As the city, police, and media each take turns spelling out Occupy Portland’s doom, you have to wonder what’s next for the movement. While the media runs with news of drug use and violence at Chapman and Lownsdale parks, and the cops use the negative press to strengthen their efforts to shut down the encampment, the city is also applying pressure on the movement’s organizers.
Depending on who you talk to (if you even care), Occupy Portland is corrupting from within, much like the system they detest and are protesting against, or they’re reevaluating their strategy and adapting to changing circumstances at the downtown camps. Either way, the movement is being forced to evolve, for better or for worse.
To reference back to our Occupy FoPo post a couple weeks ago, although in jest, it appears as if there may actually be some connection between Occupy Portland and our very own, little FoPo. According to last week’s Willamette Week, the Occupy organizers have been eyeing potential buildings to set up shop, possibly as an indoor base camp for operations and to provide services for the protesters. Apparently the the Wikman Building (also mentioned in a recent post) has been identified as a potential target, as it sits vacant while the county decides what to do with it.
Here’s the blurb from the Willy Week:
“Occupy Portland leaders have been quietly shopping around for a place to move their protest indoors. Sources at the camps tell WW they are seeking office space for operations and services to protesters. Carrie Medina on her Facebook page has suggested Occupy Portland look at Southeast Portland’s Wikman Building, which Multnomah County has declared surplus. County officials say they haven’t received a proposal from Occupy leaders, who reportedly have been looking at other buildings in downtown.”
Take from this what you will. As it stands now, the county has already received a proposal for the building from ROSE CDC, who seeks to transform the site into a community space for such neighborhood uses as an internet cafe, small business incubator, and possibly a grocery co-op. With that kind of deal in the works, I doubt FoPo will be playing host the the Occupy war room any time soon. However, the thought is intriguing nonetheless, and funnier things have happened.