A force of approximately 7 or 8 Portland Police Bureau officers headed by Lt. Bill Haunsperger raided the Portland Peace Encampment at 11:45pm Monday, April 14th, 2003. The police confiscated several bins of food and equipment, bags of clothes and all the remaining protest signs. No arrests or citations were made.
The Peace Camp was given a Property/Evidence Receipt listing the confiscated equipment and bags, but not the protest signs. The Property Receipt lists the "Type of Incident" as "Abandon Property," yet the property is listed as being taken from Russell Nelson, one of the demonstrators.
The last few minutes of the raid were videotaped by a freelance cameraman for several local TV Stations.
Notes taken by the demonstrators indicated that "The cops seemed like they were having a good time. Apparently Mayor Katz wanted it done at night so no one would notice. One freelance cameramen came out and said it was blacked out on the radio as well."
The cameraman later confirmed that he had been called by several local TV stations to cover the event. Two of the TV stations confirmed to him that no police call was sent out on the radio or received on the stations police scanners, which is highly unusual.
Police returned at approximately 1am and demanded that the demonstrators remove all remaining chairs and equipment. This equipment was loaded into a demonstrator's truck.
The only protest sign not confiscated by the police was the Bill of Rights. This is a bit of a shame, because the police obviously need a copy.
Demonstrators continue their vigil at the site, sitting on the ground under two umbrellas not confiscated by police. Peace Camp plans a major demonstation at Noon on Tuesday April 15th.
Earlier in the day, the Portland Parks and Recreation department has refused to issue a permit for Peace Camp's move to Lownsdale Square in front of the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse. As a result, Peace Camp moved all of their equipment at Hatfield back to City Hall.
Photos will be posted to IndyMedia as soon as they can be developed.
Copyright © 2003 by Andrew Hunter Seaton. This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/). Distribution of substantively modified versions of this document is prohibited without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.