May 1st, 2012 12:27 pm | by WW Editorial Staff News | Posted In: Activism

Occupy Portland Occupy Foreclosed Home; Arrests in Downtown March

A liveblog

lede_occupy_3817ILLUSTRATION: Kevin Mercer
It's May Day, and the people of Occupy Portland are holding both marching and occupying a foreclosed home. Join us as we follow them:

At the foreclosed home

12:04 pm: Protesters have tied red and black cloth to what remains of the old "for sale" sign. Protesters are holding the ends of the cloth, walking in circles and singing: "Wave and spin, this is how our work begins. Mend and heal, take this dream and make it real."

12:23 pm: The cloth on the pole was a traditional European ceremony called the maypole. Protest leaders are encouraging protesters to touch the maypole for good luck.

12:28 pm: Alisha Jackson, the former owner of the foreclosed home, watches with a smile as protesters continue to build a garden in her backyard.

12:44 pm: Occupiers that were blocking Bryant St. are beginning to leave to join other Occupy Portland protests taing place for May Day. About 50 protesters remain, listening to music in the front yard and building the garden out back.

12:58: Two Portland police officers stop on Bryant St. They say they want to leave only one car here and ask a volunteer legal assistant working with Occupy if the crowd will be behaved. The legal assistant assures police "Everything is fine." The police leave.

Meanwhile, at the March...

12:50: At the corner of Broadway and Yamhill. Protesters are now in the middle of the street.

12:55: Police are arresting people on the corner of Salmon and Broadway.

1 pm: People are knockin on the windows of the Heathman restaurant, singing "Solidarity Forever."

1:03 pm: "I'm cold! I'm wet! I'm not done fighting yet!"

1:13 pm: Riot police at 5th and Columbia.

1:29 pm: Police motorbikes in a line. Now outside the police bureau. Riot cops waiting outside, blocking the sidewalk. Protesters march past to the sidewalk across the street.

1:35 pm: Protesters marching up other side of the building. Some thank police as they walk past.

1:37 pm: On Madison. Crowd thinned greatly. Police stationed up near bridge. This march does not appear to be threatening critical mass. Kind of diffuse, less than 400 people.

1:40 pm: And suddenly all of #m1pdx turns on it's heel and starts sprinting back toward the parks. They ran back to meet the mounted patrol at the World Trade Center. Getting kind of testy here.

1:42 pm: Entering Pioneer Place Mall

1:45 pm: Protesters have congregated at ground level, chanting, "Shut it down!"

1:55 pm: Now exiting to northwest, pounding windows, screaming.

2 pm: Pioneer Place rent-a-cop tells me and @aprilbaer that protesters have spray-painted the mall. Refuses to provide evidence of graffiti.

2:01 pm: Re-entering Pioneer Square

2:30 pm: Where'd everybody go?" Jefferson Smith chuckles. Smith says he came to #m1pdx because "I want to be tutored by my own eyeballs." #m1pdx protestor says he's skeptical of Smith. "I'm not asking you to trust me," Smith says. Smith says he worries Occupy members are tempted to provoke confrontations to get headlines. "They're saying 'These guys work for Wells Fargo,' and I understand that." "But a guy coming in from Beaverton wearing a badge, that's not his fucking problem."

2:35 pm: Now there is a traditional dance happening in the middle of Shemanski Park. Drums, conch, smoke.

3 pm: The event here is the Dia de los trabajadores, It's organized by the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition. They have a permit for a march at 4:30.

5 pm: Bike cops waiting on 6th. Cyclists' brakes squeak in unison as they slide slowly downhill.

4:30 pm: Someone from the demonstration seems to be negotiating with police. This march, remember, has a permit.

4:40 pm: A police car will lead the protest. The parade is lined up in the street with a crowd around the Lincoln statue. The museum has shut its doors.

5:07 pm: Cops and Trimet security lining roads. Parade turns on to 4th. Cyclists squeak by, yelling "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!"

5:10 pm: Bicycles doing wheelies under bridge of Wells Fargo. People from labor groups stand on wall chanting. Marchers catching up.

5:12 pm: A dozen police are lined up blocking the entrance of Wells Fargo with bikes, bodies.

5:15 pm: Parade extends roughly the length of three city blocks.

5:30 pm: To give some context: The early-afternoon march was conducted without city permits; most of the couple hundred people were die-hard Occupiers from the Alpha and Beta camp days. This evening's march is the longstanding International Workers Day event, co-sponsored with at least two dozen advocacy groups and unions. It has a permit. Cops won't interfere. If the evening gets tetchy again, it'll be on the Park Blocks, where a dance party is ostensibly going to end by 6:30 pm.

7:40 pm: A dumpster fire in the parking garage across the street. Police now making arrests.

7:49 pm: Several people arrested in front of McDonalds. Loudspeaker says they "requested to be arrested."

7:50 pm: The arrests are apparently part of the Undocumented, Unafraid sit-in.

7:54 pm: Riot cops on courthouse steps, at least eight more in garage above.

8:10 pm: Back in Pioneer Square for a dance party.

8:30 pm: March down Yamhill. Police in chase.

8:35 pm: At least four arrests. At least 50 cops.

8:40 pm: Horse cops and riot squad withdraw. People return to the streets.

8:45 pm: Moving again. People chant "to the jail!"

8:50 pm: Riot squad has caught up. Four trucks' worth. One squad marches to the rear, bike cops from the west. Cops block court building, surround protest on all sides.

8:52 pm: We are below the jail. People wave at inmates.

9:03 pm: Police charge into street, pull back. Protesters charge halfway in response.

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