Members of Occupy Portland and others were part of a group of around 50 people who damaged several businesses including 4 banks and a Walgreens in SE Portland on Thursday.
After arranging the action on Facebook, the group met at 8:30 pm at SE 35th & Taylor and shortly thereafter, began throwing rocks and smashing windows of businesses. Police began receiving calls, including that bottles were being thrown as people, according to NWCN, who also interviewed one man who was nearly hit in the head by an object.
Wells Fargo, Umpqua, Chase and US Bank all had their windows broken. The Walgreen’s store on Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Southeast Belmont Street also was vandalized. It was reported that the vandals also walked into traffic and blocked vehicles.
According to KATU, Virginia Suftin said she saw about 50 people headed her way. “I heard the noise and the glass shattering as I was walking to my apartment,” she said. “and they threw a rock right at the bank. They had a huge banner that said ‘no prisons, hug cats? And a bunch were wearing ski masks,” Suftin recalled. An anarchist report indicates the banner read: “BURN THE PRISONS, HUG CATS. YOLO (A) ACAB”. ACAB means “All Cops are Bastards”. According to the same report, they pulled news paper boxes and other items into the streets to block being followed and chanted ”GIVE NO F–KS TAKE NO ORDERS, SMASH THE PRISONS AND THE BORDER!” Here is another account by an Occupier who “observed” the march
By the time police arrived, most of the people had dispersed. No arrests have been made, police said.
Here is video made by BareItorBearIt of some of the damage. The video also notes how this action was advertised on the Occupy Portland Facebook and notes who said they would be attending. Citizen Journalist has confirmed that in fact it was indeed advertised, and is still in fact up on their Facebook, although the names of those attending appear now to have been erased.
Despite this, Occupy disavowed the action, telling KATU that the event was not sanctioned, organized or affiliated with them. “The action last night was not an Occupy Portland action or march” a spokesperson said.
This particular action was reportedly in response to the jailing of three people for refusing to testify in response to grand jury subpoenas, despite being granted immunity from prosecution. Since a grand jury, by its very nature, is secret to protect the integrity of pending investigations, it is not clear what information is being sought from these three. Supporters of those jailed contend the three are being held purely for their anarchist views. This was disputed by a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office, Emily Langlie, stating people were not being investigated for political views. She also noted that grand juries can consider many cases, not just one, and that she cannot comment on the ongoing investigations.
In a coordinated effort (and we leave how coordinated and with whom to your imagination), Occupy Oakland and Occupy Portland stormed Obama campaign headquarters in their respective cities in Oakland, California and Portland, Oregon. The Occupy group in Oakland was comprised of the far left organizations including Iraq Vets against the War(including Scott Olsen who was injured in October of last year at a protest) and Code Pink. Both groups are active members of Occupy. The headquarters in Oakland still had boarded up windows from Occupy smashing the windows out on August 3.
After members stormed the office in Oakland. they read a formal statement by bullhorn asking President Obama to apologize to Bradley Manning for saying he broke the law, for better treatment and for a pardon for Bradley Manning. Bradley Manning is awaiting trial on charges related to leaking government documents.
Protesters crowd the Oakland office here.
Photos of Code Pink and Iraq Vets Against the War members blocking the doorway in Oakland, Scott Olsen is 4th from the left, with the long blond hair:
After storming the office in Oakland, they got into a scuffle with Obama staffers when Occupiers climbed on top of and over chairs and tried to move further into the working area of the office.
Video taken by Scott Olsen:
Police were called in both locations. See pictures of Portland and in Oakland of police. A hostage negotiator actually had to be called out in Oakland to talk with seven Occupiers, who refused to leave. Police lost patience and moved in to make the arrests in Oakland around 9 pm last night. Scott Olsen was the only one of the seven not arrested, as they were given a last opportunity to leave and he left. Six were arrested in Oakland and five are reported to have been arrested in Portland.
After the arrests in Oakland, other demonstrators marched on the Oakland Police station.
Reports this morning indicate that the people arrested in Oakland have been released already, except for one who will be held over the weekend.
The last time that Obama campaign headquarters faced “occupation” or sit ins was when illegal aliens occupied the offices in some locations in the week prior to President Obama granting amnesty to those who were brought here as children.
It’s happened again.
Occupiers took over a house owned by 66 yr old Gloria Canson in Portland, Oregon.
There have been similar stories in other areas, such as in Seattle , where they occupied and completely destroyed a home owned by Denmark West, who was fixing it up for a low income family, and in Brooklyn, NY, where they perpetrated a fraud on the media with the assistance of Congressional candidate Charles Barron and stole the home of Wise Ahadzi for months, damaging it significantly.
Gloria Canson had lived in her house for over 30 years. A school teacher, Gloria had gotten behind on her mortgage payments by about $7000 due to a stay in the hospital and high medical bills. So when she received a letter telling her that she was in foreclosure and under eviction, she took it seriously. She called the number listed but was unable to get through to anyone.
Rather than be evicted, she moved out of the house, believing her house had been foreclosed.
A few weeks later, Occupiers moved into her home. According to the Oregonian, nearly a dozen people have lived in the home, rent free, since then. The Occupiers started receiving mail at the address, signed up for Internet and one of them put the water bill in his name.
The bank sent Gloria more notices when her loan was sold, and it was at that time she realized that she still owned her home, and her home had never been foreclosed. The bank confirmed that the letter sent to her was, in fact, a forgery.
She went home in March, intending to sell her house, and found the Occupiers there. Occupier Bryan Wiedeman had put the water bill in his name. A bill left in the house indicated he owed $530. Weideman had actually been arrested last month at the house, on charges of vandalizing ATMs and banks, part of Occupy Portland actions, according to the Oregonian. Occupiers had changed the locks on her house and told Gloria that they were legally renting her home, fixing it up for “American Properties”. As Gloria sagely observed to news media, there is no “American Properties”.
On Thursday, police served a warrant on the Occupiers and on Friday, police executed the warrant, evicting them. Police said they found anarchist materials inside, including the addresses of vacant homes as well as information on how to pick locks. They found that some of the squatters were repeat offenders, including Kerry Cunneen. After police arrested Kerry Cunneen in February for squatting in a home in the 4900 block of North Minnesota Avenue, she moved to Canson’s home.
Occupiers denied sending Canson the forged letter and one apologized to Canson, saying “we thought it was owned by the bank”. Canson called their actions “morally incomprehensible”.
See video of Gloria and media confronting Occupiers here.
Since April 26, there have been several “white powder scares” in Portland as well as in other cities around the country.
The Portland case appears to have been cracked. The letters containing the white powder were sent from the Multnomah County Jail. This seems to explain the statement earlier from police, “the letters have been stopped”.
At least two of the envelopes containing white powder also had the word “anthrax” written on them. Understandably, one might wonder how such letters could be sent out of a jail. However, while mail going into the jail is checked, mail going out is not unless investigators are specifically keeping an eye on someone’s actions.
Federal investigators are reportedly looking at a federal inmate who was being held at the jail. That inmate has now been transferred to a federal facility in Sheridan, Oregon.
The letters had been sent to the federal courthouse, the Lloyd Center mall, a business office at the airport, a business office at the downtown Hilton, the Marquam Building that houses OHSU offices and the Market Center Building that houses some offices for Portland State University.
There was no anthrax in any of the letters and no one was physically hurt in any of the incidents. Grant Coffey, Portland Fire & Rescue’s HAZMAT coordinator estimates however that the costs in resonse so far may reach as much as $14,000. Several buildings were required to be evacuated, hazmat teams scrambled people quarantined briefly in response.
In other “white powder scares” elsewhere, the FBI has linked the mailings of hundreds of envelopes containing white powder over the last four years to the work of someone in Texas.
The FBI released a statement that several of these letters contained a Texas postmark and contained references to subjects such as Nazis and Al Qaida. A $150,000 reward is being offered in this case.
The letters sent last week in Connecticut that Citizen Journalist reported on previously allegedly had an Al Qaida reference.
Over the past two weeks, there have been six locations in the Portland, Oregon area as well as locations in Connecticut and NYC that have received envelopes containing suspicious white powder.
In Portland , two different locations received letters on Thursday. The first letter was sent to Portland State University at the Market Center building near Southwest 4th Avenue and Market Street. The second scare took place at the Oregon Health & Science University in the Marquam Plaza Building at 2525 Southwest 3rd. On Wednesday, two white powder incidents were reported. One occurred at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Portland, the second occurred at a Port of Portland building near the Portland International Airport. On Tuesday there was a scare at the Lloyd Center mall on Tuesday and there was an intial incident at the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse on April 26.
In all of the Portland cases, the envelopes were addressed to human resources offices and “anthrax” written either directly on the envelope or in a two-page letter in the envelope. Evacuations and hazmat teams were called out to address the scares, and several people who had contact with the letters were quarantined. No anthrax was found in any of the cases.
Referencing the Portland cases, FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele issued a press release today stating “the FBI and its local partners believe they have stopped the sender or senders’ ability to continue this stream of threats.” They have not as yet clarified what that means, or whether there may have been an arrest.
“White powder” scares have also been currently occurring at locations in Connecticut.
The Rowland State Government Center in Waterbury and the Ruth Chaffee School in Newington were evacuated on Thursday. Keeny Street Elementary in Manchester was also locked down. All are closed today, pending an investigation. The powder in the Manchester school was accompanied by a letter mentioning Al Qaida.
A spate of “white powder” letters were sent to several banks in NYC on April 30, saying “Happy May Day”, seemingly referencing May Day protests.
No one was injured in any of the incidents and no anthrax was found. There is no indication at present whether these incidents are related.
After an attempt by Occupy Portland to re occupy Chapman Square Park, they were kicked out by police. In response, they aggressively harangued the police:
After police left, at around 2 am, a 15 year old occupier, who had earlier been verbally abusing the police, removed fencing around the park, destroying public property. The cameraman, who is not affiliated with Occupy and saw the crime, tells the police. The other occupiers claim he didn’t do it, although the video clearly shows he did. The cameraman is then attacked and threatened.
Local news, The Oregonian, noted the 15 year old boy was found and arrested while he was climbing the elk statue.
He was taken into custody and charged with criminal trespassing, criminal mischief and interfering with police. He was also cited for violating city codes. He was released to his mother.
The Oregonian, quoting the police, said:
”On that corner, demonstrators became mildly aggressive and repeatedly threatened that the real confrontation would happen on May Day (May 1st),” the press release said. “May Day is traditionally an opportunity for labor groups and activists to peacefully protest throughout Portland.”
Police also said they took the threats about protesting on May Day as the group’s intention to protest on May 1, and that sources have said that some groups are interested in causing “more extreme civil unrest through more direct, disruptive action.”