PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Protesters gathered once again in Portland on Friday evening to stand in opposition to gentrification.
Based on information posted online, people met at 8 p.m. in the 4400 block of N Mississippi Avenue and start marching an hour later. The event — labeled “F**k gentrification! A march for Red House sovereignty” — was expected to last a few hours and include performances by local musicians.
Protesters have gathered in the neighborhood in other recent nights. On Oct. 7, a demonstration was held near a home at N Mississippi Avenue and N Albina Avenue to protest evictions with many holding signs that read “Evictions Hurt Everyone” and “Stop the Foreclosure.” More than 50 people held a sit-in demonstration to support a family they say is facing imminent eviction.
Late last month, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved an extension on the residential renters’ eviction moratorium through the end of 2020.
The existing moratorium was set to expire September 30, meaning renters would have only been covered by a limited federal moratorium by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The board of commissioners also voted to extend the Multnomah County state of emergency over the pandemic through January 8, 2021.
Simply put, “renters in Multnomah County cannot be evicted from their homes just because they can’t pay their rent” through that January date.
Renters in the county still have to pay their back rent, but will have 6 months to do that, with the grace period beginning January 8, 2021. That means back rent will be due in full by July 2021.
On Thursday night, a small group of a few dozen people gathered in the street outside the Justice Center in downtown Portland. They lit a bonfire in the middle of SW 3rd Avenue before police stepped in, ordering them to move to the sidewalk. Despite the warnings, much of the crowd refused to budge.
A car associated with the protest stopped near the fire at one point and a passenger exited the car — who then poured accelerant on the flames. The car was later stopped and the passenger, identified as 18-year-old Rachel Lee Tabot, was cited for reckless burning and arson.
Firefighters eventually extinguished the fire and a second fire set near the sidewalk.
More warnings were given throughout the night as the crowd remained in the street, continuing to block traffic and set small fires. Officers eventually moved back in to make some targeted arrests before the group dispersed around 12:30 a.m.
Two total arrests were made overnight. Zachary Reinhardt, 29, was arrested for interfering with a peace officer and second-degree disorderly conduct. while 25-year-old Justin Bowen was arrested for reckless burning.