This morning, a group of 150 or so NE neighbors, Occupy veterans, the Portland Liberation Organizing Council (PLOC), people facing foreclosure on their homes, and folks from a multitude of local community organizations rallied together in Northeast Portland to reclaim a previously foreclosed home on NE Bryant and 6th. The previously unknown location was the destination of a 9:30 am march that started at Woodlawn Park.
Alicia Jackson, who was booted from the house in August and currently living with her father, was "overwhelmed" by the community's support and action to bring her home. "There's unity in community," Jackson said after opening the door to her home for the first time, followed by volunteers carrying moving boxes. "This is amazing!" While she successfully reclaimed her home today, her side yard has already been occupied by a new rental complex, funding by the bank loans.
Along with helping Jackson move her things back into the home and change the locks, folks put on gardening gloves and pulled weeds and replanted flowers in her front lawn. Ralliers of all ages also blocked off the street to kick off a block party—fit with food, music and games (yes, tax dodger dodge-ball). A few participants even sawed down the "for sale" sign and made it into a maypole.
Despite a pair of police cars parked far down the street, the mellow event drew little police attention. It looks like the majority of the police force is downtown covering the Occupy strike march—keep your eyes on the blog to follow the rest of today's May Day happenings!
Update 1:05 PM: That march downtown has already lead to more than a dozen arrests. About 150 or so protesters who started marching from the underbelly of the Burnside Bridge are facing off with cops trying to keep them off downtown streets. Scuffles have been reported at SW Salmon and Broadway, SW Fifth and Start, and SW First and Pine. There's been one smoke bomb so far, but no tear gas or pepper spray. But, wait... what's that? Rot cops appear to be showing up.