Occupy Portland. It’s Over.

October 24, 2011

Kaffiyeh cloth worn by Occupy Anarchist. Photo by Citizen Journalist Justen Charters
Kaffiyeh cloth worn by Occupy Anarchist.
Photo by Citizen Journalist Justen Charters

The “leaderless” Occupy Portland leaders now tell us they never wanted this. They did not want the collection of street punks, gutter snipes, tweakers, kaffiyeh clad anarchists at their political circus in downtown Portland.

That’s a lie. Yes, they did.
The Occupy Portland folks wanted as many bodies as they could get out for their illegal march and illegal occupation. They went to their natural allies—the unionists, socialists, anti Jewish-Pro-Palestinian activists, communists and anarchists among others—and invited them. And they came. And Occupied.  Now that the world is literally and figuratively sniffing the truth, these ‘leaders’ want to distance themselves from the mess they created. 

The saying goes, “If you break it, you fix it.” Well, Occupy, I’d tell you to fix it, but it’s too late for that. The City of Portland’s Mayor and Council are too politically invested in your  movement to let you off that easily.  
Occupy Portland ended the day it began. Thursday, October 6th was the day when the non-leader-leaders fulfilled their promise to break the law. They gave nothing to the cops and the Mayor’s office. No permits, no signatures, no indemnification, no map. They came with their bullhorns, bizarre call and response method of communicating and simply broke the law. 
Photo by Citizen Journalist Lex Fly Fish
Anarchist tag at Occupy Portland. Photo by Citizen Journalist Lex Fly Fish
They made good on their promise of anarchy. 
Official Portland bent over backwards to try and make their disregard for civility and the law seem somehow noble. The day of the first protest and after they’d broken the law, Portland Mayor Sam Adams ‘thanked’ the protesters for their ‘cooperation.’ 
Possibly five thousand people came to march in the streets to protest some amorphous evil blob out there; rallied at a place for which they refused to take out a permit and pay the fees, and then took over two parks and closed a street.
Then those people left. Yes, they left behind a few true believers—maybe 1% of this collective. And joining them?  The usual rabble from the street: the tatted, plugged, tweaked street kids whose main occupation is dragging their pitbulls to their next act of larceny. 
Occupy Portland took over space to be used by Portland Marathon.  Photo Illustration by Citizen Journalist Daylight Disinfectant / Dan Sandini
Occupy Portland took over space to be used by Portland Marathon. Photo Illustration by Citizen Journalist Daylight Disinfectant / Dan Sandini

The Mayor’s inability to finesse the Occupiers out created instant civic problems. The Portland Marathon needed the park and street where Adams had let the Occupiers squat.

What to do? Give in to extortion again, that’s what. 
The Mayor convened a meeting to tell the Marathon how it should accommodate the Occupiers. The compromise? The Marathon could still pay for all permitting and use most of the park but the Occupiers could stay. The Marathon issued an obsequious statement about how wonderful the Occupiers were and how they would share the space. Crisis averted. 
Occupy Portland Sam Adams and Randy Leonard marching with them.
Days later, Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard joined one of the Occupy marches. Adams cooed later  he’d never seen “a more organized protest”and was “so proud” of them.
But by the time the Mayor and Commissioners had mingled with the Occupiers and pronounced them ‘good,’ it was clear who they were. The street people clearly outnumbered the protesters. Occupy Portland Sam Adams with crowd
Sam Adams then left town and put Commissioner Amanda Fritz in charge.
Fritz met with the protesters and, through Occupy’s call and response bullhorn, told them how pleased she was they were there and how they could stay as long as they wanted. She told them their first amendment rights to speak were more important than any city ordinances.  Fritz was apparently unaware the City could set time, place and manner restrictions on speech. Or she just ignored them. 

Amanda Fritz tells Occupy Protesters how wonderful they are. Photo Credit: The Oregonian
Mic check! Amanda Fritz tells Occupy Protesters they can stay as long as they like.  Photo Credit: The Oregonian

Now crime has taken hold.

  • A black videographer was verbally assaulted by Occupiers calling him racist names. The VIDEOGRAPHER was arrested for showing the thugs his licensed gun.
  • A registered sex offender lists Occupy as his home and the encampment has 10-20 children living there.
  • Marijuana smoke is everywhere.
  • There’s a shooting gallery inside somewhere judging by the cars full of sketched out kids spilling out only to come back ten minutes later as serene as a nun at vespers.

If you’re worried about second hand smoke and its effects on your health, don’t go to Occupy Portland. Big Tobacco is encamped here, too. 

The only Commissioner cranky about the Occupiers is Nick Fish, the Parks Commissioner, who asked that

Anti Israel sign in Occupy Portland's "Sacred Place." Photo by Citizen Journalist Bruce McCain.
Anti Israel sign in Occupy Portland’s “Sacred Place.” Photo by Citizen Journalist Bruce McCain.

Occupiers be removed soon because they were hurting the trees, grass and bushes of the park. Ropes lashed onto trees support the Gilligan’s Isle-like latticed wall made of twigs and vines. One of these walls shelters the spiritual “Sacred Place” which includes anti Semitic signs. 

Anti Jewish signs in Occupy's "Sacred Place."  Photo by Citizen Journalist Bruce McCain.
Anti Jewish signs in Occupy’s “Sacred Place.”
Photo by Citizen Journalist Bruce McCain.
The grass is shot. Fish says it will cost at least $19,000.00 to fix it.  He claimed it would take a year to get the park back up to scratch. 
Perhaps that’s why when local Attorney Bruce McCain sought to get a permit for the properties he was told that no one would be able to rent them  for a year. However, Occupy Portland has been told it can stay as long as it wants. 
McCain was told he’d have to go through five bureaus to get permissions, get a million dollar indemnification and post $50-$1000 in fees. And that was just the beginning. 
Occupy Portland threatened to break the law and got everything for free—including undeserved respect.


Occupy Portland has done more damage to the City than mere rope burns on trees. It has dispirited law abiding Portlanders who see that if you’re part of the Mayor’s base you are treated differently under the law. If you doubt this,  play the, “If this were the Tea Party” game. 

This is politically-correct pandering and– on its face– treats the content of this speech differently than all others. It opens up the City to federal civil rights lawsuits (as pointed out by Civil Rights Attorney Rees Lloyd here) and as Attorney Bruce McCain and the Portland Tribune (here) have brought to light, put the City in the unenviable position of defending the constitutionality of the City’s anti camping ordinance at the same time it’s giving carte blanche to the Occupiers. Amanda Fritz’s comments alone may have torpedoed the City’s case costing Portlanders even more and opening the city to even more encampments. Dignity Village Two at 4th and Burnside is just the beginning of that.
Furthermore, it has shown the deep void that is the so called leadership of Portland.
Mayor Adams and Commissioner Leonard like to talk about how much money they’ve ‘saved’ Portland because of their cool response. That’s like a guy going to the hardware store, buying a band saw, and telling his wife how much he saved because he didn’t get a more expensive one. 
Their brand of governance is borne of experiences like the one they helped create at Occupy Portland. They don’t understand the rule of law, equal rights under those laws and the limits of government. Maybe if Mayor Adams ever bothered to come to one of the Tea Parties he’s been invited to he might. 

Regardless, Occupy Portland was over when it lost its moral moorings. It ended when City had to prop it up. Whether they know it or not, in its current form, Occupy Portland is over.

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