Occupy 1: Portland

One thing I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving is the Occupy movement. I have a buttload of photos of the few I’ve seen, mostly of Portland and Arcata. Occupy Portland’s camp was removed November 14, so I post these photos in memoriam of the camp that was and in anticipation of the new forms this occupation will take. The first gallery includes pictures of a general assembly, and the second includes pictures of the camp on the day of the Portland Marathon (October 9, 20110.

Watching an Occupy General Assembly is interesting. I like the inclusive nature of the People’s Mic. It takes a long time for the speaker to say a phrase and the crowd to repeat it, and it takes a long time for everyone to speak. Sometimes, after a decision is voted up or down, people will do the opposite thing anyway. But I have to say, I loved the feel of the assemblies. I’ve been to two assemblies, one in Portland with a lot of passionate speeches, and another in Arcata with a discussion of meetings with local businesses and what committees needed to be formed.

My favorite photos in this group are the photo that shows the sign “End War” and, behind it,” Arm the Poor”—a little contradiction there—and the one that says “Poverty is the worst form of violence.”

After this meeting, I went to have lunch at Brasserie Montmartre. You can read my post about that memorable sandwich on Beth at Home and Abroad. Then I wandered over to the route of the Portland Marathon, where I briefly spoke with a documentary filmmaker from Canada. The organizers of the marathon and the police had completely enclosed the camp in fences so that the protestors couldn’t get to the marathon route. I don’t know if the runners knew the camp was there, though some of the tents were pretty hard to miss. As I stood there, the fences began to come down, and I was able to walk into the camp.