Portland protesters have created a new “autonomous zone” by pitching tents and rebuilding barricades removed by police.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler reacted to the fiasco in a series of Tweets.
I am authorizing the Portland Police to use all lawful means to end the illegal occupation on North Mississippi Avenue and to hold those violating our community’s laws accountable. There will be no autonomous zone in Portland.
We all agree many of our nation’s systems and structures are fundamentally racist and require significant reform. There’s a housing crisis, a health care crisis, an education crisis, an employment crisis, a mental health crisis, and an addiction crisis.
All of these crises are magnified in urban areas, including Portland. And, these crises disproportionately impact Black people.
It’s also true that illegal trespassing, ignoring lawful orders from police, blocking sidewalks and streets, and intimidating neighbors inflame these crises and make them more difficult to solve. That is what’s happening on North Mississippi Avenue right now.
There was a lengthy, thorough judicial proceeding resulting in a lawful judge’s order to evict people illegally occupying a home. Multnomah County chose the time, place and manner of the eviction and Portland Police provided support.
It’s time for the encampment and occupation to end. There are many ways to protest and work toward needed reform. Illegally occupying private property, openly carrying weapons, threatening and intimidating people are not among them.