***Update: 11/29 Police shut down the camp during the early morning hours, taking a bicycle with them, on the grounds that this is private property.***
The failure of the City of Portland to provide shelter space for all the houseless people who need it has led to the development of small groups of houseless people who support each other in building shelters as they can, where they can. When the city evicted Occupy Portland from the parks where we had lived together for five weeks, many houseless individuals and families were forced to seek shelter under Portland’s bridges and to cope with harassment by some Police officers.To the best of our knowledge, Occupy Gateway is an independent, autonomous occupation by people who met at Occupy Portland and have adopted the principles of our spokes council for democratically organizing themselves as a community of houseless people. Under this model, each community creates its own guidelines.Occupy Portland applauds any autonomous community of houseless people who choose to create a nonviolent community for themselves, and while this is not a GA-approved activity, we hope the spokes council model will prove useful for this community.To get to Occupy Gateway, go to the Gateway Transit Center, then walk to the I-205 bike path. Cross over I-84 and take the dirt road to the right. Walk for about another five minutes, through grasses and trees, and find a spot between I-205 and I-84 where, at the end of the day on November 28, three tents had been pitched. This is probably the stretch of land they currently occupy.
Note that the land is probably (given that we are not certain where the lines are drawn and where the occupation has located itself) owned by a non-profit that wants to create bicycle paths, hiking, and “more.” The occupiers believe the “more” includes camping.
By K. Kendall
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