Occupy Anarchist smash up in Portland, Oregon
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.