Antifa planning Portland meetup in defiance of COVID-19 rules, online posts reportedly reveal

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Demonstrators allegedly aligned with Antifa are expected to meet up at a downtown Portland business zone Wednesday night in a continuation of nightly protests, according to posts made on social media.

The gathering is expected to happen at Pioneer Courthouse Square, the site of several large gatherings since Portland became the epicenter for demonstrations following the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

The city has seen more than 100 nights of gatherings that have often become chaotic and overwhelming for local law enforcement agencies.

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It was not clear which group was organizing Wednesday's event. Andy Ngo, who covers Antifa extensively in Portland, claimed that demonstrators previously targeted the Multnomah County Democrats building earlier this week.

The vandals shattered windows and spray-painted “no presidents” and  “F— Biden” on the building, referring to president-elect Joe Biden. 

Members of the Portland Police Bureau's Rapid Response Team, with assistance from other police precincts, will be available to respond to reports of unrest Wednesday, Officer Derek Carmon, a police spokesman, told Fox News. 

"These events, the amount of people who attend, and where they decide to march to are fluid and can be difficult to predict, but we respond as quickly as we can," Carmon said. "It can be a challenge when we are at the same time respecting everyone’s right to the First Amendment."

Mayor Ted Wheeler's office did not respond to a Fox News request for comment. 

The event defies a two-week ban on large gatherings in Multnomah County that went into effect Wednesday in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Gov. Kate Brown announced the resistriction after a spike in coronavirus cases. 

The ban limits social gatherings to six people if they do not all live in the same household. Visitations to long-term care facilities are also halted and restaurants must reduce indoor capacity to 50 people. 

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“Think of this as a 14-day household quarantine before Thanksgiving: one of many things people can do to lower the chances of getting and spreading this virus to their loved ones,” county Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines said in a statement announcing the restrictions last week. 

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