Cleanup has begun at what, for five weeks, was the Occupy ICE PDX camp. Portland Police Bureau officers limited access to the site earlier today, calling it a biohazard.
The mayor’s office confirmed to FOX 12, the city will pay for a portion of the cleanup bill, as will TriMet. Both are part of the consortium that owns the land on which protesters set up their camp.
Frank Savage, who lives across the street from the site, says, “It was pretty disgusting that that’s how they were living back there.”
Where protesters once stood, now trash litters the ground. But Savage says he’s relieved for things to go back to normal.
“Getting tired of waking up to the bullhorn and the sounds and the cussing,” he said.
Even after receiving orders from Mayor Ted Wheeler to leave on Monday, Occupy ICE PDX leaders affirmed they would not.
But, at around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, Portland police entered the camp, clearing protesters. Chief Danielle Outlaw says they did so without issuing any tickets or making any arrests.
Outlaw says she’s satisfied with the way it was handled.
“For the most part everything was done with very little incident,” Outlaw said.
But, the city’s work is far from over. It is now hiring private contractors to handle the cleanup.
Multnomah County inmates are also helping clean – some are receiving work time credit and financial incentives, according to the sheriff’s office.
When asked why protesters are not being held responsible for the bill, a TriMet official told FOX 12, “I can’t answer that. I just don’t think there is a mechanism to reimburse for the cost.”
As of right now, the city says it does not have an estimated cost for the cleanup.
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