Hales evicting City Hall campers due to 'unsafe situation'

Hales evicting City Hall campers due to 'unsafe situation'

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by KGW.com staff

kgw.com

Posted on July 20, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 20 at 4:12 PM

PORTLAND-- New signs in front of Portland City Hall say camping there is banned, and those who do it have only days to get out.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said camping outside of City Hall is an unsafe situation. For months both sides of Southwest 4th Avenue have been flanked by campers. On some nights, close to 50 people camp out.

On Friday evening, police put up signs, which are essentially eviction notices for the campers, that call the area an illegal camp.

Many of the signs, however, were torn down almost immediately. A lot of the campers in front of City Hall said they are protesting, but a spokesman for Hales said kicking the campers out is not a First Amendment issue. Rather, it’s a safety issue.

Hales said records show police have been called to the area 113 times in the past 180 days. Hales said he has had enough of people telling him they don’t feel safe coming to Portland’s City Hall.

A spokesman for the mayor said police will be going through the area sometime next week to kick everyone out.

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