This is exactly when these movements get interesting. This is when they do start accomplishing things. Camping out for a month, getting bored, drifting off... That is what those in power always expect to happen. It throws them for a loop when people actually turn out to be serious about their causes.
"Wait, you want change, not just to camp in a park for a month and to blow off some steam? Ah, crap... Now we have an issue! This isn't cute anymore!"
The City will soon temporarily close Lownsdale and Chapman Squares to the public, to put an end to safety, health and crime problems, and to repair the park land. When the City re-opens the parks, the City will enforce all park and criminal laws in the Squares and the sidewalks, and the park land will be available for large, organized speech events by permit.
At 12:01 am on Sunday, November 13, all persons and property in Lownsdale and Chapman Squares will again be subject to enforcement of all laws including the laws against being in a park after midnight (PCC 20.12.210), and erecting structures in a park (PCC 20.12.080). On or after November 13, by authority of Portland City Code, the City will close Lownsdale and Chapman Squares for repair and to remediate any remaining safety, health and crime problems.
Portland Police are carefully preparing for this closure, and share my goal for an orderly and peaceful closure to the camps.
I want to make it clear that this action is not an action against the Occupy Portland movement.
In fact, the Occupy Portland movement has highlighted the challenges our community, like many across the country, are facing with homelessnesss. Too many in our community are without a safe place to call home. Despite fiscal challenges, the City has continued to invest in long term solutions to end homelessness. Commissioner Fish and I will be working closely with our dedicated network of service providers to make sure everyone at the camp is aware of the resources that are available. Experienced outreach workers will be reaching out to the homeless people at the camp to help them access existing resources in our community, like health care, emergency shelter, permanent housing placement assistance, and short term needs.
I have said from the beginning that I believe the Occupy movement would have to evolve in order to realize its full potential.