PORTLAND - Enough is enough, the Portland Police Association said Thursday, in regards to the ongoing Occupy Portland encampments and marches.
There have been several arrests for disorderly conduct and drugs, along with health issues and damage to the parks.
A letter sent by union president Daryl Turner to the citizens of Portland earlier Thursday said although they support the 99% of Americans who advocate for fair jobs, wages, work conditions and pensions, they can no longer condone the protests that have pushed their staffing past the limits of reality.
Police have staffed the encampments at Lownsdale and Chapman Square parks overtime for the past three weeks since the initial march in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City.
Mayor Sam Adams and other city comissioners, citing free speech issues, have spoken in support of the protest and have suspended overnight camping rules and enforcement of other city codes in the two parks.
One arrest was made after police said a marcher shoved an officer into traffic during a march across the Hawthorne and Burnside bridges Wednesday evening.
An Occupy spokesperson disputed the police account and said the protester collided with a construction sign that fell into a police officer, who stumbled nearer to a passing bus.
Officials did make arrests after protesters attempted to take over Jamison Park in NW Portland last weekend.
We have responded to the mixed messages of our leaders and have held our heads up through the adversity that we have neither caused nor can control, Turner wrote.
Turner urged the 99% who cannot sit on a park bench and read a book, or have your lunch ... who has to avoid what the parks have become, to contact city officials.
If the Portland Police Union has concerns, perhaps they should encourage their members to come express them when they are out of uniform and not officially representing the city and its officials, as any other citizen is free to do, Occupy press liason Jordan Ledoux said. I'm disappointed that the union is representing such a small view of what is actually going on, especially as a message to the leaders of our local government who have a responsibility to understand the entire picture before making decisions.
Details:Mayor Adams on arrests
Adams on Thursday released a statement asking protesters to get permits for street marches.
We need advance information to ensure the route is safe. We also need to have the right number of police officers to facilitate a successful march, without unfairly pulling officers away from Portland s neighborhoods. The City is striving to balance people s rights to free speech, with keeping the city safe and moving - an approach that most Portlanders support. I ask that participants of Occupy Portland continue to help us maintain this balance. As I ve said, the City is continuing to make day-to-day decisions regarding Occupy Portland, and behavior still matters, Adams said.