October 6th, 2011 | by WW Editorial Staff News | Posted In: Activism

Occupy Portland: The scene on the ground

occupy3File photo from Occupy Portland's Oct. 6 march
10:20 am: Two protesters were arrested last night for tagging buildings and a police car.

Doesn't look like the protesters are planning on moving for the marathon. An interview on OPB with a protestor quotes her as saying they will use "passive resistance," and that everyone knows not to resist arrest.

9 pm: Interviews with protesters at Occupy Portland today:


Interviews by Annie Zak, Video by Emilee Booher


5:56 pm: "This is what happens when a revolution goes viral,"says megaphone-man-of-the-moment. People busting out guitars and using the P.A. system to freestyle rap.


5:46 pm: Lt. Robert King with the Portland Police says Sam Adams did initially approve both parks to be occupied overnight, though he wasn't sure about the word "indefinitely." They're now trying to figure out what to do about the Portland Marathon's permit for alpha camp in the morning. He says either way the police will be around throughout the night. Lt. King informs me the two parks are named Chapman and Lownsdale.


5:40 pm: Guy on a statue announces the Portland Marathon has a permit in alpha camp tomorrow morning so they will leave alpha around 9 am and come back.

"I highly advise you not go over there" he says of a park south of alpha camp, as it's federally owned.

City has provided street barricades to block off Southwest Main between 3rd and 4th, so no cars can pass through the street between the two camps.


5:26 pm: Some folks relaxing on tarps while others form clapping circles.

An email has been set up for people looking to donate supplies to campers: opdx99foodteam@gmail.com. occupyportland.com will be updates with desired donations.


5:19 pm: A group of hula hoopers seem to be the first to claim a spot in alpha camp.


5:10 pm: The south park is called alpha, the north most park is beta. An organizer announces they will be occupying both and there will be supplies.

It seems to be understood that those with blue ribbons on their arms are peacekeepers. Peacekeeper Mariah says info coming from Sam Adams gave them the OK to occupy the parks for an indefinite amount of time, but nowhere else is approved.


5 pm: Looks like the occupation will be from Salmon to Madison between Southwest 3rd and 4th in two parks. People are starting to leave if they're not camping. An officer Helfrich says, "I don't think they're gonna stay overnight. Not once it starts raining." He says ultimately it's probably up to the mayor.


4:50 pm: People are starting to disperse—perhaps just those who aren't camping out.


4:40 pm: Yep, this park at Southwest 4th and Salmon is officially the spot for the occupation. Unofficial estimate is 10,000 people based on the capacity of Pioneer square earlier.


4:20 pm: Park across from Courthouse. Guy with megaphone says something about Libya and Syria "...right here in Oregon!" It'd probably be easier to hear him if the techno music would stop. Confusion about whether we are being told to sit down or stand up. Everyone is sitting down.


4:13 pm: Nag Champa wafting through the air. Cops chilling on the sidelines waving. Rally in the park now at Southwest 3rd and Main.


4:02 pm: Adams shaking hands with protesters.


4 pm: Sam Adams coming out of city hall. Just looking and talking to the cops right now.


3:53 pm: Footage from the ground:



3:50: Brief dance party breaks out in front of the First Republic Bank on SW Broadway. Continuing south.


3:40: "You guys wanna keep on marching?" the girl with megaphone says. Everyone is heading to the southwest corner of the square.


3:36 From KPTV: Police say there have been "no incidents, no arrests" as of yet. Anchor also suggested that police estimates of 4,000 - 5,000 may be low.


3:30 pm: Still a very white crowd. People still in the streets at SW Broadway and Morrison, but MAX and cars passing through.


3:09 pm: Pioneer Courthouse Square is totally filled. Everyone is just standing around—general chanting and flag waving. It smells like pot.


3:06 pm:
At least 30 cops blocking marchers from going across Yamhill so MAX can pass through. Cops staying at Yamhill and Broadway so MAX can keep running.


3:02 pm: MAX at Southwest Broadway and Morrison blocked.


2:57 pm: Check out this view from the FOX 12 helicopter.


2:55 pm:  Southwest Broadway, currently like six or seven blocks full of people, and many more to come from Burnside. Likely much more than 1,500


2:45 pm: A cop said "city hall and management" let protesters march in streets.The Burnside Bridge is up.


2:40 pm: Full MAX trains blocked at Southwest Ash and 1st Avenue. Well organized crowd. Let MAX train through—at least 1,500 people here.


2:25 pm: Pretty white crowd, though diverse in age. March starting heading south on waterfront marching south on Southwest Naito Parkway. Sheriff boats on river alongside marchers. The group is moving from waterfront to corner of Naito and Ash, marching in the street now.

1 pm: Some plan to camp throughout the night and for the foreseeable future somewhere downtown. The goals of the occupation are varied. When Andrew Calavan, 28, was asked what he hopes to accomplish by protesting, he said, “Not much, I guess. Just trying to be one other person.”

Others, such as Diana Hengerer, 56, and Tom Armstrong, 36, are present to rally support for Ron Paul. “We think he’s the best answer that we have to solving these problems,” Hengerer said. “A lot of people think it’s capitalism that’s the problem, but it’s corporatism.” 

Noon: Protesters are showing up at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just under the Burnside Bridge, starting the Occupy Portland movement in solidarity with occupations across the country. The group is a diverse one, with ages ranging from teenagers to 60-year-olds.

As people arrive, people are given ACLU "Know Your Rights" cards and given brief tutorials about how to handle dealing with the police. Several groups of police officers on bicycle stood on the edges of the group, watching. Officer Patrick Mawdsley, 36, said things have started quietly.
 
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