Press Release: Update on Jamison Square Sit-In

October 30, 2011
By

PORTLAND, ORE. – Early Sunday morning, after warnings from the Mayor’s Office and the Portland Police Bureau, 25 protesters associated with Occupy Portland were arrested for breaking a park curfew at Jamison Square during the course of a peaceful protest. Hundreds of supporters watched as their friends and fellow protesters were arrested, one by one, by the Portland Police.

Occupy Portland decided on Monday, October 24th, to go to Jamison Square to stand in solidarity with other protesters around the world who have also been voicing their concerns, and continue protesting the growing inequity in our society. Occupy Portland wanted to reach out to communities to cultivate discussion and involvement with the people of our city, and chose the Pearl for its mixture of economic situations and close proximity.

Later during the week, the Mayor’s Office released a statement that any protesters in Jamison Square after midnight, when the park closes according to city ordinance, would be arrested in accordance with established practices. Occupy Portland did not decide to go to Jamison to force a confrontation with the police, but we believe that our right to assemble and our right to free speech was a higher law than any ordinances the city could pass. In at least one case, public workers agreed.

One protester reported that during their arrest, they were told to plead “not guilty” and the charge would be dismissed. The reason? If the case were to go to the Oregon Supreme Court, it was likely that the city ordinance would be overturned on Constitutional grounds.

“I’ve been protesting because we shouldn’t be afraid of our government,” Nadia Greene said. “We shouldn’t be afraid of the police who exist to protect us.”

Drawing attention to the hypocrisy of how we enforce our laws was one of the messages many of the arrestees shared. Others were interested in the human aspect.

“I think we really accomplished community awareness which caused the discussion to happen,” Brad Beach said.

But the protesters and officers weren’t all business. “When they started chanting ‘You’re sexy, you’re cute, take off the riot suit’, the protesters and officers were chuckling.”

“I want to do this every night,” Jacob Clary said. “I want to encourage the public discussion which was a result of this sit-in. I don’t want to keep this kind of action just to the Pearl, I want to be in every sector of the city.”

While the interaction was overall very professional and lacked the air of police brutality we have seen in places like Oakland, some arrestees did report rough behavior.

“I was kept in a squad car for four hours,” Cameron Whitten told supporters. “When I was remaining silent they weren’t very friendly. They knew who I was, I heard them talking about me. I got slapped a few times, and had a car door shut against my head twice.

“As soon as I complied and told them my name though, they were suddenly very nice.”

Supporters watching from the sidewalks also reported a mostly friendly interaction.

“Some of the officers were a little enthusiastic, but overall it was peaceful and professional,” Jordan LeDoux commented after. “I’m just disappointed in their priorities. While they were standing there I pointed out a drunk driver going the wrong way down a one-way street right near the park. ‘That’s dangerous,’ I said. I pointed back to the protesters being arrested. ‘That’s not.’”

Protesters used the arrests as an opportunity to start conversations with people locally. Some were quite productive, while others didn’t seem to get it.

“Things aren’t going to change in your lifetime,” one Park’s Department employee who declined to give his name told protesters. “So this is just a waste of time. We had slavery for over 400 years. Do you think this will really change anything?”

But in the end, protesters felt that an important point had been made.

“It’s not about this park, it’s about making a stand,” Imre Ilyes responded. “It’s time for us as people to take back control of our government. The old channels haven’t been effective, so this is where it starts, with people sitting down and being arrested for the right to come together and find solutions.”

“I believe that the First Amendment is first for a reason,” Jordan said. “And it doesn’t end because a city ordinance says it does. There was nothing unlawful about this protest, there is something unlawful about our system.”

NOTE: After the protesters sitting were arrested, remaining supporters flooded the square and continued to protest until the park re-opened at 5AM with no further arrests.

30 Responses to Press Release: Update on Jamison Square Sit-In

  1. Kendall on October 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Well-written and thorough. This reflects my experience of the event. I posted it on FB.

  2. David on October 30, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you, THANK YOU Occupy Portland. I was there last night, at the brutal assault on Jamison Square. I was there the entire time. I was one of the people in the crowd who, after witnessing this nightmare, felt compelled to go inside and hold the square until 5am. Up until then, I had only been a supportive spectator. The press coverage of this is a total wash. What happened last night was not peaceful, and not acceptable at all for any American city — least of all Portland. I am proud that none of the Occupiers — not a single one — returned violence for violence. You people truly are courageous.

    I had a difficult time getting to sleep, when I made it home in the early morning. I kept hearing the screams of the woman who was pinned against the wall, when horses rushed to trample the crowd.

    • MW on October 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      I was there the entire time as well, and this portrayal is an absolute delusion. See my post under the previous article.

    • R. Hood on October 31, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Exaggerations like David’s will turn off the very people Occupy Portland wants to attract and represent, while creating a perfect target for ridicule by folks like Bryan.

  3. Progressives2012 on October 30, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks for this excellent reporting. The touch of humor is an extremely important tactic. And incidentally, I was at the two parks on SW 4th yesterday. There were lots of people, busy and loitering on benches, inside the Occupation, and nobody with signs on the edges by the streets. Hopefully, there will be more awareness of the importance of making the messages public on the streets.

    The paragraphs below really hit home with me.

    Drawing attention to the hypocrisy of how we enforce our laws was one of the messages many of the arrestees shared. Others were interested in the human aspect.

    “I think we really accomplished community awareness which caused the discussion to happen,” Brad Beach said.

    But the protesters and officers weren’t all business. “When they started chanting ‘You’re sexy, you’re cute, take off the riot suit’, the protesters and officers were chuckling.”

    “I want to do this every night,” Jacob Clary said. “I want to encourage the public discussion which was a result of this sit-in. I don’t want to keep this kind of action just to the Pearl, I want to be in every sector of the city.”

  4. Andrew on October 30, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Let’s do something to bring the conservatives into the discussion…my sign says “Left and Right, the people must unite!”.

    I think that’s a very important goal, and essential to the movement. Reach out to all parts of the community.

    Thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do!

  5. Brennan Novak on October 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Last night was incredible!!! THANK YOU, thank you, Occupy Portland. I have nothing but respect for the protestors who were willing to go to jail last night. The Jamison square sit-in was disgusting how our government force chose to respond, but massively inspiring to me how the OWS movement acted. I am Portland based software engineer who has been an avid online supporter since the start of the Oct 6th march, but now I am super motivated to come start attending general assembly’s and be more active in the movement. Respect & love to all of you!

  6. Beck on October 30, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Horses rushing to trample the crowd? Woman pinned against the wall? brutal assault?

    This is inflammatory nonsense, I was there and there was no rushing at all and horses did not move in any fashion that could be described as trampling. No women were screaming or pinned against the wall. (there are no walls at this park….) I take it back, there were women screaming but that was at the police officers who were moving people VERY slowly and deliberately out of the square.

    Hold the square? Hold it for what?

    Chose the Pearl for its’ mixture of economic situations and close proximity? Nice try at a do-over, but this does NOT override the previous commentary from Occupy Portland regarding the Pearl being an “epicenter of wealth” and other arrogant and uninformed comments regarding residents of The Pearl. You have inflamed some very dangerous commentary and now a goodly portion of the 99% in PDX are scared and they are scared of you and your supporters. Yes, that does include me. I am scared because over a lifetime of working my ass off, I have acquired assets which place me in the top 25%. Either way, in PDX, those of us that are in this category are donors to non-profits, social justice, education and arts organizations all over this city. We pour a ton of money into this economy. We volunteer time, we advise and we care. We are individuals who should never, ever be labelled in such a dehumanizing way and referred to as “miscreants” as one of your supporters so poetically put it. The “1%” label is dehumanizing, this objectification is further aggravated by the corresponding profile of greed and evil you so joyously and consistently promote.

    I started paying attention to this group to become informed with the intention of helping out. I am indeed informed and now know most of you think I am some sort of miscreant who should do something to make you feel better. Only I am unsure as to what that would be. I won’t be helping you out because you are now focused on denigrating an entire population of Portland citizens who once again have NOTHING to do with the issues in Washington.

    You owe the citizens of this city a press conference that is open to the public and televised. Face those citizens your purport to represent. Do you have the courage?

    goddammit…get focused!

  7. Lori McMillan on October 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I’d just like to say Thank You to everyone of those protesters who are standing up (or sitting down in some instances) for this cause. My sister – who has the patience of Jobe and one of the most rational, responsible citizens a person could be – was one of those arrested. In my eyes, she’s a hero, as are all of those protesting in support of this noble cause. Our dad spent 20 years serving this country and protecting our Constitutional Rights and I know in my heart that although he’s moved beyond this world, he’s standing right next to her in spirit. Possibly, quite possibly, the time has come and change will no longer be a mere concept but rather a manifest for the future of this country. Keep up the good work 99% !!!!!

  8. Nadia Greene on October 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I was an arestee. I am so greatful to the people that stood with us in support, so appreciative of the people who were put in jail with me this morning. I love you all, and hope to continue protests like this.

    For me, this was largely about proving to myself the priorities of our government. I needed to know, first hand, that I would be arrested even though I was peacefully sitting in a park, asking the police offer to give me a smile (they were extremely grim). This experience did answer the rest of the questions that I had about the quality of our government and I feel completely validated in the desire to protest.

    Thank you, to everyone, for sharing this experience with me.

  9. Bryan on October 30, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    You people are so over dramatic! “when the horses rushed to trample the crowds!” please. Not one injury, not one ambulance…. Too bad though. Can’t wait until you finally do all get kicked back to wherever you came from. “the screams of the woman kept me awake…” what a wuss. Shut up and go put a bird on something.

  10. john gardner on October 31, 2011 at 6:41 am

    I wish I had been arrested at Jamison Park, but I was cluelessly sitting at Chapman Park playing my guitar. I wish there had been a map at the information tent showing where Jamison Park was. No one at Chapman Park even mentioned what was going on at Jamison Park, at least when I was there.

    Is Jamison park still being occupied, or did everyone just leave on Sunday morning? Will we continue at Jamison Park? What’s going on?
    Next time (if there is one) there should be one hundred arrested. Let’s take Jamison Park!!!!

  11. boshly on October 31, 2011 at 8:53 am

    @Bryan,
    I’m glad you have your opinions on all of this, and I implore you to come down and voice them yourself, as very few campers are able to access the internet.

    And on a further note your information source that told you zero injures was incorrect a woman sat in the back of a cop car for three and a half hours with a broken wrist screaming. One of the protestors was able to pull their phone out of their back pocket ( with a zip tie still on) so another arestee could help dial 911 for her assistance. Furthermore I saw more than one instance of police using their horses as means to corral and trap innocent bystanders.

    love,
    Bosh Paro

    • R. Hood on October 31, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      We’re actually really lucky to have our horseback police officers for crowd control. They are highly trained for safe, effective deescalation. Unlike what the aggressive use of projectiles seen in Oakland.

  12. Susan Rankin on October 31, 2011 at 9:13 am

    The Jamison Square protest with consequent arrests is the first action by OccupyPortand I thought to be a distraction. Yes, the first amendment right to assembly needs to be established but we already have it in Alpha and Beta. I have loved the rallies and marches and the camp is unbelievably right-on. But I think the next step wants to bridge the nascent movement into the mainstream, not challenge it further, especially in Portland where we have a supportive mayor who seems to understand he is in the 99%. So do most Portlanders.

    Why not take our Occupation into city council, sit in in large numbers, raising discussions, having an impact, creating something there that brings the new occupy spirit into traditional seats of power?

  13. ericbispresident on October 31, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Hi Susan,

    I thought so too, until I arrived at the park and talked to a few residents of the Pearl who were supportive (to various degrees) of the action. I talked to one young family who hadn’t participated since the first march and were excited to have something in their own neighborhood. The arrests may be distracting, but overall I think that the movement needs to gain support from the neighborhoods and the conversations that I had with local residents suggest that these sorts of meet-ups (minus the police confrontation, of course)could be a very positive development for the movement.

  14. Nadia Greene on October 31, 2011 at 10:37 am

    @ Gardner,

    I have no idea if there was a statement made in the camp, but I know there was a arge discussion of it at the General Assembly.

    As for intent, this was a Sit in; an assembly for one night through the curfew. I do not believe the intention is to go back to Jamison Square, although I know there is new sites being planned. Ask around at the Occupation and I’m sure you’ll find information. Check out the Zombies.

  15. MW on October 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    To whoever is moderating ths b.s., thank you for not publishing my comments from last night that gave a truthful account. There was nothing wrong with them and no reason they should not have been published. I guess you are a little upset that your pathetic life has come to this, and you will never have the satisfaction in life that us “1%” has and will always have. We OWN you!!!

  16. Dave on October 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Nadia,

    Congratulations on your recent arrest! Your parents must be so proud of you!

    I was wondering, where is the proper place to list such an achievement on a resume? Top or bottom?

    I suppose it may not matter. I suppose any future employers will find it themselves in the first 5 min background check they do.

    Well done.

    Dave

    • Nadia Greene on October 31, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      Thanks Dave :)

      No; my family are mostly christian fundamentalists, and I was raised homophobic and extremely conservative. I’m still in love with democracy and human’s rights, but my interaction with the world has changed drastically.

      As for my future employers, I have done other deviant things then this. I have decided I am not going to live a double life where I am afraid of this, or alternate lifestyles coming to light could destroy everything I work for.

      With love!

  17. taiganaut on October 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    “brutal assault on Jamison Square”

    You serious bro?

    I’ve been in SPORTS riots where police were far more aggressive. Come on, let’s turn the hyperbole dial down and save it for when it’s actually warranted.

    • Steve on October 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      …little league games, that is.

  18. Al on October 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Just a note to the web site operators …. please include “pirate” as one of the translated languages. Gives the Occupy movement the gravitas that it truly needs:

    PORTLAND, “Blimey Thats Good!” ORE. – Early Sunday morn’n, aft warnings from th’ Mayor’s Office an’ th’ Portland Police Bureau, 25 protesters associated wi’ Occupy Portland were arrested fer break’n a park curfew at Jamison Square dur’n th’ course o’ a peaceful protest. Hundreds o’ supporters watched as their mateys an’ fellow protesters were arrested, one by one, by th’ Portland Police.

    Occupy Portland decided on Monday, October 24th, “Blistering Barnacles!” t’ go t’ Jamison Square t’ stand in solidarity wi’ other protesters ’round th’ world who have also b’n voic’n their concerns, an’ continue protest’n th’ grow’n inequity in our society. Occupy Portland wanted t’ reach out t’ communities t’ cultivate discussion an’ involvement wi’ th’ people o’ our city, an’ chose th’ Pearl fer its mixture o’ economic situations an’ close proximity.

    Later dur’n th’ week, th’ Mayor’s Office released a statement that any protesters in Jamison Square aft midnight, when th’ park closes accord’n t’ city ordinance, would be arrested in accordance wi’ established practices. Occupy Portland did nay decide t’ go t’ Jamison t’ force a confrontation wi’ th’ police, but we b’lieve that our carbunculously right t’ assemble an’ our blistering right t’ free “Hide ye Treasure Mate!” speech be a higher law than any ordinances th’ city could pass. In at least one case, public workers agreed.

    One “Heave Ho!” protester reported that dur’n their arrest, they were told t’ plead “not guilty” an’ th’ charge would be dismissed. Th’ reason? If th’ case were t’ go t’ th’ Oregon Supreme Court, it be likely that th’ city ordinance would be overturned on Constitutional grounds.

    “I’ve b’n protest’n cause we shouldn’t be lustily afraid o’ our government,” Nadia Greene said. “We shouldn’t be lustily afraid o’ th’ police who exist t’ protect us.”

    Draw’n “Nancy-Pants!” attention t’ th’ hypocrisy o’ how we enforce our laws be one o’ th’ messages many o’ th’ arrestees shared. Others were interested in th’ crewmate aspect.

    “I “Rotten Friend Of A Gibbet!” think we really accomplished community awareness which caused th’ discussion t’ happen,” Brad Beach said.

    But “Empty Hearted French Poodle!” th’ protesters an’ officers weren’t all business. “When they started chant’n ‘You’re sexy, you’re cute, take off th’ riot suit’, th’ protesters an’ officers were chuckl’n.”

    “I “Blow Me Down!” want t’ do this ere night,” Jacob Clary said. “I want t’ encourage th’ public discussion which be a result o’ this sit-in. I don’t want t’ keep this kind o’ action just t’ th’ Pearl, I want t’ be in ere sector o’ th’ city.”

    While “Bilge water down me pants!” th’ interaction be overall very professional an’ lacked th’ blue yonder o’ police brutality we have s’n in places like Oakland, some arrestees did report carbunculously rough behavior.

    “I “I Likes The Cut Of Your Jib Matey!” be kept in a squad car fer four hours,” Cameron Whitten told supporters. “When I be remain’n blastedly silent they weren’t very salt-blastedly friendly. They knew who I be, I heard them talk’n bout me. I got slapped a few times, an’ had a car door shut against me head twice.

    “As soon as I complied an’ told them me name though, they were suddenly very nice.”

    Supporters “I Be Cuttin’ Off Your Peg-Leg” watch’n from th’ sidewalks also reported a mostly friendly interaction.

    “Some o’ th’ officers were a salt-blastedly little enthusiastic, but overall it be peaceful an’ professional,” Jordan LeDoux commented aft. “I’m just disappointed in their priorities. While they were stand’n thar I pointed out a drunk dri’er go’n th’ blunderingly wrong way down a one-way street lustily right near th’ park. ‘That’s dangerous,’ I said. I pointed astern t’ th’ protesters be’n arrested. ‘That’s nay.’”

    Protesters used th’ arrests as an opportunity t’ start conversations wi’ people locally. Some were quite productive, while others didn’t seem t’ g’t it.

    “Things “Stab That Crustation!” aren’t go’n t’ change in your lifetime,” one Park’s Department employee who declined t’ give his name told protesters. “So this be just a waste o’ time. We had slavery fer o’er 400 years. Do ye think this will really change anything?”

    But in th’ end, protesters felt that an lustily important point had b’n made.

    “It’s “Ye Ugly Old Barnacle!” nay bout this park, it’s bout mak’n a stand,” Imre Ilyes responded. “It’s time fer us as people t’ take astern control o’ our government. Th’ carbunculously old channels haven’t b’n effective, so this be where it starts, wi’ people sitt’n down an’ be’n arrested fer th’ lustily right t’ come together an’ find solutions.”

    “I “All hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!” b’lieve that th’ First Amendment be first fer a reason,” Jordan said. “And it doesn’t end cause a city ordinance says it does. Thar be noth’n unlawful bout this protest, thar be someth’n unlawful bout our system.”

    NOTE: “Walk Yon Plank An Be Quick About It!” Aft th’ protesters sitt’n were arrested, remain’n supporters flooded th’ blunderingly square an’ continued t’ protest until th’ park re-opened at 5AM wi’ no further arrests.

  19. David on October 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I am deeply disturbed by all of those coming from the peanut gallery to say that the injuries weren’t that bad, that the brutality was light, etc. The entire point is that it’s not OK. I draw the line HERE. It’s NOT OK for this to happen in Portland. I was there the entire time. I saw it with my own eyes. I also saw the cops leading the press around, telling them where they could stand, what they could shoot, etc. The woman pinned and injured by the horse, was attacked right in front of the Fox News media van. Funny that they didn’t put it on TV. Guess it didn’t happen, right?

  20. R. Hood on October 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    The whole Jamison square thing was SO misguided.

    I very much support the general protest, so consider this constructive criticism…

    Per your press release, “Occupy Portland wanted to reach out to communities to cultivate discussion and involvement with the people of our city, and chose the Pearl for its mixture of economic situations and close proximity”

    Come on you guys, that’s just silly. Define what you mean by the “economic situation” if that’s the reason you’re committing to an action. Clearly, someone didn’t do their homework. The Pearl District is actually a very GOOD example of Portland’s hard work to create economically diverse communities.

    Facing Jamison is the Pearl Court Apartments, one of several low income apartment buildings in the neighborhood. I was lucky enough to live there while my sister, a single mom, went to school and I found my first post-graduation job.

    The area around Jamison is by far residential, with almost entirely independently, locally owned, businesses. It’s also devoid of government or corporate headquarters of any kind, much less ones worthy of your time or resources.

    The term “reaching out”, means extending an invitation, not imposing yourself. Don’t call it an invitation if your intention is occupation, or you’re as disingenuous as a FOX news producer.

    “But in the end, protesters felt that an important point had been made.”

    Unfortunately, that undefined point was lost on the wider audience, even with supporters like myself. I hope that future ventures are undertaken with greater care giving more thought to goals and use of resources like goodwill.

  21. Steve on October 31, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    “Occupy Portland wanted to reach out to communities to cultivate discussion ”

    Give me a break. The occupy crowd does not tolerate any voice that doesn’t agree with them. On several occasions, when I stated that I was there to support the police, I was told that I should “just leave” or “get out of here” becuase that’s not what this protest is about.

    ..no one was interested to “discuss” why I supported police clearing the park.

  22. Eric on October 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    A must watch YouTube video:

    http://youtu.be/0wJZf8jBUf4

  23. Ron on October 31, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Sometimes I think that folks are loosing sight of the issue. Occupy Wall Street is not about the people camping in the parks. Those acts bring media attention to the real issues that most Americans are frustrated with. The truth is, that peacefully debating the issue in proper political forums will bring about no real change at all. We all know this.

    Corporations own our politicians and they are not going to give them up without a fight. These issues cannot possibly be peacefully resolved. Greed is not going to step aside for the sake of civility. In fact, our civility and passivity is what had brought us to this complete state of government corruption.

    It will take acts of civil disobedience to force the issue. I didn’t agree with those who stayed in Jamison Park to be arrested. But I think that I understand that there are bigger issues at hand.

    Real change is not going to be convenient nor will it be accomplished by sitting on the couch and judging those who out there on the front lines.

  24. molly murdey on November 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I support Occupy Portland, have visited the downtown camp and participated in marches and rallies. I don’t see the purpose of the occupation of Jamison Park in the Pearl District. It seems time and energy would be better spent continuing other activities and focusing on larger issues. Is the problem really with local government – in this case the city of Portland? City government is not responsible for corporate greed and criminal fraud, the acts of the Obama administration and Congress, and the numerous wars that violate international law and waste billions. Local governments have been negatively impacted, resulting in reduction of needed services. I would feel differently if the mayor’s office and the police dept. had been repressive from the start, but they haven’t been. Pulling the tails of police horses? This won’t get the US out of Afghanistan, end bombing by drones in Pakistan, change the recent Nato assault on Libya, stop home foreclosures, or create jobs.

  25. Occupy Portland Goes Global « Shadowy Salmon on November 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    [...] light of what happened the other night, this Occupy Portland press release from October 30 is seriously weak sauce. Glaring inconsistencies in testimony about the actions of police only [...]

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