Four hundred bucks for a tent? Geez, some of the occupiers are doing pretty good for themselves, aren’t they?
The tent city that was Occupy Portland, slowly began coming down today, as demonstrators heeded a midnight eviction warning and city officials sent in an army of trucks and staff to help.
Police meanwhile, began checking backpacks of everyone entering the two downtown parks that have housed the protest encampment for the past five weeks, looking for rocks or other weapons as they prepared for possible arrests.
By late afternoon, large gaps had grown in what had been wall-to-wall nylon tents and plastic tarps. A steady stream of city dump trucks could be seen hauling off loads of debris.
Some who folded up their tents and tarps said they were leaving for good, worried about the possibility of trouble or even violence if police decide to enforce the 12:01 a.m. deadline set by Mayor Sam Adams for leaving the parks. Others vowed to continue the protest, but didn’t want to lose their gear.
“It’s a matter of not letting them trash a $400 tent while we’re protesting,” said Bobby Williams, of North Portland, who was clearing his temporary home inside Chapman Square. He vowed to return, however, saying he planned to film any confrontations that might arise between police and protesters.
Meanwhile, one local politician decided to treat her kids to a day watching losers folding up tents.
News that the camp was on the verge of shutting down attracted a number of sightseers, some snapping photos for posterity, others with children in tow so they could witness a distinct part of Portland culture. Among them was state Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, who walked through the parks with two daughters.
“This is their civics lesson,” Gelser said.
Aw, how cute.