Monday, November 14, 2011

The Occupy Movement 2011 In Portland, Oregon

The Occupy Movement has been relatively peaceful in Portland, Oregon.  However,  as the Police prepared to move everyone out of the parks and shut them down yesterday, the casual observer might think otherwise.  As we drove by the oppressive feel to the area, had us rethinking our work day at Portland Saturday Market, in the end we decided not to work and allow the dust to settle.  It should be noted, Protesters in Portland, Oregon have had a consistent message they have given the Police in Portland, illustrated beatifically in this video.

The driving force behind the closure is due to assault crimes having gone, up according to Mayor Adams, in the area around the encampment. It has been my observation, that criminal's will take advantage where they can.  To blame the protesters is wrong, but I can't fault the decision if crimes occurring around the encampment had truly gone up and were going on.

Regardless the message has been heard, has such a huge presence online, I do not seeing it dying a slow death anytime soon, just because the visible presence of the protesters was removed.   The more the government, the politicians, the police (sorry, you are a tool of oppression, you have to be included) try and stamp The Occupy Movement out, the stronger it will become.


Police cars lines up for several city blocks around the police station
Police cars lines up for several city blocks around the police station.

Yet, I for one do not fault the Police for being prepared for the worst.   While downtown had an extremely oppressive feel to it, being prepared to deal with issues other cities have seen is prudent on there part.  Protesters were given a deadline, they chose to defy that notice.  Agree or disagree they had warning enough to move, reapply for a permit, or find another alternative and avoid the Police coming out in riot gear.

So many that they were parking in the roadway.
So many that they were parking in the roadway.  Although Portland has some weird laws regarding parking like this.

Cordoned off streets to keep pedestrians clear of the area.
Cordoned off streets to keep pedestrians clear of the area. 
Keeping people safe during all of this was the main objective of the Portland Police.  They don't want violence anymore than the protesters.   The protesters wanted their message heard.
A police officer stationed at one of the busier corners to turn pedestrians away
A police officer stationed at one of the busier corners to turn pedestrians away, whether they were part of the Occupy encampment or not.   Tensions were high as the standoff ensued, in the end a good portion of the protesters, left peacefully.  Unfortunately, there were also arrests that happened.  It remains to be seen how those arrested will be dealt with.   Handled wrong it could result in even more protests and possibly ratchet the violence upwards.

Tents being torn down, police presence very visible.
Tents being torn down, police presence very visible.

Police standing on the side lines and allowing those that cooperated pack there own belongings.
Police standing on the side lines and allowing those that cooperated pack there own belongings.

In areas you could tell protesters had not even started to tear down.
In areas you could tell protesters had not even started to tear down.

Police converging on the largest Occupy encampment.
Police converging on the largest Occupy encampment.


Portland, Oregon wasn't the only city to evict The Occupy movement encampments.



So you may be asking yourself?

Where do we as a Nation go from here with The Occupy Movement, that is easy. Keep it alive and in people's minds on the Internet, through social media and talking about it face to face. Even easier though is each individual can and should be making a conscience choice to support the independent business person. That includes, local small business owners, farmer's markets, online small boutique's like you can find on Artfire. By doing this we can effect the outcome of this Occupy Movement even more profoundly than protesting in the street.

The message is out there, lets follow through and show them it is considered a serious issue, by the choices we make on where to spend our hard earned dollars. Once we stop supporting big business and it is reflected in their bottom line, the message will be hammered home. Hammered home in such a way they can't ignore it, they can't oppress it, and they won't survive unless changes are made.


Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with The Occupy movement, I do hope people remember , that the police have a job to do whether they agree with it or not. It is very difficult to be put in a position to have to do a job, regardless of their own personal opinions. You will always have the bad apple, but for the most part they are all just doing their jobs.

1 comment:

Entwined Vines Jewelry said...

This is a great article on why the forceful closeing of the Occupy camps should not have happened in the first place.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/occupy-wall-street-bloomberg-free-speech-right-to-disruption-_b_1026535.html