the tracks, and no one is to blame more than the occupants.
encampment’s closure deadline, when all occupiers will be required to leave by
order of Mayor Sam Adams.
tension rippling through the camp, spurred by the numerous police officers on
in that camp left me feeling more and more as if, maybe, the policemen’s
behavior was not entirely unwarranted.
and malicious stand there – but to look upon Occupy Portland is to gaze upon a
center of idealistic virtues marred by its own inherently flawed population.
Occupy Portland camp
a scream into the ever-encroaching night, has become a joke of a camping
ground, where all you can smell is the scent of freshly smoked Ganja, and maybe,
the strong whiff of whiskey off an old man’s breath, a old man who you will
inevitably find standing next to you, asking for spare quarters and cigarettes.
Wading through a sea of bodies, past tent after tent, listening to the raspy
voices, the incoherent sentences, and at the end you will think, “My God, what
a waste of space.”
students protesting their student loans, bringing awareness to our massive
debt, and our failing system of government.
a scornful hatred emitted by a mass of people who seem to feel that the entire
world has done them wrong.
could sit down and explain exactly how the system has gone awry.
much else is to be expected.
clear direction and nowhere is that problem clearer than in the Portland camps.
tried to find coherence, but couldn’t. I prayed for even one person to set me
straight, to tell me the purpose of it all, and to explain to me how Occupy was
to help fix it.
greasy overalls, and, if I were lucky, anarchy tattoos across their faces.
let my night at Occupy speak for itself.
Occupy Portland tents and signs
into the encampment a little after five o’clock, having just gotten of work,
the rain and the wind doing nothing for my exhausted demeanor.
looming as ever, and in front of me what looked to be, from a distance, a
maximum occupancy campground. Take away all the signs, and that’s what it was.
surrounding the outer edges, showcasing the encampment’s many varied messages
to the casual passerby.
movement: “We are the 99%.”
the mayor, the police were trying to shut down the camp early. They were at every
their few belongings, looking to get out before any real trouble, but most
stood their ground, in torn shoes and the grubby gear of folks who have spent too
many nights out in the cold.
very much the worse for wear, was met with a snide, “You have three questions.”
name. There seemed to be an unseen memo delivered to all campers, swearing them
to complete secrecy.
Sign at Occupy Portland
coming date of expulsion from the parks,
these cops are running, and I’m not leaving. They’re going to have a fight, and
I know some who will bring it to them,” he said.
like there was no real point to it. It was more like it was an insult the way
his lips rolled over it.
And we’re the John Lennons. You’ve got one question left,” he said.
a picture of the sign that hung on his tent.
shook him off. He was a bad egg, I was sure, and I just had to keep looking.
stock still where I had met him, eyeing everyone with overt anger.
I would look under the stones laid about the parks, if I thought it would help
me find something worthwhile.
was asked for a smoke at least half a dozen times, and I heard two unrelated
stories from two unrelated parties of Occupy teenagers about the psychedelic
trip they had went on at one of the marches not but a week or two ago.
asked questions. Expletives were trying to form on my lips, to be spat out at
the numerous people who antagonized my search for a meaning in the camp.
what I was searching for didn’t exist here.
who refused to give his real name and demanded that if his words got into print
he be called Glenn Quagmire, was branded with an anarchy symbol and packing up
and wasn’t planning to stay in fear of getting arrested and sent back.
weekend, when the police would shut the camp down, by force, if necessary.
said, seconding an opinion I had now heard too many times to count. “And after
that, we’ll move. It isn’t going to end. This is our right, to occupy. It’s fascist,
what they’re doing.”
tongue, and did not ask this young man if he even knew the definition of the
word fascist. I had heard it so many times, thrown around so loosely, that it
barely even carried weight any longer.
angry for a whole different set of reasons than I had been when Occupy had
started, when I had joined in one of their first marches down Morrison Street,
straight through the center of Portland.
suppose, if only for the ideals alone.
way of the ideal, and they stand strong and tall, exercising their free right
of speech without knowing what they want to talk about.
there had been talks! Oh, talks to rival the best you can imagine, coming from
all corners — from men in suits, talking about the country, the Constitution
and where we stand as a nation, to hipsters, for once stepping out of their
fashionable place of irrelevance, to express opinions that you never even knew
they had. That march buzzed.
than a whisper of protest.
see, it had a fall ugly enough to match it, a fall preceded by drugs, medical
emergencies, violence, arson (a Molotov Cocktail incident), and, coming in
last, the gentle exhausted sputter of ideals that had held on for as long as
forcibly or not, it will be a sad day.
city of Portland will have put its foot down on the biggest act of free speech
I have ever seen.
to find anything worthwhile to say.
world. I hope the others retain their ideals and charisma.