Portland mayor responds to Occupy Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland mayor responds to Occupy Portland

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The following is a statement from Portland Mayor Sam Adams regarding Occupy Portland's plans to camp in another park:

Today, the City received a statement from Occupy Portland indicating that protesters "will once again occupy a public space" tomorrow, December 3.

As a city, we have learned a lot in the eight weeks since the first Occupy Portland camp set up in Lownsdale and Chapman Squares. While the camp shone a bright light on important national issues of economic equity, it also showed the on-the-ground local impact of state and federal cuts to social service funding, which have left too many people without housing and without the mental health care that they need.

As we look to make our own budget cuts in the coming year, we simply cannot afford another encampment in our city. I would much rather spend our finite dollars on direct services to those in need, rather than patrolling and cleaning up after an encampment. As someone who empathizes with the founding frustrations of the Occupy movement—economic inequity, our high unemployment rate, the influence of corporations and money in politics—I believe that the encampments have become a distraction from addressing these national issues.

With these lessons learned in mind, I have directed the Portland Police Bureau to enforce all parks rules at all parks in a peaceful manner.

This does not preclude the expression of free speech, something we have tried to balance from the beginning: Demonstrators can protest in any park during open hours, as long as they observe all parks rules, including those regarding structures. We are also anticipating a peaceful rally and march through downtown tomorrow.

We will continue to monitor the ongoing Occupy Portland protest, and make practical, day-to-day decisions like these as warranted.

Finally, I encourage supporters of the Occupy Portland movement to contribute to the Portland Parks Foundation fund to restore Chapman and Lownsdale Squares. You can donate here.

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