Thursday, October 6, 12:20 pm—There's already over 1,000 people here in Waterfront Park. Someone with a megaphone is shouting advice for what to do if you get maced.
1:50 pm—The drum circle has begun!
2:25 pm—The crowd starts spilling forth from Waterfront Park. Police tweet: "Officers at Waterfront Park report a peaceful crowd and a welcoming of police presence."
2:41 pm—The march heads up West Burnside, stretching five whole blocks, with an official estimate of 4,000-5,000 people!
6 pm—Protest is being allowed to legally set up camp in Lownsdale and Chapman Squares, but the Portland Marathon has a permit to use them in the morning. "Fencing will begin at 9 am," the police ominously note.
6:30 pm—Capitalism at its finest in Chapman Square: For $10, Wayne Holderman sells black T-shirts emblazoned with white fists and the words "Occupy Portland." "It's a small family business," Holderman says. "It's just to promote unity and get people involved, and to make a little money."
7:45 pm—You can get free hugs here in Chapman Square. There's also live hiphop replete with Super Mario Bros. samples.
8:55 pm—I interview a school teacher who says, "I can't stay. I just came to hang out, throw a frisbee or something. This is kinda weird. Gonna go home and watch a movie." THEN HE WINKS AT ME.
9:42 pm—A near catastrophe when a woman holding venti Starbucks cups tries to climb over a chain and knocks over a couple of bikes.
10:40 pm—Interviews with two grown men: Jello (that's what he said his name was): "I don't think this is really a protest. It's more an outpouring of grievances." Jesse: "I wanted to be here to support people if there was any police brutality or anything like that. But now that it's like, legal, it's like—what are we all camping in a fucking park for?"
12:30 am—Expressing solidarity by taking puns to a whole new level, Gregg Abbott of Whiffies food cart showed up with six sacks of hot fried pies. His sign reads: Occupie.
3 am—There's a rumor that pizza has shown up. "If pizza is here, the occupation will definitely never end," says a tall biker named Dead Buny.
3:47 am—Time is passing very slowly. Even the real Ron Paul supporters are not funny anymore.
5:45 am—Finally fall asleep in the dirt, then woken up by someone shouting, "Mic check!" It comes again: "General assembly! We have to make decisions."
7:19 am—Meeting underway on whether the protest should stay in the parks and risk "fencing" or move. "Other cities are watching us," one man says. "If we start getting arrested, people stop bringing their kids down here."
9 am— No sign of a crackdown. One cyclist, making his way through the crowd with sacks of banana muffins, shouts, "I love you all. You're all beautiful Portlanders."
10 am—A motorcyclist just did a wheelie past the picket line. Awesome.
10:20 am—One of the most common small-talk topics I overhear is about the quality and quantity of food available at the camp. Guy: "I mean, I've eaten SO WELL since I've been here."
Guy #2: "Yeah, I had a bagel!"
11:30 am—A request for a morale committee is met with cheers. The leader of an earlier all-camp sing-along eagerly adds, "We can build a stage! And use it for slam-poetry readings!" Hmm.
Glutton for punishment? Read the whole liveblog here.