Windows smashed at Portland bank; group claims responsibility - KPTV - FOX 12

Windows smashed at Portland bank; group claims responsibility

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Police say someone vandalized a northeast Portland bank early Monday morning by throwing rocks through windows.

Several holes were punched in the windows of the Umpqua Bank at Northeast 18th Avenue and Alberta Street, according to police.

Investigators said they had no suspect information, but a group claiming to be "anarchists" took responsibility for the vandalism in an email sent to several Portland area media organizations Monday.

The group offered several reasons for smashing the windows, one of which claimed the act was in solidarity with Occupy Portland and "...everyone on the receiving end of the daily violence of the Portland Police."

The email was signed, "Some angry proles." The word "proles," derived from proletariat, describes a citizen from the lowest class.

Police said they could not verify the claims contained in the e-mail.

On Monday, Occupy Portland's press team issued the following statement to "people who use the Occupy name to justify violence."

Violence is a form of fear. You lash out at what you are afraid of, hoping to destroy it before it destroys you. But no one with this kind of fear can ever be free. The Occupy name makes it all feel safe, as if there are millions standing with you as you lash out at what you fear. But instead, all you do is spread that fear to others, and take a bit of their freedom from them.

If you engage in violence, no matter if you claim the Occupy name, you are by definition separate. Violence solves nothing... violence perpetuates the systemic problems that we have. Do you solve a fire by fanning the flames? Do you dry clothing by sticking it in water? The use of violence reveals only one thing: that a person is not yet ready to live in the world that they are asking for. 

Also Monday, an Umpqua Bank spokeswoman called the vandalism "a misguided act of violence against a local community bank and an unfortunate distraction from the challenges our city faces."

She also countered the email's claims that the bank isn't a positive force in the Alberta neighborhood:

Umpqua Bank is focused on supporting the financial wellbeing of our community. We provide funding for consumers and businesses and support our neighborhood through grants, employee volunteer hours and other community-centric programs.

We're proud to be part of the Alberta neighborhood and appreciate the outpouring of support from our friends, neighbors and customers. We will continue investing in our community.

Umpqua was one of five banks that received unwanted attention overnight.

Portland police say they found a white plastic bag tied to the front doors of the downtown Chase Bank, but nothing dangerous was inside.

Key Bank, Bank of America and U.S. Bank branches in southeast Portland all had their doors glued shut.

Earlier this month, someone broke the windows of Chase Bank and Wells Fargo branches in northeast Portland.

Police don't yet know if the cases are related.

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