Three Dozen Arrested in May Day Protests
May 2, 2012, 12:00 am
Among the crowd of May Day protesters were students. They demonstrated outside
Portland Public School headquarters against proposed budget cuts and teacher layoffs. Dozens of students showed up bright and early to the district's administration building on North Dixon.
They chanted "when our education is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back." Police checked employee ID's before they were allowed to enter.
The group marched across the Broadway Bridge and back again. They stopped at the closing Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy. Lincoln High School was locked down as they approached. At City Hall, Mayor Sam Adams addressed them.
Demonstrators passed by the downtown parks where protesters lived for five weeks last year. PPS Superintendent Carole Smith also met with the crowd when they returned to district headquarters.
Protesters moved through downtown Portland to Pioneer Courthouse Square. A crowd gathered under the Burnside Bridge before noon for a march in solidarity. Police moved in on bicycle, took down and arrested 36 people, one was a juvenile. Someone set off a smoke bomb in the middle of it all.
At Woodlawn Park in Northeast Portland, a group split off to take over a foreclosed home near Northeast 6th and Bryant. They said they were reclaiming it from the banks and returning to the public trust. Protesters found the front door locked, then busted into a lock box, took the key and walked in to the home that Alisha Jackson was forced out of last summer.
Many businesses hired private security guards in the event of an attack. The sign of a Wells Fargo bank downtown was damaged, leaving a hole. Early in the morning, the Key Bank near Southeast 38th and Hawthorne, and the U.S. Bank at Southwest 6th and Oak were vandalized as well. More reports are coming in. Graffiti was reportedly spray-painted inside Pioneer Place Mall.
The only permitted event was an afternoon rally and parade stepping off from the south park blocks.
The events were promoted by Occupy Portland in solidarity with striking workers and organized labor.