Demonstrators disrupt downtown banks during N17 protest - KPTV - FOX 12

Demonstrators disrupt downtown banks during N17 protest

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Occupy Portland demonstrators joining a nationwide day of action against banks disrupted business at several branches in downtown, even getting inside one branch.

A video posted on YouTube shows a small group walk into the Wells Fargo branch at 900 SW 5th Avenue.

The video shows the group announcing they do not view the employees at the branch as "the enemy."

"In fact, we want to be friends," said one man, which the other protestors repeat.  "However, we are here in opposition to the policies of Wells Fargo."

The group goes on to say they take issue with Wells Fargo's stock investment in a private prison company, called Geo Group, Inc.

In the 14 minute clip, the protestors alternate singing and chanting "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out" as employees and customers look on.

As a crowd of demonstrators outside the building grew, police arrested the following nine people inside on charges of criminal trespassing:

  • 36-year-old Nathaniel Holder
  • 24-year-old Jacob Dacks
  • 34-year-old Adam Carpinelli
  • 28-year-old Erik Ray Olson
  • 32-year-old Craig Taylor Hennecke
  • 33-year-old Eliana Machuca
  • 30-year-old Kari Koch
  • 31-year-old Abigail Singer
  • 27-year-old Samantha Easton Roberts

They were cited and released.

Protestors also gathered outside a Bank of America branch on SW 2nd Avenue and Morrison Street.  Employees there had locked the door and watched from inside as demonstrators blocked the entrance to the bank.  Others burned money and bank statements.

Cynthia Simpson, who works inside the building, said she'd been watching the protest

"So far it hasn't been really scary, but it's a little unnerving because it's stopping the flow, you know, of people downtown and it's stopping buses."

Some demonstrators told Fox 12 the day was successful.

"Before we even got to different banks, they already had them locked up. So I'd say yeah, our mission has been accomplished," said Tadd Hess, a protestor.

Protestors also demonstrated outside the Chase branch across from Pioneer Courthouse Square, where the clash grew heated and police used pepper-spray on protestors.

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