Parks cleared, arrests made: what’s next for Occupy Portland?

Parks cleared, arrests made: what’s next for Occupy Portland?

PORTLAND, Ore. – Police cleared out Occupy Portland protesters Sunday from the city parks they had camped in for five weeks, forcing the local movement to consider new options if it wants to continue its protest.

Police said about 50 people were arrested over the course of demonstration, most for minor offenses. Chain-link fences now enclose the battered parks while crews and police work to clean up tons of garbage and remnants of the 37-day protest.

The latest updates - @KATUNews on Twitter

After the protesters left Lownsdale and Chapman squares, hundreds of them blocked streets through the afternoon. Then they later marched to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Demonstrators broke into small groups to discuss their future. Some advocated occupying foreclosed homes, others wanted to move onto the Portland State University campus or to the shores of the Willamette River.

No concrete decisions were made, and the protesters planned a General Assembly at 7 p.m. Monday back in the square to continue to discuss what they will do next.

Late in the evening a group of a little more than two dozen protesters marched back to the parks they once occupied before dispersing for the night. Local churches offered people a place to stay and no one stayed in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Police moved into Chapman and Lownsdale squares shortly before noon and drove protesters into the street after dozens remained in the camp in defiance of city officials. Mayor Sam Adams had ordered that the camp shut down Saturday at midnight, citing unhealthy conditions and the encampment's attraction of drug users and thieves.

Police said through the afternoon officers arrested more than 50 people who either wanted to be arrested or refused to leave Chapman Square.

The number of demonstrators began to swell following the raid and increased throughout the afternoon. By early evening, hundreds of officers brandishing nightsticks stood shoulder-to-shoulder to hold the protesters back. Authorities retreated as protesters broke the standoff by marching through the streets.

Eventually officers were able to reopen the streets. 4th Avenue opened at 4:50 p.m. and Main Street at 5:10 p.m. A short time later, many of the protesters then marched to Pioneer Courthouse Square

Earlier in the day, police formed a wall of officers in front of protesters at 4th Avenue and Main Street while crews put up fences around Chapman and Lownsdale squares.

"It's not that I want to be standing in front of a bunch of armed police officers," one protester told KATU News. "I just feel that it's a need to change the economic and political discussions in this country."

"We don't feel like we have our voices anymore. This is our voice," he added.

Photos from the protests on Sunday

Portland Police Chief Mike Reese told KATU News he was pleased with how his officers handled themselves overnight and through the day.

"It went very well," said Reese. "We reclaimed the park for the parks bureau."

Reese said safety of both officers and protesters was the top priority when planning to clear the park.

"Chapman only had 30 or 40 people at one corner, so we moved in," Reese said. "I think our officers performed exceptionally well."

Police could be seen carrying at least one protester away from the park. Another man was taken away on a stretcher; he was alert and talking to paramedics, and raised a peace sign to fellow protesters, who responded with cheers.

Choya Adkison, 30, said police moved in after giving demonstrators a false sense of calm. They thought they had time to rest, relax and regroup, she said.

"Camp was completely vulnerable, completely defenseless" when police moved in, she said. "I'm disappointed that they created a sense of trust by walking away and then completely trampled it."

The Portland Police Bureau called in help from agencies around the region to help at the Occupy camp. In some cases, officers from outside agencies also responded to routine calls around the city.

Mayor Sam Adams had ordered the camp shut down Saturday at midnight, citing unhealthy conditions and the encampment's attraction of drug users and thieves.

The anti-Wall Street protesters and their supporters had flooded the park area even as authorities in other cities stepped up pressure against demonstrators, arresting dozens of people.

At one point overnight, the Portland crowd swelled to thousands. As dawn arrived, riot police had retreated and most of the crowds had gone home, but protesters who have been at the two parks since Oct. 6 were still there.

One of the organizers, Jim Oliver, said the night had been a victory for Occupy Portland.

"We stood up to state power," Oliver told the AP, standing on a corner opposite the camp.

Still, the camp was a shadow of what it was before Saturday. A large segment of the campers consisted of homeless people who had been drawn to the free food and shelter offered by Occupy Portland. They are gone, after outreach workers went through the camp to help them find shelter elsewhere.

And as the Saturday midnight eviction deadline neared, protesters themselves began dismantling tents.

Around 4 a.m., dozens of police formed a line across from demonstrators who had poured into the street. Protesters facing them appeared to be in festive spirits with some banging on drums and plastic pails, another clanging a cowbell while others danced in the streets as a man juggled nearby.

Other demonstrators used pallets and old furniture, wood debris and even a bicycle to set up two makeshift barricades on a street that runs through the encampment, apparently in an attempt to block traffic.

Protesters ultimately got off the street after the police asked them to and also cleared away the barricades.

On Sunday at an impromptu news conference, the mayor defended his order to clear the park, saying it is his job to enforce the law and keep the peace. "This is not a game," Adams said.

He also noted that implementing the eviction order may require more patience.

"Giving the order that the parks will be closed to the public is putting my foot down. Enforcing will take time," he said.

Officials said that one officer suffered minor injuries when he was hit by some kind of projectile in the leg. Police had prepared for a possible clash, warning that dozens of anarchists may be planning a confrontation with authorities.

Officers seized pieces of cement blocks Friday, saying they were told some demonstrators had plans to use them as weapons against police. They said they believe some demonstrators were building shields and trying to collect gas masks.


The names of those arrested and the charges against them, according to Portland Police:

18-year-old, Zach Acrid: Disorderly Conduct/Criminal Trespass II

20-year-old, Christian Alexander: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

19-year-old, Zachary Blackburn: Criminal Trespass II/Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

19-year-old, Forest Brannon: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

32-year-old, Brenaan Campbell: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

20-year-old, Micaiah Chanley: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

19-year-old, Jose Cisneros: Criminal Trespass II

35-year-old, Kathryn Curnett: Disorderly Conduct

26-year-old, Emma Day: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

18-year-old, Maggie Debusk: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

21-year-old, Jordon Denning: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct/Criminal Trespass II

23-year-old, Amy Elchorn: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

63-year-old, Wayne Elliott: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

21-year-old, Sky Gaut-Mendell: Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

25-year-old, Samuel Gustafson: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

46-year-old, Angela Hammit: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

29-year-old, Mario Haro: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

34-year-old, Keller Henry: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

22-year-old, Steven Herrera: Interfering with a Police Officer

18-year-old, Amelia Hudson: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

25-year-old, Evan Johnson: Criminal Trespass II/Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

24-year-old, Xavier Kynaston: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

20-year-old, Chase Martin: Interfering with a Police Officer

62-year-old, Steven Meegan: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

41-year-old, Jacquelyn Miller: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/FOLO

29-year-old, Jonah Millett: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

81-year-old, Jack Mongeon: Disorderly Conduct

18-year-old, Ryan Morehead: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

39-year-old, Samuel Naval: Interfering with a Police Officer

22-year-old, Megan Nesbit: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

24-year-old, Darryl Neufeld: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

23-year-old, Shawn Nichols: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

20-year-old, Jessica Noland: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

23-year-old, Michael Olsen: Interfering with a Police Officer

19-year-old, Jessica Peterson: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

32-year-old, John Saunders: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct/Criminal Trespass II

26-year-old, Katherine Sherman: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

42-year-old, Jeffrey Stone: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

30-year-old, Blair Stuwe: Interfering with a Police Officer

43-year-old, James Tardy: Disorderly Conduct/Interfering with a Police Officer

22-year-old, David Thomas: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II/Disorderly Conduct

40-year-old, Troy Thompson: Disorderly Conduct

20-year-old, Bryan Vachter: Interfering with a Police Officer/Criminal Trespass II

19-year-old, Haley Vhalde: Criminal Trespass II/Interfering with a Police Officer/

20-year-old, Cameron Whitten: Interfering with a Police Officer/Disorderly Conduct

22-year-old, Benjamin Wilkinson,: Criminal Trespass II

26-year-old, Yehonathan Wilson: Interfering with a Police Officer

35-year-old, Craig Yates: Interfering with a Police Officer

Three minors were also arrested. Their names were not released according to police policy.