More than two dozen people were arrested Sunday morning as “Occupy Portland” protesters tried to expand into Jamison Square Park.
The protesters were arrested after refusing police orders to leave the park, which closed at midnight. They were charged with criminal trespassing, interfering with a police officer and disorderly conduct, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
The demonstration for social and economic justice began on October 6 in downtown Portland, but protesters recently decided to expand their operation to the city’s affluent Pearl District.
“We will not allow Occupy Portland to set up an alternative encampment at any other city park,” Mayor Sam Adams warned in a statement on Thursday. “Portland Police Officers have been reminding Occupy Portland participants of this throughout the week, and will continue to use their discretion in enforcing parks rules throughout the city.”
“We will continue to monitor the Occupy Portland protest, and make practical, day-to-day decisions like these as warranted,” he continued. “I want to thank the participants for their ongoing cooperation with City officials and staff, as we strive to balance their right to protest with keeping the city working.”
That same day, U.S. Rep. Peter Defazio (D-OR) spoke at a rally hosted by “Occupy Portland,” where he said the demonstrations around the country had “awoken a sleeping giant.”
“The 99 percent across America,” he said. “There were so many people suffering in silence, kids who graduated from college with debt and couldn’t find a job, people who lost their jobs and their savings, seniors who saw their benefits cut, the unemployed, others struggling to make ends meet. The American dream had been stolen from them, and they thought they they were alone.”
“Occupy Portland” has touted its highly-organized peaceful protest and even won the praise of some city officials. But the open and inclusive nature of the demonstration has attracted some troubled individuals.
Police reports show that several people have been arrested for public urination and drug offenses. One registered sex offender was also arrested at the encampment on an outstanding escape warrant.
Watch video of Rep. Peter Defazio’s speech, courtesy of Occupy Portland, below: