Eviction, occupation, negotiation: The latest with Red House

Civic Affairs

Resident says everyone wants a peaceful resolution

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One of the people staying at the Red House on North Mississippi Avenue said they began the process of negotiations with staff from Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office in an attempt to resolve the ongoing occupation and barricades over the house’s foreclosure and the family’s eviction.

William Kinney — whose parents were evicted and who also goes by the name William X. Nietzche — told KOIN 6 News he was able to get some commitments from the mayor’s office and from the Portland Police Bureau.

Everyone, he said, wants a peaceful resolution.

William Kinney, also known as William X. Nietzche, stands outside the Red House on North Mississippi in Portland in October 2020 (KOIN)

“This all started from two separate mortgage servicers requesting the same monthly morgtage payment two months in a row, until I ignited the onslaught of our qualified written request to see who was entitled to enforce the note in this case,” Kinney said told KOIN 6 News in October. “We didn’t get no responses. All the while they were executing default processes behind the scenes.”

The Humboldt neighborhood home was previously auctioned off and the family forced out. The occupation of the Red House began in September after a judge rejected the family’s request for an emergency stay.

Things escalated Tuesday when officers responded to the new owner’s complaints and arrested about a dozen people.

Since then, protesters barricaded streets and left hazards for law enforcement, including spikes that could puncture tires.

PORTLAND, OR – DECEMBER 09: Layers of chainlink fence and wood block the North entry to the Red House on Mississippi Street on December 9, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Police and protesters clashed during an attempted eviction Tuesday morning, leading protesters to establish a barricade around the Red House. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Kinney said he has been meeting with lawmakers.

“We’ve been speaking with House Rep. Tawna Sanchez, demanding answers,” he told KOIN 6 News earlier.

Kinney said everyone involved in the negotiations was looking for a peaceful resolution. And he said they also obtained commitments “in the making” from Wheeler’s office and PPB Chief Chuck Lovell that include a written apology and confirmation they won’t be attacked.

The family has had a few different entities offer to buy the home outright if that’s what’s required as part of the solution.

One person who gave KOIN 6 News the name Philo Sofree said they grew up in that house. “I’m just hoping we can effect change so that other families don’t go through the same experiences we did.”

An aerial view of the Red House on N. Mississippi and the barricades surrounding it, December 10, 2020 (KOIN)

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