07-13-2020  10:48 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Federal Officers Use Tear Gas on Portland Protesters

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty calls officers' behavior "reckless and aggressive" after 26-year-old man struck on head and injured by an impact munition

Oregon Appeals Court Affirms Portland Renter Relocation Law

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Seattle Urged to See a 'World Without Law Enforcement'

Proposals include removal of 911 dispatch from Seattle Police control, budget cuts of 50%

Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

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NEWS BRIEFS

NNPA Livestreams With Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Val Demings

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Deadline is July 15 to Pay Portland's $35 Arts Tax

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Oregon National Guard Completes Wildland Firefighter Training

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OSU Science Pub Focuses on Influence of Black Lives Matter

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Mayor: US Marshals probing protester's shooting at protest

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Oregon reports 332 new coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

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Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

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Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Commissioner Hardesty Responds To Federal Troop Actions Towards Protesters

This protester is still fighting for their life and I want to be clear: this should never have happened. ...

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

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The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Polish president wins 2nd term after bitter campaign

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish President Andrzej Duda declared victory Monday in a runoff election in which he narrowly won a second five-year term, acknowledging the campaign he ran was often too harsh as he appealed for unity and forgiveness.The close race followed a bitter campaign between...

Legal experts review Black Minnesota teen's life sentence

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An independent panel of national legal experts will review the conviction of an African American teenager who was sentenced to life in prison nearly two decades ago for the murder of a little girl, struck by a stray bullet while studying in her south Minneapolis home,...

Up next for police defunding advocates: Win local elections

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ENTERTAINMENT

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Jada and Will Smith reveal marriage trouble on Facebook show

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Look out, Mars: Here we come with a fleet of spacecraft

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Prosecutors: Epstein victim to speak at associate's hearing

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Body found in search of lake for ‘Glee’ star Naya Rivera

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North Macedonia: Ballot boxes carried to quarantined homes

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Thousands in Russia's Far East protest governor's jailing

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Polish president wins 2nd term after bitter campaign

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McMenamins
Christina Hoag and Kathy Matheson the Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- More than 1,400 police officers, some in riot gear, cleared the Occupy Los Angeles camp early Wednesday, driving protesters from a park around City Hall and arresting more than 200 who defied orders to leave. Similar raids in Philadelphia led to 52 arrests, but the scene in both cities was relatively peaceful.

Police in Los Angeles and Philadelphia moved in on Occupy Wall Street encampments under darkness in an effort to clear out some of the longest-lasting protest sites since crackdowns ended similar occupations across the country.

Beanbags fired from shotguns were used to subdue the final three protesters in a makeshift tree house outside Los Angeles City Hall, police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said, describing it as a minor use of force incident. No serious injuries were reported.

Police Chief Charlie Beck praised the officers and the protesters for their restraint and the peaceful way the eviction was carried out.

Officers flooded down the steps of City Hall just after midnight and started dismantling the two-month-old camp two days after a deadline passed for campers to leave the park. Officers in helmets and wielding batons and guns with rubber bullets converged on the park from all directions with military precision and began making arrests after several orders were given to leave.

There were no injuries and no drugs or weapons were found during a search of the emptied camp, which was strewn with trash after the raid. City workers put up concrete barriers to wall off the park while it is restored. As of 5:10 a.m. PST, the park was clear of protesters, said LAPD officer Cleon Joseph.

The raid in Los Angeles came after demonstrators with the movement in Philadelphia marched through the streets after being evicted from their site. Over 40 protesters were arrested after refusing to clear a street several blocks northeast of City Hall, said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. They were lined up in cuffs and loaded on to buses by officers. Six others were arrested earlier after remaining on a street that police tried to clear.

"The police officers who were involved in this operation were hand-picked for this assignment," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said. "They're highly trained and disciplined and showed a tremendous amount of restraint and professionalism in carrying out this morning's operation."

Nutter said the eviction had been planned for several weeks and went off without largely without problems.

Ramsey said he would have preferred to evict the protesters without making arrests, but some refused orders to clear the street and had to be taken into custody. Three officers had minor injuries. One protester was injured when a police horse stepped on her foot, Nutter said.

The Philadelphia protesters were ordered to clear their encampment in part because a $50 million renovation project was due to start at the City Hall plaza this fall.

"Dilworth Plaza was designated as a construction site," Ramsey said. "They had to vacate. They knew that from the very beginning."

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised public safety and health concerns in announcing plans for the eviction last week, while Philadelphia officials said protesters must clear their site to make room for a $50 million renovation project.

By dawn in Los Angeles, trash, flattened tents and the stench of urine were the Occupy LA legacy.

City crews were installing chain link fence and concrete barricades around once-lush lawns that are now patches of dirt strewn with tons of debris, including clothing, tents, bedding shoes, trash and two months of human flotsam. Under a tree was a guitar, a bullhorn, CDs and a black bandanna.

Defiant Los Angeles campers who were chanting slogans as the officers surrounded the park, booed when an unlawful assembly was declared, paving the way for officers to begin arresting those who didn't leave.

In the first moments of the raid, officers tore down a tent and tackled a tattooed man with a camera on City Hall steps and wrestled him to the ground. Someone yelled "police brutality."

Teams of four or five officers moved through the crowd making arrests one at a time, cuffing the hands of protesters with white plastic zip-ties. A circle of protesters sat with arms locked, many looking calm and smiling.

Opamago Cascini, 29, said the night had been a blast and he was willing to get arrested.

"It's easy to talk the talk, but you gotta walk the walk," Cascini said.

Police used a cherry picker to pluck five men from trees. Two others were in a tree house - one wore a crown and another taunted police with an American flag.

In Philadelphia, police began pulling down tents at about 1:20 a.m. EST after giving demonstrators three warnings that they would have to leave, which nearly all of the protesters followed. Dozens of demonstrators then began marching through the streets and continued through the night.

Ramsey said breaking up the camp in the early-morning hours helped minimize any disruption to businesses and traffic.

"We acknowledge the fact that we are going to have to leave this space .... but in another sense this has been our home for almost two months and no one wants to see their home taken away from them," Philadelphia protester Bri Barton, 22, said before police began clearing out the camp.

"Whether or not we have this space or work in the city is nowhere near done," she said.

The eviction overall appeared to have been carried out without any significant scuffles or violence.

Later Wednesday morning, workers used front-end loaders to scoop up tents, trash and other debris and dump it into trucks to be hauled away, while others swept the plaza clean.

Demonstrators and city officials in both Los Angeles and Philadelphia were hoping any confrontation would be nonviolent, unlike evictions at similar camps around the country that sometimes involved pepper spray and tear gas. The movement against economic disparity and perceived corporate greed began with Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan two months ago.

The Los Angeles officers staged for hours outside Dodger Stadium before the raid. They were warned that demonstrators might throw everything from concrete and gravel to human feces at them.

"Please put your face masks down and watch each other's back," a supervisor told them. "Now go to work."

The officers came from a wide range of specialized units within the force, including the bomb squad, and the arson unit. Scores of officers in hazmat suits also were sent in to deal with potentially unsanitary conditions in the park.

Before police arrived in large numbers, protesters were upbeat and the mood was almost festive. A protester in a Santa Claus hat danced in the street. A woman showed off the reindeer antlers she had mounted on her gas mask.

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Matheson reported from Philadelphia. Associated Press writer Shaya Tayefe Mohajer in Los Angeles also contributed to this report.

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