UPDATE 2:40PM—Mayor Adams released a statement on last night's protest:
Last night, hundreds of people marched through our central city streets, during a march in support of Occupy Oakland. The route was not publicized in advance, despite repeated requests for information from the Portland Police Bureau. As a result, our Portland Police Officers had to react with little information, doing their best to facilitate a peaceful march, while minimizing the impacts.
One police sergeant suffered minor injuries when he was pushed in front of a TriMet bus. Fortunately, he will be okay. Violence like this will not be tolerated.
The City needs adequately plan for large-scale events, to mitigate their impacts and ensure everyone’s safety. Today, we released a statement stressing the importance of working collaboratively in advance of events like these, to share information. When we do not have this information or marches are unpermitted, police will be asking participants to stay on sidewalks and obey all traffic laws.
This is a very reasonable request. We need advance information to ensure the route is safe. We also need to have the right number of police officers to facilitate a successful march, without unfairly pulling officers away from Portland’s neighborhoods.
The City is striving to balance people’s rights to free speech, with keeping the city safe and moving—an approach that most Portlanders support. I ask that participants of Occupy Portland continue to help us maintain this balance. As I’ve said, the City is continuing to make day-to-day decisions regarding Occupy Portland, and behavior still matters.
I would also like to thank the men and women of the Portland Police Bureau for their continued hard work and professionalism. This is an unprecedented free speech event that is not unique to Portland, and I appreciate everyone’s dedication to balancing people’s rights to free speech, with keeping the city safe and moving.
UPDATE 12:24PM—Reporter Denis Theriault reports from the scene that there's "at least as many" police and security guards at the event as protesters; guards are stationed on every floor and they're heavily screening people who are coming into the hotel. The Portland Business Alliance members are downstairs in the Hilton eating lunch while outside, the scene is a classic protest. About 50 people are chanting and singing. "It's quite raucous," says Theriault.
UPDATE 11:40 AM—About 25 protesters are outside the Hilton, shouting songs and slogans at the Portland Business Alliance folks who are heading to hear Chase Bank's Jamie Dimon speak. Organizers have been planning the rally since Friday, some even staying overnight at the Hilton. For now, police and security guards are keeping all the protesters on the sidewalk outside the hotel, not letting in anyone who looks questionable. Especially if they have pink hair:
Here's Denis Theriault's shot of the crowd... not exactly a bunch of young punks:
We'll be updating throughout the morning on an Occupy Portland march against Chase Bank CEO Jamie Dimon, who is in town for a Portland Business Alliance Luncheon. The march began at 11 and is planning to mob the Hilton where Dimon is speaking downtown.
A protest against Dimon in Seattle yesterday resulted in police indiscriminately pepper spraying into the crowd and the arrests of three protesters. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Portland Police Union President Daryl Turner is demanding accountability after last night's march over the Hawthorne Bridge got a little rough. Turner told KPTV, that Mayor Sam Adams must "make a decision on how future protests are handled."
"We're going to hold the police commissioner accountable if any police officer or citizen gets hurt," Turner said. Additionally, police bureau spokesman Pete Simpson told the station he's worried that the protest has taken on an "anti-police message": "It's not about the original Occupy movement any more."
Will today's march stay safe?