From KGW, May 15, 2008


The remaining homeless protestors camped in front of Portland’s City Hall were being cleared out by police Thursday morning, whether they wanted to leave or not.

The protest has continued nonstop for about three weeks.

Homeless people gather at City Hall to protest the City’s decision to remove them from bridge areas.

Representatives from the protest group recently told KGW they had decided to leave on their own accord after a Tuesday afternoon meeting with Mayor Tom Potter.

But they were not all gone on Thursday morning, so police decided to step in. Officers said the protestors had to move because it was time to clean the sidewalk. At least one protestor was arrested and there was a lot of yelling, but no major scuffles.

Portland Police announced earlier that officers would start patrolling the sidewalk.

“I strongly support your right to protest,” Portland Mayor Tom Potter said earlier in the week. “However, the city has the right to make reasonable time, place, and manner rules for the conduct of protests in public spaces, and can also act to protect the public from unnecessary obstructions as well as health, sanitation, and safety problems. Protests must comply with the City’s camping and sidewalk obstruction ordinances.”

Police had warned that they would start giving written and verbal warnings and then make any arrests if necessary.