'Occupy Portland' flier proposes closing camps

'Occupy Portland' flier proposes closing camps

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by David Krough

kgw.com

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 26 at 10:49 AM

PORTLAND - Police said Tuesday reports of violence, drugs and unsanitary conditions and "overwhelming mental health" concerns were growing at the two camps of 'Occupy Portland' downtown.

According to a flier obtained by the Portland Mercury, Peace and Safety team organizers proposed vacating the park, saying it was unsustainable, unsafe and winter was setting in.

Organizers said problems included the lack of capacity for a growing population, not enough resources, no enforcement of "community values" and serious drug abuse, resulting in emergency calls due to overdoses.

From Monday into early morning Tuesday, police logged several fights, two attempted officer assaults, several intoxicated people and port-a-potties overflowing onto the street.

"Someone making a fancy flier for their proposal should not be taken to mean it's more or less likely to happen," press liason Jordan Ledoux said. "Given the amount of effort put into the space, it's unlikely to happen that quickly. This is what's great about the process we've established. Completely different ideas get taken seriously, and even when they don't happen, they start conversation that make other things happen."

"Neither the GA (General Assembly) or the community of Occupy have taken any steps to make for positive change," the flier read.

The group proposed plans to find a new, indoor space to continue their activities.

Raw sewage was reported to be running down the sidewalk toward Southwest 3rd Avenue. Parks officials told police "they were aware" of the situation.

Portland police said "Occupy" organizers asked for help from "Project Respond" Tuesday, as they were "overwhelmed with the amount of mental health issues presenting themselves at the camp." "We always attempt to solve problems related to the camp through discussion and collaboration," press liason Jordan Ledoux said.

"From the beginning it was okay. But now, it is worthless," protester Wolf Chilcote said. "You've got drugs going on in there, prostitution."

More: Police report log

He added a meeting was scheduled for Wednesday to discuss comunications with the community.

"It is rather asinine, childish, and disappointing to see the Portland Police Bureau go out of their way to publicize every single minuscule incident of occurrence near the occupation," Ledoux said.

One officer said someone donating food boxes complained he and his friend saw "buckets of human waste" sitting around the camp.

Ledoux said Tuesday afternoon, the restroom facilities were "half-full" and he was not aware of any problems with them.

Police said 39-year-old Angela Hallinger threw a paintbrush at the officers because they would "not stop and look at her art," she was later arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief after flashing her breasts at police.

Most reports of fights were unverified, police said with no complainants or suspects located. At one point Monday night, "15 street kids with skateboards" were reported chasing a shirtless subject down the street, garnering several 9-1-1 calls.

"Publishing these in such an attention-seeking fashion is rather immature and unprofessional of the Portland Police," Ledoux said. "To be sure, we don't try to hide anything, and the public has a right to know what is going on."

"Our immediate goals for occupying the parks is to occupy the parks. The occupation itself is part of the protest," Ledoux said.

Also, a march suppported by the AFL-CIO was planned for Director Park at 5 p.m. to "oppose the corruption and greed of our government and society."

"(Police) have been really good about it, they talk to us like people, we talk to them like people. I saw anarchists shaking hands with cops ... that's my idea of a peace protest," John Lonquist said.

KGW Reporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report

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