On June 15, about two dozen protesters blocked traffic along Southwest 1st Avenue in downtown Portland, demanding the moratorium on residential evictions be extended past June 30.
“Evictions are not only immoral because of the pandemic, they are immoral every day,” said Colleen Carroll, a member of Don’t Evict PDX. “Every eviction is an act of violence, and that is not a metaphor.”
The small group of activists warned that the expiration of Oregon’s ban on evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent could lead to large-scale evictions across the state, starting July 1.
“Housing is a human right!” the group chanted. “Fight! Fight! Fight!”
Earlier this week, House Speaker Tina Kotek and Rep. Julie Fahey announced their intent to amend a Senate bill that would prevent landlords from evicting a tenant come June 30 so long as that tenant provides proof they’re awaiting rental assistance from the state.
Some passing motorists honked in support, while others stopped to heckle the group. “What makes you think people want to hear what you have to say?” said a motorist to the crowd partially blocking 1st Avenue.
Across the street on a grassy field, facing the on-ramp of Hawthorne Bridge, members of a houseless camp of three tents poked their heads out to watch the the picket.