After seven months of protests and violent clashes in his city, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is taking action … on demonstrators at a foreclosed house.
Wheeler issued a statement that he is authorizing Portland police “to use all lawful means to end the illegal occupation” of a North Portland house, where a family that had lived in the home since the 1950s, lost the residence in foreclosure. They had paid off the home but took out a new mortgage in 2002.
The Kinneys, whose former house was auctioned in 2018 as part of a gentrified area, believed the eviction moratorium should apply to them but a judge ruled in September that their struggles preceded the pandemic, The Oregonian reported. Between then and November, the Portland Police Bureau said it answered 81 calls to the residence.
Demonstrations played out in the daylight, for a change, on Tuesday ) when the Associated Press reported that protestors threw rocks at officers and damaged squad cars. After seven arrests were made, some 100 protestors returned at night and put up wire fencing and wood pallets to block the street near the home.
“There will be no autonomous zone in Portland,” Wheeler said in a statement. “It’s time for the encampment and occupation to end. There are many ways to protest and work toward needed reform. Illegally occupying private property, openly carrying weapons, threatening and intimidating people are not among them.”
This is one situation. Wheeler has many more to address. Portland has been experiencing near-nightly protests and riots for police reform and racial justice since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in May and the pandemic has heightened the city’s homelessness problem.