Following the death of two men and the wounding of another over the weekend, top Republicans in the city are considering using militia groups as security. After the stabbing over the weekend by 21-year-old white supremacist student Micah David-Cole Fletcher, President Trump issued condolences. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told the Guardian: “Our current political climate allows far too much room for those who spread bigotry. Violent words can lead to violent acts.”
According to the Guardian, GOP chair James Buchal said recent street protests had prompted Portland Republicans to consider alternatives to “abandoning the public square.” When asked why the Republicans are making their security arrangements rather than relying on city or state police, Buchal said: “Yeah. And there are these people arising, like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.”
The Oath Keepers are described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “one of the largest radical antigovernment groups in the US,” they recruit current and former military and law enforcement personnel. Recently they have appeared at rallies from California to Boston, standing with activists from the far-right, white supremacist, and neo-Nazis.
The Three Percenters are described by Political Research Associates as, “a paramilitary group that pledges armed resistance against attempts to restrict private gun ownership.” This group reportedly has not accountable and is implicitly racist, and some of the members are explicitly racist.