From Matt Davis at the Portland Mercury, May 13, 2008

The homeless protesters outside city hall have decided to disband and leave for tonight, to regroup and return in the morning and avoid being swept by the cops. Representative Art Rios, Sr. told the crowd, and three different TV cameras, at 7:30 that the protesters can claim a series of “great big victories,” including a conversation with the mayor, and “great support from the community,” but that by cleaning up and returning in the morning, the protesters can create a “win-win situation.” Behind him, a 12-foot banner read “Repeal the Sit/Lie Ordinance.”

Rios thanked everyone gathered for their efforts, and said “When I started this, I didn’t expect it to be this big. We’ll be here again tomorrow, and we’re not going away.” People started packing up to go, almost immediately.

One protester, named Tim, started screaming “bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, you never asked me…” and ran around for about five minutes. Eventually he calmed down after being confronted by three fellow protesters. Not everyone was happy with the decision to move on, and Tim, who before Rios’ announcement, had been singing civil war songs, started parading around with an upside-down American flag:

“If there’s only three of us out here in the morning,” said Rios, “well then there’s only three of us out here. We’re not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings but I guess it was inevitable that someone would be upset.” For tonight, everyone will have to find somewhere else to sleep, and hope they don’t get moved on by the cops.

Good luck to them.

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