This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Police Break Out Pepper Spray, Make Arrests at Occupy Portland Chase Bank Protest

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Update 11/18:
The official tally of arrests is 15 from the Chase Bank protest. Police booked six people in Multnomah County jail and cited the rest for criminal trespass or disorderly conduct.

Update 5:30PM: Everything's cool now, guys! The police made several arrests inside the Chase Bank ATM lobby, then, essentially, immediately disappeared. There are still a handful of police officers on street corners around Pioneer Square and roughly 150 protesters in the square, but everyone's just hanging out. As quickly as the scene exploded, it quieted down.

Original post:
Police have deployed pepper spray and are making arrests among a crowd of 40 Occupy protesters who have occupied Chase Bank on Pioneer Square this afternoon. This news is breaking, so check back for updates.

An estimated 200 police officers were deployed this afternoon in the face of a 300-500 person anti-bank protest that looped through downtown this afternoon. After unfolding a banner and raising an American "distress" flag at Wells Fargo on SW 5th, the crowd moved to Bank of America on SW 2nd, taking over the doorway for an hour-long dance party. Several people also slipped notes under the door of the BofA, including one scrawl that read, "You helped make me homeless."

Then, the protest moved up SW Morrison to Pioneer Square, where squadrons of police in riot gear kept the road clear... but made the crowd tense (though this dude's dance certainly helped diffuse some of the tension). As the trucks full of riot police drove up SW Morrison, someone started blasting the Star Wars Imperial March, leading the crowd in a chant of, "ALL HAIL THE EMPIRE!"

Numerous people have been complaining that police are covering up their names and refusing to give out business cards. Well, it turns out that the new city rule that says police must do both of those things only applies to Portland police—not other cities' officers working under their jurisdiction. Portland has been bringing in dozens of police from all over the state as protest crowd control.

After the first use of pepper spray by police, this guy walked up to the protest front line with his toddler:

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