A disabled “Occupy Portland” protester explained why the demonstration tried to expand into Jamison Square Park in a video released Sunday.
Twenty-four-year-old Matthew Denny was arrested along with 24 other people early Sunday morning, after warnings from the Mayor’s Office and the Portland Police Bureau.
“One of the reasons why this is important to me is because this is a park in my neighborhood,” he said in the video. “We are really going to get arrested for being here at night? That shouldn’t be a crime. There should be no arrests for being on the streets at night when we have a homeless population of over six thousand people in Portland, at least.”
“And we have massive wealth inequality in this neighborhood and in the city of Portland. We have million dollar condos right behind me, next door to housing for people who don’t even make 600 dollars a month or live with a disability like I did. We can’t continue to have this inequality in society.”
The protesters were arrested after refusing police orders to leave the park, which closed at midnight. The demonstration for social and economic justice began on October 6 in downtown Portland, but protesters decided to expand their operation to the city’s affluent Pearl District.
One protester was allegedly told to plead “not guilty” and the charge would be dismissed, according to the “Occupy Portland” website, because officials feared the case would go to the Oregon Supreme Court.
Watch video, courtesy of “Occupy Portland,” below: