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Plywood Covers Ground Floor Windows At Oregon Capitol

Chris Lehman

The ground floor windows of the Oregon capitol have been covered with plywood in advance of potentially violent demonstrations over the next few days.



The Oregon State Police and the Salem Police department have warned of potential civil unrest related to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The precautions taken at the capitol also include concrete barriers to limit vehicle access.


Long-time Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, bemoaned the measures on Friday.

“Basically the state capitol has become a fortress," he said. "The state capitol of Oregon has become a fortress. I never thought I’d see that, and it breaks my heart.”

Lawmakers canceled two days of committee hearings next week so legislative staff members would not have to be in the building during the potential demonstrations. The building itself has been closed to the public since March as part of the efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


Last month, some right-wing activists tried to break into the building during a one-day special session. 


As part of the preperations, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown activated the Oregon National Guard at the request of the Oregon State Police. OSP said the Guard's deployment locations will not be announced in advance. There were no Guard members or vehicles visible outside the Capitol at noon on Friday.


The State Police said it "does not discuss the specifics of potential threats or tactical plans made unless it is determined there is a public safety need."


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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