Occupy Portland leaders say they expect Mayor Sam Adams on Thursday morning will issue a deadline to evacuate their camps in two downtown parks they have controlled for more than a month.---
Adams has scheduled a press conference with Police Chief Mike Reese to make an announcement regarding the camp in Lownsdale and Chapman squares.
And many Occupiers tell WW they will defy orders to leave.
"It is expected that he will announce the eviction timeline for this camp," the moderator of Wednesday night's General Assembly declared through her bullhorn at 7 pm. She said Occupy Portland will hold a meeting at noon Thursday in Terry Schrunk Plaza to craft a response plan.
The announcement was met with agitated murmurs that rose to shouting, and at least one shoving match broke out. Several people began yelling at once, and the GA meeting in Terry Schrunk Plaza came to a halt for about three minutes.
"America: We fought for you!" yelled one man. "Act like we're here, OK?"
"Is the mayor going to evict veterans?" called out another man. "What an ungrateful son of a bitch."
Adams announced the City Hall press conference with Reese, a potential candidate for mayor, Wednesday afternoon.
Adams has been under increasing pressure to end the camps. City Commissioners Nick Fish and Randy Leonard have urged a quick end to the occupation of the parks. Police arrested a man in camp this morning for allegedly lighting a Molotov cocktail in the World Trade Center stairwell last night, and a fire & rescue team revived a 26-year-old man from a drug overdose in camp Wednesday.
The mayor's office has been communicating with an Occupy Portland liaison team, but that channel has been reduced to conversations with City Hall staffer Jennifer Yocom in recent days.
The Occupy liaisons have not been told what the mayor's announcement will be. Yocom sent them an email inviting two or three of them to attend the press conference.
"My gut reaction," said Occupier Micaiah Dutt, "and a lot of people's gut reaction, is that we're going to get 24 to 48 hours' notice."
Dutt said today's drug overdose harmed the Occupiers' case.
"That's never good, yeah," he said. "They didn't learn to do this at Occupy Portland. Nobody here has ever encouraged people to use drugs."
Several Occupiers said they won't leave the parks, where they've been camped since Oct. 6. They have spent the past 24 hours rehanging tarps 12 feet off the ground to meet city demands.
"If they think they're going to bully us out of here, they're full of shit," said Michael Withey, a member of several camp committees. "If they think we're going to run off with our tails between our legs, they're sadly mistaken."
A homeless man who identified himself only as "Metal" said the city would have to send in police to force him out of the Occupy camps. He said he had registered as a sex offender there.
"Lownsdale Square is my registered address," he said. "I live here. I have to get 30 days' notice."
But Metal said he thought many fellow camp residents weren't prepared for a police action.
"They don't know how brutal the machine can react when you rage against it too hard," he said.