Some Lies and Misinformation Surrounding Occupy Portland

Photo by Kendall

Lataya Dailey

“The Occupiers Cost Thousands of Dollars of Damage to the Parks.”

We’ve heard the estimate that over 85,000 dollars in damage was caused by Occupiers while the protest site was established in Chapman and Lownsdale Park.
According to a press release from workers of LABORERS’ LOCAL 483 who maintain the parks “ The Parks department’s estimate of the cost of refurbishing Chapman and Lownsdale parks unfairly implicates the Occupy Portland encampment.”

“None of the stuff that they are saying happened because of the Occupiers. I don’t care if they say it costs $85,000, the point is that the Portland occupiers did not do it!” – Recently retired Portland Parks and Recreation employee Dan Forner.
Read the full press release here.

When the Parks Department held a volunteer cleanup day for the parks the media said very few protesters took part. This was an outright lie. The positions available for the cleanup were filled quickly because within Occupy Portland the information needed to sign up was widely shared. There was such a large interest in the volunteer opportunity that many Occupiers were turned away. No reporters or city officials asked the volunteers if they were from Occupy Portland so the number the media reported is not based in fact.

“Increase in Crime at the protest site in Chapman and Lownsdale parks was the reason the site was dismantled.”

Here is an article that uses statistics from the Police Bureau’s own site Crime Mapper to show that is not true. Recently a 130 page document was released that shows the true reason for not only Occupy Portland’s eviction but for many Occupy sites across the country. Homeland Security held conference calls with numerous Mayors to evict peaceful protesters. Even though the press releases, meant for the public, found in this document say DHS was not actively coordinating with City Officials to evict  protesters the existence of this document proves they indeed were. There are a lot of blacked out sections that would make an interesting read.

“Occupiers are unemployed and looking for handouts.”

Well sure, some of the people participating in Occupy are jobless since we have a high rate of unemployed in the USA. Our jobs are being sent overseas at an alarming rate. Even so the majority of Occupiers are in fact employed. Here is a survey done on Occupiers in North Carolina. One is under way for Portland.

We are made of community members and will reflect a wide array of people. We are not asking for handouts; we are protesting our grievances and organizing to find solutions.

The media repeatedly seeks individuals they have used to create a stereotype for Occupiers. That is why most people in Portland are unaware of one of our most beloved regular Occupiers. She is an 80-year-old woman who is never shown in pictures of our events just like many other regular participants that do not fit the media’s desired stereotype.

“Occupy is a violent movement.”

Occupy has never endorsed or advocated violence. We do use direct action and peaceful civil disobedience.

“Occupy has no clear message.”

From day one we have targeted the 1%, meaning ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and the corporations behind ALEC that are destroying our economy and way of life. There are many issues we have addressed along the way but they always come back to Citizens United and Corporate Personhood.
We have created our own media where you can find more information on our events and goals.

Here are some sites where you can discover just how clear the message is:
Occupy Portland’s main page
Occupy Portland’s  newspaper
Occupy St. Johns main page
Occupy Portland/Occupy St. Johns participants and events are often on KBOO as well

Occupy has targeted the Mainstream Media as a tool for the 1%.
Back in 1983, approximately 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the United States.  Today, ownership of the news media has been concentrated in the hands of just six incredibly powerful media corporations.
There is a lot of information out there on this topic. Here are two sources: one, and two.

We know we have to stand against those who have a wealth of resources to improve our country and quality of life.

Our history shows that our working conditions improve when people unite under a common cause. Solidarity!

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