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City closing down Occupy Portland Sunday

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Thursday, November 10, 2011
By Emma Hall

Portland is temporarily closing Lownsdale and Chapman Squares to the public, the site where Occupy Portland demonstrators have been camped out for more than a month. At 12:01 a.m. Sunday Nov. 13, all people and property in the squares will be subject to enforcement of local laws, according to Portland Mayor Sam Adams. The parks will be closed for repair and to solve any remaining safety, health and crime problems. When the parks are reopened, they will be available for large speech events by permit only.

Adams and Police Chief Mike Reese held a press conference this morning to address Occupy Portland. Relations between the camp, local business owners and city politicians soured in the last few days, as the camp was plagued with problems including arrests for drugs, alcohol and violence. There have been two drug overdoses in the past week that required immediate resuscitation on site in the camp. Portland police arrested a suspect in the camp suspected of setting off a Molotov cocktail at the World Trade Center. Reported crime incidents, especially assaults, increased in and around the camp over the past five weeks.

Adams discussed the need to weigh the demonstrators' rights to free speech with the associated behaviors that come along with it. "I want to make it clear that this action is not an action against the Occupy Portland movement," Adams said. He complimented Occupy Portland organizers for bringing awareness to local homeless issues and for working peaceably with the city.

"I'm sure that this announcement might come with some disappointment or anger from some Occupy Portland participants," Adams said. He insisted the city of Portland would continue to use methodical, peaceful methods to avoid clashes with the protesters such as what happened in Oakland. Reese declined to talk about the police department's tactical plan.

"We will be prepared to make arrests, my preference is that we won't have to," Adams said.

Emma Hall is web editor for Oregon Business.



0 #1 It is about time!!gboo1 2011-11-10 11:19:36
They can still protest -- simply come to the city in the morning and LEAVE at the end of the day. This ruination of the parks and pollution of the city has to stop. I certainly hope my tax dollars are not used to pay for cleanup as Occupy Portland does not speak for me within that 99%!!
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Don Ledbetter
0 #2 citizenDon Ledbetter 2011-11-10 13:02:01
Your article fails to report that the number of problems around the city have dropped. How many resuscitations more have the city performed citywide must be considered. You also state that a/one SUSPECT was arrested for a molotov cocktail, sounds too similar to Haymakers to me. The reality of problems have only condensed to the parks. The problems will not go away by dispersing them throughout the city. Now, we will be paying for more patrol cars for citywide control of the same problems.
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0 #3 Hogwash!Las 2011-11-10 13:33:02
Since when did the 1st Amendment require a citizen who wants to protest to "come to the city in the morning and LEAVE at the end of the day." Hogwash!
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0 #4 About TimeSteve 2011-11-10 20:18:40
This group has cost taxpayers enough and this should have happened weeks ago. This is not about the first amendment this is about enforcing laws that are already on the books and being consistent for everyone.
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Don Ledbetter
0 #5 Misplaced angerDon Ledbetter 2011-11-11 08:55:27
I notice you are very upset with the lawbreakers in the park but do not mention the lawbreakers on wall street. The $19k estimate to restore the parks is how much the military sends unaccountable every few minutes. Cost of bailing out the thieves and the cost to monitor the park? Your anger is misplaced.

Again, these people in the parks will still be with us.
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