Portland police on Sunday morning seized Lownsdale and Chapman squares from Occupy Portland protesters, who have camped at the site for the past six weeks. Officers swept into the public parks after a night of brinksmanship with protesting crowds that swelled into the thousands.
Protesters originally acquiesced as the parks were swept clear of tents, tarps and debris by police. But a group of protesters seized the northwest area of Chapman Square and held on until about noon, when riot-suit-clad police physically took control of the area.
Time Line of Events
5:01 p.m.: Dozens of protesters now filing into Pioneer Courthouse Square. The group of those heading that way numbers perhaps 200. A couple of more arrests are reported as well.
4:58 p.m.: About 30 Occupy Portland protesters are gathered in Pioneer Courthouse Square, and more appear to be on the way. A group is marching, apparently to the square.
4:45 p.m.: One protester says a friend who was among those arrested earlier Sunday had had returned to the protest. Others who had also been arrested were also returning.
4:11 p.m.: A group of protesters that had gathered at Pioneer Square say an Occupy Portland general assembly will be held at Southwest Fourth Avenue and Main Street, where protesters will talk about moving the protest to Portland State University.
3:52 p.m.: The crowd along Southwest Main Street is growing, with people now stretching from Fourth to Fifth avenues. Many are onlookers. Some protesters are talking about moving to Portland State University where there is more room.
3:51 p.m.: Hundreds of onlookers have joined protesters at Southwest Main Street and Fourth Avenue. Among them is Phillips Teterss, 52, of Milwaukie and his Pomeranian, Katie. “I came down here to check it out — not because it’s a circus; it’s reality,” he said. “It’s sad that they — the 1 percent — don’t realize where our world is heading. I think they’re money-grubbing, savage people.”
Protesters continue making pronouncements of solidarity, and police continue broadcasting orders to immediately clear streets, with warnings that they’ll use chemicals or “impact” weapons to get them to leave.
3:46 p.m.: Lincoln Herget, one of the two protesters in the tent, said, “We set this up as a symbol, but we don’t know what’s going to happen from here.”
He said the protesters are prepared to be arrested. “All this happened because they’re here,” he said, referring to police.
3:38 p.m.: Two people are sitting inside a small tent just erected in the middle of Southwest Main Street, near Fourth Avenue, right in front of police officers. Ten to 15 other protesters sat on the pavement around the tent and vowed to defend it.
3:13 p.m.: Police officers from Salem and Vancouver have arrived to help Portland officers.
3:01 p.m.: Police have arrested a group of protesters dubbed “the concrete kids” at Terry Schrunk Plaza. The protesters took turns being handcuffed inside a plastic barrel that was filled with cement. Liz Nichols, 20, was the only one attached to the barrel at the time of the arrests. Carsen Harrison-Bower, 20, was arrested immediately before, said her mother, Ronda Harrison of Beaverton, who was also at the scene. Federal Protective Service officers had also arrived at the plaza, a Portland police officer said.
2:50 p.m.: TriMet manages said bus and MAX service has resumed on Southwest Fifth and Sixth avenues along the Portland Transit Mall. Delays and detours to bus lines remain in effect near the Hawthorne Bridge.
2:46 p.m.: As protesters shouted, “The whole world is watching!” onlooker Gene Gallun, 63, yelled back, “The whole world is laughing.” Gallun, who said he is a Republican, said the event should help his party gain votes. “The world will see what the left is like,” he said. After police broadcast another warning to use weapons to clear protesters from the street if necessary, a protester retorted: “What year is this going to happen?”
2:42 p.m.: Police are sawing at a plastic barrel in Terry Schrunk Plaza to remove protester Liz Nichols, 20, who has said she is willing to be arrested.
About 20 legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild have been watching the Occupy events unfold in shifts, said Emily Campbell, one of the observers and a law student at Lewis & Clark College. They’re there to witness what’s going on and to offer a record.
2:28 p.m.: Police have moved to Terry Schrunk Plaza with a saw to break down a barrel where protester Liz Nichols, 20, of Arkansas is attached. Nichols, who joined the protest from Seattle, said she is able to free herself but is choosing not to. She is willing to be arrested: “It’s just what you have to do,” she said.
2:19 p.m.: A man at the very front of the lines said he saw police take out two men and two women were who inside the “box” at the Chapman square camp at about 2 p.m. It appears they were the last ones and no other people remain in either camps.
2:05 p.m.: Portland police are trying to remove the final protesters from Terry Schrunk Plaza, a federal park just south of the two public squares.
1:50 p.m.: TriMet has suspended bus service on the transit mall, and MAX Green-line and Yellow-line trains are not operating on Southwest Fifth and Sixth avenues because of the Occupy Portland protests. MAX trains do continue to run along First Avenue between the Morrison/Yamhill and Galleria/Library stations.
1:55 p.m.: Police have taken down the remaining tents in Chapman Square. Protesters said a few occupiers remain in the square, and they shouted that they remain in solidarity with them.
1:47 p.m.: City workers in yellow vests are bringing in fencing piece by piece to the north side of Southwest Salmon between Third and Fourth. All of Lownsdale Square is now cordoned off. Police are slowing pushing remaining protesters down Southwest Main Street toward Fifth Avenue.
1:41 p.m.: Police have moved protesters out of the intersection of Southwest Fourth Avenue and Main Street, but many remain in the middle of Main down the street. Protesters are saying, “We stand in solidarity. We did something amazing.” They’re also asking police to respect them and the Occupy movement.
1:40 p.m.: TriMet says MAX green-line and yellow-line trains are not operating on Southwest Fifth and Sixth avenues in Downtown Portland because of Occupy Portland, but buses are running along both those routes. Riders should expect delays.
1:39 p.m.: City workers begin to add portable fencing around Lownsdale and Chapman squares in Downtown Portland. Additions of the fences will block Occupy Portland protesters from returning to the parks.
1:38 p.m.: About two dozen people are sitting at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Asked if the rest of the occupiers were going to come there to continue the protest, one woman said, “I don’t know but I wish they would.”
1:32 p.m.: Police in riot gear are pushing protesters west out of the intersection of Southwest Fourth Avenue and Main Street.
Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said about a dozen people have been arrested. He knew of no injuries, though a male protester was seen being taken away on a stretcher. The circumstances of that protester’s injury were unknown.
1:30 p.m.: About 20 to 25 people in the street at Southwest Fourth Avenue and Main Street say they won’t leave the street and are prepared to resist. “We are peaceful people,” they chanted. Police began to push forward toward the remaining protesters.
1:29 p.m.: A protester was just taken away on a stretcher. A KGW videographer was involved in a shoving match with another protester.
Credits The Oregonian