voted no. Wheeler and Commissioner Dan Saltzman voted yes.

Wheeler’s ordinance would have given him the power to dictate the conditions of protests if demonstrators had a history of violence and if public safety was jeopardized.

The mayor said he and Police Chief Danielle Outlaw developed the idea in response to an increasing number of violent demonstrations in Portland since 2016.

An official with the American Civil Liberties Union last week said her organization believes the ordinance is vague, does too much to limit free speech and vests unnecessary power in the mayor.