PORTLAND - More members of the Occupy Portland movement chained themselves to a barrel of cement in Schrunk Plaza Monday, in a growing protest which could lead to another clash with federal authorities.
The chain-in protest began Saturday with two men and three women who connected themselves to a barrel with chains and bike locks. By Sunday night, the number had grown to 15 protesters. They spent the night there with temperatures dipping into the mid 30s. Other protesters also set up tents in the Plaza.
Schrunk Plaza is policed by the Federal Protective Services. So far, federal agents said they were choosing not to take enforcement action against the group. But that could change.
In a statement, the Feds explained : The safety and protection of the general public, federal employees and property will be the criteria for evaluating any decisions relating to the enforcement of the park's curfew and the permitting process.
Protesters on Monday told KGW they were aware of the risk but don't plan to leave.
You know, there's no way they can get us out, there is no way they can move it [the barrel], they can't roll it because we're all chained together, and they can't lift it because it is so heavy, said protester Reagan Lee.
If anything happens and they try to remove it, you're gonna break these guys' arms, and I hope that's not a risk they're willing to take, added demonstrator Brandon Lyon.
Last Tuesday, federal officers arrested 10 Occupy Portland protesters camping at Schrunk Plaza.
Background: Protesters arrested at Schrunk Plaza
Meanwhile, a splinter group of protesters calling themselves the Real Occupy Portland claimed responsibility for vandalism at two banks on Northeast Sandy Boulevard on Saturday.
They said that the methods used by the Occupy Portland general assembly were ineffective and that was why they took action on the banks.