The eviction order came from Mayor Sam Adams of Portland, Oregon, two days ago. Occupy Portland was to leave Terry Schrunk Plaza by 12:01 am on Sunday, November 13. But, as of 4:30 am, around a thousand people still were down in and around the plaza.
Many of the occupiers have been out all night, having expected police would move on the occupiers at midnight. They are calling for “OccuShifts”—people to come down and pull shifts in the park to further delay the imminent eviction. However, downtown parks or squares have been closed by the city to be “repaired” and so they can reset everything and no longer allow anyone to be in any park with any tents for any period of time.
The Oregonian has a full report on how the city and the police are handling this. The article suggests the police will wait until the middle of the afternoon or later tonight if necessary. Police intend to whittle the crowd down to a handful that could easily be arrested and block off the park so people coming down to provide relief or food, water, batteries, etc cannot get into the plaza. And should this methodical approach fail, they will use force to remove the occupiers.
Mayor Adams claims the eviction is not a move against Occupy Portland. The city will say this had to be done after drug overdoses happened in the park, but it is hard to see how it could be considered reasonable by anyone sympathetic to Occupy Portland.
Condescendingly, Mayor Adams told The Oregonian “from the beginning, his personal view was that the Occupy movement would have to evolve to realize its future potential.” He stated, “My hope is it will flourish in its next phase … with a focus on economic justice, not Port-a-Potties and tents.”
CNN is now streaming video of the protest. Al Jazeera English is paying attention and has launched a live blog. Whatever happens next will presumably be seen by many people and many more people than the number who would have seen it at 3 am ET Sunday morning if the city had not chosen to try to wait out the occupiers.
Firedoglake’s premier live blog continues now with the latest on Occupy Portland. I have brought the Occupy Supply Fund to Occupy Hartford and will be delivering some gear to the occupation in the next hour. Then, I will board a bus for Occupy Providence and be there this afternoon.
Here is a Twitter list to follow for the latest updates the tremendous show of people going on in Portland (and other cities facing eviction).
9:25 PM Occupy Portland is trying to decide where to occupy next. The local KGW network is covering the possibility that occupiers might try to occupy Portland State University, as was done in 1970. Occupiers in the GA, however, do not want to do any actions there until PSU does their upcoming student walkout action.
Also, here is a picture showing police using a Starbucks as a base of operations (via @Overlapping)
9:11 PM The News Observer has a story on what may be one of the worst example yet of the use of militarized police against the Occupy movement.
A SWAT team of more than 25 police officers arrested a group of demonstrators Sunday afternoon and charged them with breaking and entering for occupying a vacant car dealership on Franklin Street.
Officers carrying semi-automatic weapons rushed the building unannounced at about 4:30 p.m. They pointed rifles at those standing outside, and ordered them to put their faces on the ground. Police surrounded the building and cleared out those who were inside.
Follow the link to see the photo posted with the article.
6:36 PM Reuters story on all the occupations being forced to decamp.
6:32 PM KATU has this interview with the Portland Police Chief:
Our officers saw an opportunity to move into the park. Lownsdale was vacated so we set a perimeter around it and kept people out. Then Chapman had 30 or 40 people at one corner so we moved in and took possession of that park, told people that the park was closed and they had to leave. Folks that refused to leave were arrested and we have reclaimed the parks for the park bureau.
“Reclaimed the parks for the park bureau”? Gotta love the way the police frame the occupation as if people were doing wrong against the Parks Department of Portland.
Read the full interview here but understand KATU basically parrots law and order talking points from the police.
6:28 PM Hours later, many arrests. A trimet bus and 4 vans have been filled with arrestees. General Assembly is about to take place right in front of riot cops. Police are putting up fencing around parks to keep occupation from re-forming.
2:45 PM As action at Occupy Portland continues to unfold, I am now at Occupy Providence.
2:40 PM Portland police and Mayor Sam Adams have escalated tension with Occupy Portland. Occupiers reporting a CAT (bulldozer) was brought in to clear away couches. It looks like property has been confiscated. Messages on Twitter suggest people are being subjected to searches if they want to get into parks. They are not allowed to have items like buckets to wash dishes. The Oregonian is reporting the occupation is no more, although what they really mean is the camp seems to be gone right now.
Occupiers are still out demonstrating. They are regrouping and have a planned GA for 12 pm PST.
The UStream to watch what is unfolding.
1:39 PM Letter from Partnership for Civil Justice Fund to District Attorney Cyrus Vance – Defend those arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge. Call for dismissal of all charges against arrestees.
1:35 PM And here is the fourth eviction notice given to Occupy Oakland. (The city should stop wasting paper and time printing these things.)
1:28 PM Looks like Mayor Quan in Oakland is desperate. Another call to leave Oscar Grant Park. This is about the third time she’s called for a “peaceful conclusion.” She keeps hoping they will just decamp and go home. She cannot possibly expect them to leave without being forced by police to disperse. So, one should suspect these overtures are going to help the city provide cover for Oakland police when they use tear gas, flash bang grenades and other weaponry against Occupy Oakland in the next day or two to make them leave the plaza.
1:24 PM For your entertainment, Frank Miller, creator of 300 and Sin City, says Occupy Wall Street is “nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.”
1:07 PM Spreadsheet from @OccupyArrests for tracking cumulative arrests at occupations
1:05 PM At Occupy Portland, @OccupyPDX reporting officers are taking down the camp. However, the occupation seems to have decided not to try and stop them. There seems to be a “cleaning up” going on in the park. I do not know what this means for the Portland occupation’s future. The account tweeted this Sun Tzu line: “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.”
The parks are now closed. A Ustream is up here with someone from the occupation explaining what is happening.
Parks are now closed (via @MayorSamAdams)
They have clearly accepted the night as a victory and chosen not to have a morning battle with the city. Perhaps, they will assert themselves later in the afternoon or night.
11:47 AM There were 24 arrests at Occupy Albany last night. Part of the park they are occupying is state property and the other part is city property. The state of New York under Governor Andrew Cuomo refuses to let occupiers hold the part of the park that is state-owned. They challenged Cuomo on this last night.
10:05 AM More on this story from a police spokesperson that “officers were trying to keep marchers out of an intersection when a woman came from the crowd, slashed an officer’s hand with a pen knife or razor blade.”
9:57 AM Fox 12 Oregon reporting a police officer was hit with a “projectile” at 1:45 am this morning. Officer sustained a leg injury. (Was the officer really hit with a “projectile” or did he do something else to get the injury?)
9:37 AM A subtle but important detail from the standoff (and what the law and order American media are fretting about this morning)—
Occupy Portland put up barricades to prevent traffic from coming down a street that runs through a park they are holding. They have taken those barricades down. The riot police have backed off. The police ordered them back into Chapman Square.
[Note: I will try to sort it out but it is possible some of the action that has happened was in Chapman Square and not Terry Schrunk Plaza. The livestream is from Chapman Square. I do not know the name of the other park where action is happening. Though, in The Oregonian article there isn’t any mention of Portland occupiers being in two other parks, as they say they are.]
9:35 AM AP:
Police in Portland instructed the protesters early Sunday to move into one of two adjacent parks where they had set up camp. The crowd began moving toward the park as about 200 officers wearing helmets and carrying batons stood by.
9:16 AM Watch the standoff at Occupy Portland here.
9:11 AM Video posted by The Oregonian from hours after they were to be evicted: