Two strategies were used to distribute the survey. An online version was created, and respondents were able to respond via computer between November 1 and November 4, 2011. Meanwhile, volunteers took paper copies of the survey to the Occupy Portland camp and conducted face-to-face interviews with people in the camp between November 3 and November 6. As a result of these efforts, a total of 545 people filled out the survey. 205 (52%) of these people were male, and 187 (48%) were female. Meanwhile, 293 (54%) self-identified as white, 61 (11%) as non-white, and 191 (35%) respondents did not provide information about their race/ethnicity.
The 545 people who filled out surveys have had a relatively high level of engagement with the movement. 60% of the respondents say they have marched in one or more Occupy Portland marches; 49% have attended one or more meetings in the Occupy Portland camp; 49% have donated food, money, or supplies to the camp; and 48% say they have done work of some
kind in the camp. 121 of the respondents report that they have spent one or more nights in the camp.
MORE INFO TO COME BUT HERE IS THE GOLDEN QUESTION:
Overall it feels safe to visit the Occupy Camp.
Yes 322 people (76%)
No 103 people (24%)
People who have camped one or more nights
Yes 89 people (81%)
No 21 people (19%)
The percentage of people saying that it feels safe to visit the camp is quite high, and this should not be ignored by city residents, public officials, or members of the media. We also asked survey respondents to list the three most important, positive things that have been created by the Occupy Portland camp and movement. By far, the most common responses to this question were that the camp has brought a wide variety of people together,
allowed for sustained interactions between these people, and allowed for a sense of community and solidarity to emerge.
Many respondents also report that the camp and the wider movement have brought public attention to issues like economic injustice, poverty, and homelessness. A lot of people responding to the survey said something like "These problems are usually swept under the table, but now they are visible have to be dealt with."
Finally, a number of respondents who said they are homeless said that they feel safer in the camp than they would if they were sleeping in other parts of Portland. Some commentators have criticized the presence of homeless people in the camp. But it should be recognized that the Occupy Portland camp is now serving as something of a safe haven for some of the most
vulnerable residents of our city. Many survey respondents encourage non-profits and city officials to reach out to vulnerable people in the camp, and provide on-the-spot services, rather than using the presence of homeless citizens as a reason to criticize the camp.