Oregon lawmakers will delay much of the substantive work of the beginning of the legislature for at least two days for the next week as law enforcement officials warned of possible violent protests.
The legislature will meet on January 19th. However, the State House and Senate have canceled the committee meetings and hearings and no face-to-face meetings will be held.
“There is concern that they don’t know exactly how high or how intense the demonstrations might be because they happened earlier at the Oregon Capitol … and in DC,” Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem told the Statesman Journal.
Before a crowd of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, Oregon lawmakers saw a violent crowd enter the state capitol last month, fighting with the police, and damaging the building. The people who opposed COVID restrictions showed up in Salem, Oregon on December 21 during a one-day special session.
Courtney said the delay in the substantive start of the regular legislative sessions was one of several recommendations by the Oregon State Police that were endorsed by the legislature. Concrete blocks were placed in front of the Capitol in late December, and the first floor windows will soon be clad in plywood.
“All decisions are initially based on the state police. You run a lot of what we do, ”Courtney said.
The FBI said Thursday that it would set up a command post in Portland, Oregon to prepare for possible violent activity this weekend and next week in connection with the mob attack in Washington, DC on January 6th .
The agency said it would gather information and work with other law enforcement agencies ahead of possible protests leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Protests are expected in the nation’s Capitol and in all 50 states by right-wing groups and supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump on Sunday and next week.