Police Use Battering Ram to Evict Bank-Owned Occupy Squat in Northeast Portland

From The Oregonian. Nov 18.

Members of Occupy Portland move into foreclosed house but police soon roust them

About 15 members of Occupy Portland moved into a vacant house in Northeast Portland two days after being evicted from the encampment in downtown Portland as part of an effort to continue the movement.

About a dozen Portland officers and a deputy district attorney showed up around 1:30 p.m. Friday and used a battering ram to enter the house at 1303 N.E. Roselawn St. and clear out the squatters.

A document on a table inside the house appeared to outline a strategy: “We have occupied a bank owned house in the northeast suitable to house 30 to 40 people (and encourage others to do the same).” The flyer also solicited “legal advice” and “people willing to act as immediate responders in the very likely event of police presence.”

And police showed up.

Detective John Birkinbine said police got calls from neighbors saying that the vacant house was now being inhabited. He said police investigated and learned that the house was foreclosed and owned by Bank of America. “We determined that people here were squatting illegally and trespassing.”

Alex Harrington, 18, said he moved into the house with other members on Occupy Portland on Tuesday.

He said the police used a battering ram to open the door and told everyone to sit on the floor. A man and a woman were arrested after they declined to answer questions. The rest were allowed to gather their belongings and leave without being charged.

The idea of occupying foreclosure properties was broached at one of Occupy Portland’s general assemblies when it became clear that the city would soon move to evict the campers in downtown Portland.

The green vacant house on Roselawn Street had been boarded up.

Inside, there were signs that the inhabitants had made an effort at organization. A paper entitled “Mama’s House Charter” listed rules of expected behavior for people living in the house such as “Everyone should help everyone” and in capital letters a terse, obscene ban on meth.

Genevier Sullivan 29, said the occupants were living communally. “We had two cooks. We had people keeping stuff clean in there. It was very organized,” she said. “We’re all just people that need to get inside.”
She said she felt that the neighborhood was largely supportive of the occupation.

“Most of the neighbors we talked to are cool with us being there,” she said. “But those rich people in the condos, they’re the ones who called the cops. They are not friendly with what we’re doing at all.”

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1 Response to Police Use Battering Ram to Evict Bank-Owned Occupy Squat in Northeast Portland

  1. Bill Csapo says:

    There’s a legal question as to whether the bank even owns the damn house: http://amvona.com/blog/economics/28217-houston-weve-got-a-problem-bevilacqua.html
    This applies to every mortgage foreclosed on in the last five years. The buildings still belong to us, Occupy!

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